The move was so by-the-book as to be automatic.
The A’s had a one-run lead in the ninth inning. Closer Grant Balfour was up and loose in the Oakland bullpen.
Balfour was coming into to close out Friday’s 9-8 win over the Rangers. The A’s got the win, but Balfour never left the bullpen. Instead, left-hander Sean Doolittle, who’d gotten out of the eighth inning with a bit of magic, pitched the ninth to get the save.
Nate Freiman, like any first baseman, knows how to gauge a close play at first base, even a play he can’t see.
Judging the impact of the ball hitting the glove while feeling through your leg as a runner is almost simultaneously hitting the base becomes a habit.
And what did Freiman think of the eighth inning play Saturday when second baseman Jed Lowrie tried to throw out Chicago leadoff hitter Alejandro De Aza on a medium-speed grounder with the score tied at 1-all?