Khris Davis’ Two Opening Night Home Runs

I headed out early for the Coliseum, and I saw long lines to get into the stadium.  The security checks seemed to take forever.  The giveaway was a pennant.  I should have visited the food trucks and bought a taco or something, because I was hungry all night.  I went to my seat and saw Gianna Franco doing a radio show.  The first of the night’s ceremonies was to honor Bill King.  They replayed some of his most notable moments on the radio, such as Rickey Henderson’s record-breaking stolen base in 1991 and Scott Hatteberg’s walk-off home run in 2002.  After the introduction of the players, another ceremony honored Rickey Henderson.  He took a slow walk across the field and gave a speech in which he thanked everybody.  The fans wanted to hear something positive.  The field was officially named Rickey Henderson Field, although Rickey said that it was named Rickey Henderson.  Rickey threw out the first pitch to Dave Stewart, and there was a flyover.  Kendall Graveman was the starting pitcher for the A’s.  He got into a bit of trouble to start the game, giving up singles to the first two Angels hitters, and then having to face Mike Trout, but a double play helped him get out of the jam.  Graveman got his first strikeout in the second inning.  The A’s took the lead in the bottom of the second inning when Stephen Vogt got the count to 3-2 before hitting a home run to right field.  Graveman couldn’t hold the lead in the third inning, however, as he didn’t get a call from the home plate umpire on what looked like a third strike, and the resulting walk led to that man Mike Trout coming up and hitting a two-run home run.  The A’s were quiet on offense in the third inning and managed only a single from Khris Davis with two outs in the fourth inning.  In the fifth inning, Jed Lowrie singled and went to second base on a ground ball by Trevor Plouffe.  Yonder Alonso singled, bringing in Lowrie to make the score 2-2.  Graveman’s last inning was the sixth, as he allowed a hit but kept the score at 2-2.  He did not have a clean inning on the night, but he got seven strikeouts, and his only real mistake was the Trout home run.  In the bottom of the inning with one out, Khris Davis swung at the first pitch and hit a home run, putting the A’s ahead, 3-2.  Vogt hit a single and Plouffe walked later in the inning, but the A’s didn’t score many more runs in the inning.  The Big Head race took place and Rickey not surprisingly won.  Ryan Dull took the mount in the top of the seventh inning, and he was the most impressive pitcher of the night, striking out the three hitters he faced.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard members of the “Hamilton” cast sing “God Bless America,” and then we heard James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing.”  In the bottom of the inning, Matt Joyce walked with two outs, but the score remained at 3-2.  In the eighth inning, Sean Doolittle, now wearing eyeglasses, pitched and got two outs.  Ryan Madson came in to pitch to Mike Trout, but gave up a double to make the home fans a little uncomfortable.  We saw the no-pitch intentional walk for the first time with Albert Pujols.  Madson got out of the inning with a force play at second base.  Khris Davis started off the bottom of the eighth inning with another home run, making the score 4-2.  The A’s would load the bases with two outs, but Rajai Davis grounded out.  None of the first three batters in the A’s lineup, Rajai Davis, Matt Joyce, and Ryon Healy, got a hit in the game, and only Joyce reached base safely with one walk.  The only other A’s player to not get a hit was Marcus Semien, although he did draw two walks.  Santiago Casilla, in his return to the A’s, was asked to get a save.  After a ground ball to third, he allowed a walk on a 3-2 pitch.  A fly ball to right was the second out.  The Angels sent a pinch hitter, but Casilla got a ground ball to second to end the game.  We heard Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” as we filed out of the stadium.  The game had started at 7:09 with a game time temperature of 59 degrees, and it ended at 10:05.  The attendance was 36,067.  Khris Davis was the second Oakland A’s player to hit two home runs on Opening Day.  The first was Jason Giambi in 2000.  It took me a while to leave the stadium to catch my BART train.  This morning I heard on the news that The Hate Man had died.  His age was given as either 80 or 81.  He was also an old man.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 4, “Rio Bravo,” directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, and Walter Brennan, was released.  In 1963, the film adaptation of “Bye Bye Birdie,” starring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Maureen Stapleton, Bobby Rydell, and Ed Sullivan, was released.  In 1979, the remake of “The Champ,” starring Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway, and Ricky Schroder, was released.

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