James Kaprielian was a bright light heading into the season and has found success in the Athletics’ starting rotation.
On Wednesday night, however, that wasn’t the case. And while he wasn't credited with the loss, he said he will learn from the mistakes.
“I thought I did all right,” Kaprielian said following the 5-3 loss to the Texas Rangers. “Made a couple mistakes and paid for it. Got to be better -- flat out.”
In six innings, Kaprielian struck out four, giving up one home run, five hits and two walks.
“I’m still working on things mechanically and start to start and always trying to improve,” Kaprielian said. “I’m learning a lot throughout this process as well. Obviously I'm doing something right because they’re giving me a chance to pitch every fifth day.”
Kaprielian, ever the competitor who has picked up a few things from the late Kobe Bryant, said he still has grace despite tough outings like Wednesday night.
“You have to give yourself grace, you have to be forgiving with yourself or I’m just going to harp on things and not improve as an athlete or a person,” Kaprielian said. “For example, pitching to García, kind of speeding up and not taking control there when it’s falling behind 1-0, then it’s 2-0 and you give a guy a 2-0 count and he’s looking for one thing.”
“I gave Jonah [Heim] too good of a pitch to hit there,” Kaprielian added.”I know it was the bottom of the zone, but maybe not the right pitch, but that’s on me. I put that thing there and they took advantage of it.”
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Heim, whom the A's traded to the Texas Rangers in the Elvis Andrus-Khris Davis transaction, doubled off Kaprielian.
It was downhill from there. Adolis García hit his first of two home runs of the night in the sixth inning.
“For me, slowing the game down and not letting things get too big, and even when things are going my way, being able to slow the game down is important,” Kaprielian admitted.
“I’ve talked to a lot of guys and there are those who are humble and those who are humbled,” he said.