MESA, Arizona -- The A’s had baseball’s best record in one-run games last season.
Part of that success was an offense which could regularly leave the yard with one swing of the bat. The other half was a bullpen that gave up next to nothing.
Including the premiere setup and closer combo of Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen, who both return to Oakland in 2019.
“I always tell him,” Trivino said, “Soon as I’m done I’d run right up to the clubhouse to watch him on television.”
The “Turbo Sinker” became Treinen’s signature pitch in what turned out to be the breakout season of his already-established career. It propelled him to the All-Star Game and Cy Young award considerations.
That amazing sinker is a weapon that Treinen himself cannot explain the physics behind. But his counterpart -- and opposing hitters -- are certainly aware of its action.
“You don’t have a true appreciation watching him from the side. When you can get behind him and see the ball move. The way he manipulates the ball, at the velocity he manipulates it. Amazing.” Trivino says.
The respect from the 30-year old Treinen is mutual.
“Lou is a phenomenal talent,” Treinen said. “Honestly, he’s going to be an elite closer someday. If things were different here, he could be the closer on this team. Now I love having the ninth inning, but I hope someday he has the opportunity. He is that impactful and dominant.”
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Near the end of last summer, Trivino’s rookie campaign hit a rough stretch. And while analysts pointed directly at potential fatigue, he says he ultimately gained from the experience.
“I learned what works, and what doesn’t work," Trivino said. "For me that’s invaluable. I had a rough stretch in August and can continue to move on where I don’t have a month and a half of struggling again.”