Athletics

Athletics

Glance toward the dugout at any A's game, and there's Matt Chapman giving high-fives and hugs. He'll throw in a Bash Brothers arm shake here, and there as well.

Beyond bringing the energy to the team, he brings a sensational glove as one of the top third basemen in the majors. When he's making stunning defensive plays, he's boosted by the utmost confidence in his first baseman Matt Olson.

The two Matts have built a relationship across the diamond that sprouted in the minors. An undeniable chemistry the two can't describe. 

"It's funny, it just seems so natural -- something that we've never really had to work for," Chapman told NBC Sports California last month. "[Olson]'s obviously super talented defensively, -- I mean, all around, with his ability to work on the bag, off the bag, deep, in -- he can do it all."

"To have somebody like that, that's also not afraid to hang in there on tough throws, dig out throws, take balls up the line, not scared of contact, and on top of it, he's seven-feet-tall," Chapman laughed. "I feel like I can throw the ball anywhere -- it gives me the confidence to just try and chuck balls over there because he can make so many good plays."

Chappy, a recipient of two Platinum and Gold Glove Awards himself, gets to throw across the diamond each and every game to Oly, who matched the number of Gold Gloves in his career. The two always have confidence in knowing the play will get made.

 

Chapman gets an extra boost from Olson's height (all 6-foot-5 of him) stretched from each part of the bag, and Olson induces some beautiful double plays that don't involve the third baseman on occasion. 

"There will be plays where I know a guy is going to try and go to third base, and [Olson]'s throwing guys out at third and I've been there, you know," Chapman said, "so we are always kind of on the same page when it comes to just being in tune with what's going on with the game and the situation so it's nice to have someone across the diamond you can trust."

Olson can't explain what makes the duo work so perfectly, either.

"Yeah -- I dunno, we've just been on the same page pretty much since we've met," Olson said. "We get along with each other off the field and hang out, and we're card partners and all that, and on the field, we have the same mentality."

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The fun is obvious, but the moment the pitcher throws ... 

"We like to joke around and not take anything too seriously," Olson said. "But when we're in between the lines, it's game time."