Athletics

Radar-gun guy Nathan Patterson strikes out side in A's organizational debut

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Nathan Patterson/Twitter

Radar-gun guy Nathan Patterson strikes out side in A's organizational debut

Two weeks after signing a contract with the A's, Nathan Patterson had a night to remember in his organization debut on Thursday.

Pitching for the A's Arizona League Gold team against the Cubs affiliate in Mesa, Ariz., Patterson struck out all three batters he faced.

While MiLB's Gameday box score indicated that Patterson completed an immaculate inning (three strikeouts on nine pitches), Patterson confirmed after the game that he in fact threw quite a few more pitches.

Patterson's story is well-documented at this point. At the beginning of 2018, he decided to do the speed-pitch challenge at a Triple-A game in Nashville, and blew his own mind with how hard he was throwing.

"I honestly thought it was a joke," Patterson told the media on a conference call last week. "I thought they just jacked up the gun to make you pay another dollar to throw another ball. I think I threw about five balls and the last one I threw was 96 mph. I blew my own mind, honestly."

At that point, Patterson hired an agent and began working with former A's pitcher Jarrod Parker. This past offseason, he conducted a pro day in front of major league talent evaluators.

Then, the infamous video of Patterson doing the speed-pitch challenge at a Colorado Rockies game earlier this season made its way around the internet.

Soon, the A's, who were at Patterson's pro day, made the contract offer to the 23-year-old.

If Patterson can make it up to the major leagues, his story will certainly be turned into a movie. But even if he doesn't, it's still an incredible story.

A's vs. Angels live stream: How to watch MLB games online, on TV

A's vs. Angels live stream: How to watch MLB games online, on TV

The A's are going streaking.

Oakland (12-4) has won nine straight games and look to make it 10 in a row when they head south to face the Los Angeles Angels. The A's are coming off a sweep of the rival Houston Astros, which was punctuated by a benches-clearing brawl between the two sides when Ram贸n Laureano charged at the Astros' dugout.

The Angels (5-11) just got swept by the Texas Rangers and sit in last place in the AL West.

Here's how you can watch the A's play the Angels online (download the MyTeams app here!) and on TV:

Monday, Aug. 10

When: A's Pregame Live at 6 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 6:40 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

Tuesday, Aug. 11

When: A's Pregame Live at 6 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 6:40 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

Wednesday, Aug. 12

When: A's Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 1:10 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]
 

Chad Pinder's amazing catch shows A's can fill Ram贸n Laureano void

Chad Pinder's amazing catch shows A's can fill Ram贸n Laureano void

Chad Pinder didn't spend much time in the outfield before the A's loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.

Just two innings, in fact.

The 28-year-old only played one inning there at Angel Stadium, but Pinder certainly made his presence known when he ran down a foul ball roped off Mike Trout's bat in the bottom of the eighth inning.

It was just about the A's lone highlight in Tuesday's 6-0 loss, but Pinder's timing couldn't have been better. Oakland could be without center fielder Ram贸n Laureano for as many as six games depending upon the appeal of his suspension, and Pinder's catch is proof they'll still be in good shape defensively.

Pinder saved just shy of six runs in each of the last two seasons with his defense, according to Fangraphs' Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). He was better in the corners than he was in center field, but Pinder, Mark Canha and Robbie Grossman are so versatile that it's difficult to envision any of them truly holding Laureano's spot in his absence.

[RELATED: Stew believes justice was done in Laureano, Cintr贸n ban]

The 28-year-old will need to turn it around at the plate, as Pinder is slashing just .192/.276/.308 in 29 plate appearances. Laureano has been one of the A's better hitters, sitting third on the team with 10 RBI and three home runs.

The A's undoubtedly will miss Laureano's bat, but they won't miss his glove as much if Pinder can keep flashing the leather like he did Tuesday night.