Welcome to what could have been Opening Day 2020.
The A's were originally supposed to host the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon. That, of course, didn’t happen with the original date being pushed back amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Twins righty Jose Berrios earned the Opening Day starting job, as the team announced earlier this month. However, A’s manager Bob Melvin had yet to officially name his Opening Day starter, as he has been blessed with a pretty strong group that all could get the job done.
But, we can pretend as though he did, and take it a step even further with a simulation game thanks to Strat-O-Matic.
This “next best thing,” simulation broke down how the Twins-A’s Opening Day game would have turned out, and Oakland did well, winning the game 5-3.
Mike Fiers would have been the starter, according to the simulation, and he pitched in 5 2/3 innings. Across those frames, Fiers would give up three runs, including two solo homers, on seven hits and struck out five.
Liam Hendriks got the save, striking out two in the ninth inning. There surely would have been a storyline from Josh Donaldson returning to Oakland on a new team, who spent four seasons with the A’s.
The two home runs Fiers gave up were from Nelson Cruz and Mitch Garver.
On the A's side, Khris Davis looked like his old self, picking up two base hits in the win.
Fiers had a bit to say after the game as well. (Wow, this is so weird)
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“I just wanted to give my team a chance to win,” Fiers said, according to the simulation. “I got burned on a couple of pitches. But we won the game, and that's all that matters.”
What a tease.