Chris Herrmann’s first MLB hit? A grand slam!
As a Montrealer who is used to massive concrete structures as a venue for baseball games, I feel a bit of sympathy for Oakland Athletics fans.
If we can forget Mount Davis for a second — which I realize it very hard to do — this stadium is still an outdoor park, with a grass field and over 50 years of baseball history. The A’s are a team that continues to complete regularly and has a solid playoff record. I had three critical problems with this stadium, which made the experience way worse than what modern MLB parks should be.
First, I’m not all that well versed in the different neighbourhoods in the East Bay, but from my untrained eye, County Coliseum is in the middle of nowhere. The trip from San Francisco on the BART was just about as industrial and barren as I could have imagined. Second, the walk from the public transit station to the stadium was one of the least pleasant experiences I’ve had getting to a ballpark. There was a grey, barb-wired walkway with no fan experience and no sense of excitement when you clear security. If I didn’t know where I was, I would have no clue that I was entering a hulking baseball stadium. Finally, I don’t think the main concourse has had any work done on it since the stadium opened. While the concessions are alright, the aesthetics were worse than most minor league parks.
As far as the game goes, the Athletics win was driven by the grand slam by Chris Herrmann in the bottom of the 4th. It was an even more special at-bat as he had been called up from AAA the day before and was making his first start of the season. While was Minnesota’s helped by home runs from Miguel Sano and Jason Castro, they were only able to claw back six runs in the end. Both starting pitchers didn’t have great days, but Jake Odorizzi seemed particularly off, giving up five earned runs in three innings.
Joakim Soria and Liam Hendriks shut down the Twins for the final two innings, ensuring that the 13,926 home town fans went home satisfied. I generally was as well.