Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that the “Moneyball” movie has started filming in Oakland with scenes from the A’s record-setting 20th straight win in 2002.
Scott Hatteberg delivered the game-winning homer in real life and actor Chris Pratt (who plays Andy in the super-awesome “Parks and Recreation” on NBC) is portraying him in the movie. And that’s when hilarity ensues:
Pratt, playing Hatteberg, didn’t exactly have the same result in his at-bat that Hatteberg did when his pinch-hit homer beat the Royals 12-11 in the bottom of the ninth on Sept. 4, 2002. …
“They said, ‘No matter what, if it’s in fair territory, act like it’s a home run,'” [A’s batboy Jordan] Iserson reported. “His first swing was a weak broken-bat ground ball and everyone rushed out there like it went into the fifth row.”
Ah, Hollywood. I suspect they’ll have the opposite problem when it comes to shooting the 2001 scene where Derek Jeter’s flip to Jorge Posada nails Jeremy Giambi at the plate, because no actor is going to believe not sliding in that spot is realistic.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.