Kemp vows A's unveiling different brand of baseball in 2023


Tony Kemp and the Athletics started off their 2023 MLB season on the right foot with a 2-1 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night at the Oakland Coliseum. 

Kemp hit a double to provide the game-tying run off Angels reliever Aaron Loup in the bottom of the eighth inning. The 31-year-old also scored the eventual game-winning run as speed on the bases proved to be what the team needed for the win.

It also might be the team's calling card this season.

"I feel like that kind of is who we are," Kemp told NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil and Dave Stewart on "A's Postgame Live." "Kind of what encapsulates an Oakland A is just the little things. I feel like base running. Well, and especially that speed."

While Kemp hit the game-tying RBI and scored the game-winning, the veteran credited 24-year-old Esteury Ruiz for starting the rally. Ruiz hit the single and also used his speed to go from first base to home plate on the double by Kemp.

"Ruiz started that inning was huge right there," Kemp continued. "And obviously, you guys saw him in spring training, but he's an electric player and he's young, and I feel like he's got a high baseball IQ. So I'm excited to see what he's got over a full season ... 

"So I feel like we're just gonna have to play the game a little bit differently. Play, gap to gap, play singles and steal bases and it's the little things [like making] good base running reads."

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Oakland has some players in their lineup that will provide some home run potential; there's no doubt the team will use their speed and playing small ball to keep themselves in games this season. 

Nonetheless, it's not all speed as part of the "little things" that the A's will be using in 2023, as playing sound defense is also included. Along with his speed, Ruiz also made a spectacular catch to rob Mike Trout of a potential extra-base hit. 

If game No. 1 showed A's fans anything, they can expect a lot of movement on the bases from the team and sound defense as the team pays attention to the small details to secure wins. 

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