Live Blogging: Red Sox @ A’s Game 17
9:57PM PDT: Well there ya go. Fuentes gets it done without a run crossing the plate. Final score: Oakland A’s 5, Boston Red Sox 0. We do it again tomorrow.
9:51PM PDT: (Hasn’t this game slowed down since the eighth inning nearly an hour ago?) So a walk to Pedroia and base-hit to Gonzalez means Geren is going to the pen to get Fuentes in. I don’t understand this logic, sort of nonsense. Still is not a save situation, because the batter on deck represents a fourth run, still shy of the A’s total. But makes no sense. Kevin Youkilis is a hitter that (the A’s in particular find) is well respected and able to really do some damage, key note: he is right-handed. Why the heck would you bring in Fuentes to specifically face him? Frankly there’s a better chance that Breslow does well against him.
9:47PM PDT: Craig Breslow is who Geren goes with to face the top of the order. Jed Lowrie is a switch-hitter who will hit right, Pedroia is a righty and then Adrian Gonzalez comes from the left side. Breslow’s splits aren’t so bad like some of the other pitchers in our pen so it isn’t surprising to see him in.
9:38PM PDT: Kurt Suzuki puts a ball where the Red Sox ain’t which scores pinch-runner Ryan Sweeney from second. A’s up 5-0. Love seeing this, this is what we’ve sort of been waiting for all year, a nice break out inning to take some pressure off the late inning situations. A four run bottom of the eighth certainly does the trick. It’ll be interesting to see that given it not being a save situation anymore if Geren opts to not go with Fuentes any longer. Anderson should be available potentially to go for another inning with this cushion he has only thrown 109 pitches which isn’t a terribly high amount.
9:34PM PDT: Matsui doubles and scores two! A’s lead 4-0. Okajima is pulled in comes I think Alfredo Aceves.
9:33PM PDT: Brian Fuentes is warming in the pen… at least we have a two run lead. That should be safe right?
9:29PM PDT: Refreshing to see Josh Willingham take a walk and not strike out! This prompts former A’s pitching coach Curt Young to come out and talk with Okajima before he takes on his fellow countryman in Hideki Matsui. Gotta wonder how Young feels now? I mean he goes to Boston with a great staff (not that he left a bad one in Oakland, realistically he downgraded and we knew this before the season started) and the staff is off to a terrible start as we mentioned earlier. Wonder if he has any regrets?
9:23PM PDT: Nice sort of fist shot from Daric Barton. Good job working the count and waiting for his pitch. Drives in Pennington from third. A’s 2, Red Sox 0.
9:20PM PDT: I like how Cliff Pennington moves around on the bases. He keeps fielders on their toes, forces a lot of throws. His bluff off third forced a throw and Saltalamacchia almost lost the ball, could’ve been a run. I just like how he makes things happen, forces the defense to throw balls they might not otherwise throw and increases the risk to the opposition. Good ballplayer – good little things.
9:05PM PDT: Anderson is only at 106 pitches but has run into a little trouble with Carl Crawford and Jarrod Saltalamacchia on base and Darnell McDonald up. Good eight innings of work, my biggest concern is who comes in for the ninth. We’ve been in these 1-0 games before…
8:59PM PDT: Great break for the A’s with Mike Cameron obstructing Kurt Suzuki on the strikeout/steal because Ellsbury would’ve been safe at second with a steal, but the obstruction gets Ellsbury called out. Cameron with a gimme.
8:58PM PDT: The crappy toss over to first was what I once heard Vin Scully called his “commercial throw to first” as in it’s the one he wants to sell you, before he goes to a better move to get you. Anderson unlike Dallas Braden doesn’t have a particularly great move.
8:57PM PDT: Ellsbury is demonstrating the power of speed on the bases. 3-0 because Ellsbury is distracting Anderson from pitching. He also isn’t throwing from the stretch, quick pitching it and it is clear that he isn’t as comfortable in this role.
8:44PM PDT: Dan Wheeler in to toss for the Red Sox. Realistically a very good night for Lackey, another typical top performance against the A’s. What the A’s did well – and I sound like a broken record here – is force Lackey to a high pitch count. Lackey threw 93 pitches in his six innings of work – and while given he was skipped in the roster he likely could’ve gone farther, we’ve now gotten into the bullpen which in my mind despite Boston having a decent pen, always is better than facing any given starter.
8:20PM PDT: A bit of a rally going? Kevin Kouzmanoff swings first pitch and gets a base hit to left to move the previously walked Mark Ellis to second. It’d be nice to get a few runs, these 1-0 leads don’t inspire too much confidence in me especially if Bob Geren insists on letting Brian Fuentes close them out.
7:59PM PDT: Terry Francona gets ejected but realistically had a point. Brett Anderson balked, it wasn’t called. I have a feeling that Dustin Pedroia (who was picked off on the aforementioned non-balk balk) could get booted next with how much he is yelling out onto the field.
7:45PM PDT: Brett Anderson is just rolling another 1-2-3 inning. Seven out in a row now. A’s still lead in another tight game (how many times will we say that this April?).
7:23PM PDT: Good to see the A’s get a quick start. DeJesus scores Crisp while grounding out A’s lead 1-0.
7:18PMPDT: There we go Coco Crisp steals second!
7:17PM PDT: I’d love to see the A’s try to really run wild on Jarrod Saltalamacchia because he has struggled with runners. Meanwhile Lackey keeps shaking off Saltalamacchia signs. Korach was mentioning in the pregame show that the Red Sox pitching struggles are in part possibly due to the staff being so comfortable with Jason Varitek. Seems that that might be the case just watching the difficulty it seems Lackey has getting in sync with Saltalamacchia.
7:02PM PDT: So we are about to get started here in Oakland. The A’s are taking on John Lackey and the 5-10, Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have had some well-noted struggles thus far this season in particular with their pitching staff where Lackey has been part of the problem, coming in with a last in the American League 5.14 FIP and worst in the AL 5.58 ERA along with letting up an astronomical 1.5 HR/9 (in large part care of a 14.9% HR/FB). As mentioned, the Sox’ starting pitching John Lackey has been a part of the problem and in his two starts in 2011 somehow sports a 1-1 record despite a 15.58 ERA (good for a 28 ERA+ and 8.13 FIP) and a -0.2 WAR. But historically Lackey has played Oakland tough, a longtime member of the Angels he has a 2.90 ERA in 202 innings of work during which his peripherals have been a solid 6.7 K/9 and a 2.5BB/9. So we will have our work cut out for us, but remember Lackey is not the same pitcher he was with the Angels. The A’s send Brett Anderson up to face him, Brett has been solid thus far this year despite racking up a high pitch count early in his last start against the Sox of a paler variety.