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Live Blogging: Orioles @ A’s Game 53

May 28, 2011

10:04PM PDT: Fuentes does it. Of course he made it a little interesting by hitting Adam Jones with a pitch putting the tying run at the plate but we’re all done. Brian “The First Amendment” Fuentes to the rescue, another solid win from the A’s. Good to see all those two-out runs. A’s hope to bring out the brooms for Baltimore tomorrow afternoon.

9:56PM PDT: So Brian Fuentes out on the mound as the new closer having earned his job back by toiling on the bench. I suppose pitching is a way that he can lose it again. He comes in with a 5.06 ERA but his 3.66 FIP is more indicative of the quality of his pitching. He has a big disparity in performance from save to non-save situations.

  SO/BB BA OBP SLG K/9
Save Sit 2.60 .159 .245 .273 9.5
Non-Save Sit 0.40 .361 .432 .361 2.0

All this is likely to become a moot point in a day or two when Andrew Bailey returns to the A’s.

9:48PM PDT: Mark Ellis provides an insurance run on a solo dinger to left field of new Orioles reliever Koji Uehara. Uehara doesn’t even turn around, he knew it – which is surprising because with the thick night air there’ve been a lot of shots that have died right at the warning track tonight. Ellis’ first of the season – great timing too as it gives Fuentes (who is warming) some extra leeway. Oakland Athletics 4, Baltimore Orioles 2.

9:41PM PDT: Following a leadoff walk of Mark Reynolds. Luke Scott is in to pinch-hit. Why has this guy not been in the O’s starting lineup? It seems like they’re basically starting the Norfolk Tides the past two nights between Adams, Reimold and Tatum meanwhile they have a legit hitting in Scott sitting. Doesn’t make much sense to me – but whatever that is for an Orioles fan to worry about and possibly chastise Buck Showalter about. But here are Scott’s numbers on the year: .241/.327/.429 with six home runs in 153 plate appearances – it’d make him one of Oakland’s premier sluggers.

9:37PM PDT: So Grant Balfour is in for the eighth… did Brian Fuentes win back his closing job (by not pitching)?

9:18PM PDT: Joey Devine is in the game for back-to-back appearances. He is currently owner of a 30.1 inning no earned runs streak. Of course the record for no earned runs streak belongs to teammate Brad Ziegler at 39 – Ziegler’s was a bit more impressive as it was a pure scoreless (no runs or earned runs) streak. Nonetheless Devine’s run is very impressive and hopefully he can continue it and end tonight’s trend of the O’s answering A’s runs. Josh Outman‘s day was so-so. The good: six innings of two run, six hit ball. The bad: just two K’s. The ugly: five walks.

9:15PM PDT: DeJesus argued the call and with the angled view it was tough to tell but Pitch f/x care of BrooksBaseball.net says it wasn’t close at all and DeJesus should’ve tried to do something with it. In fact if anything he got one gift call earlier in the at bat.

9:10PM PDT: Brad Bergesen‘s walk of Daric Barton spells the end of his outing. He throws only five and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on nine hits, with two walks and five strikeouts. Not a terrible outing not a great one, though it could turn terrible if David DeJesus can get Crisp and Barton in. A’s get to face the terrible Baltimore bullpen, starting with Clay Rapada – 8.64 ERA, 5.67 FIP, 5.4 BB/9 and 2.2 HR/9. What is it with these O’s pitchers and terrible HR/FB rates – Rapada’s is 20.0%.

9:06PM PDT: Two-out RBI! Coco Crisp hit it right in front of Adam Jones and he made a good throw and Cliff Pennington barely got around Craig Tatum to score the go-ahead run. Athletics have a 3-2 lead now, they just need to keep the O’s off the board in the next half inning. Crisp goes to second on the throw.

8:58PM PDT: Fifth walk from Outman and Michael Wuertz begins throwing in the bullpen.

8:52PM PDT: Brad Bergesen with his fifth strikeout and second of Kurt Suzuki to end the fifth with both clubs still knotted up. Bergeson has had an OK outing, allowing seven hits thus far, to go along with one walk and five K’s. With his pitch count at 86, we should see at least one more inning out of him if not two.

8:18PM PDT: Again the O’s match the A’s scoring a run on a pitch down the middle driven to center field by Tatum and scoring Nolan Reimold. Two-out RBI’s are killers as the A’s have effectively used it to hurt the O’s. Oakland and Baltimore tied up at two.

8:08PM PDT: Josh Willingham with a single drives in Coco. Another two out RBI hit. Good stuff. A’s 2, O’s 1.

8:07PM PDT: Coco runs and Tatum doesn’t even try to throw him out. Fifteenth steal on the year puts him right at 75% for the year – which means interestingly he had a constant green light from Bob Geren despite the fact he was stealing at a level where you’re better off not even bothering. I’m surprised he was that low but a few of those are overshooting second caught stealings which don’t really signify him being too slow or running poorly or of the other side being able to throw him out.

7:57PM PDT: Single to left by Adam Jones scores Craig Tatum – walk comes back to haunt Oakland. Bad throw from Josh Willingham, bad non-catch by Zuk, but good back up from Outman to prevent further damage. O’s tie it up at one.

7:55PM PDT: Four pitch walk to Robert Andino. Third walk of the game. 38 pitches – 19 have been balls, 19 have been strikes. The control problems he had in Sacramento – which didn’t really surface in his last start in Anaheim have resurfaced here for Josh Outman.

7:46PM PDT: Kouz basehit to right scores Mark Ellis who got to second on an error by Ryan Adams. Another day of the A’s hitting with guys in RISP and also hitting with two outs and also taking advantage of opposition mistakes. That is good baseball. A’s up 1-0.

7:44PM PDT: Terrible strikeout from Kurt Suzuki – third of the game from Bergesen. Zuk just spun around on the final pitch that tied him up inside.

7:27PM PDT: Nick Markakis – the real deal robbing Coco. But UZR/150 says he is just an average defender (1.6 for his career). UZR/150 and the fielding stats in general are the ones I have the most trouble sort of both understanding and accepting. But I think that with fielding you always notice the outlier plays – the terrible errors or the amazing catches (which sometimes are due to the fielding being poorly positioned to begin with) yet don’t notice the players making all the good non-flashy plays.

7:24PM PDT: Outman recovers -gets himself out of the inning.

7:20PM PDT: E5. Eighth on the year. Scott Sizemore is in Sacramento just waiting by the phone… Adam Jones gets on board. Two men on, no one out. Also as an aside, Joe Stiglich of the Contra Costa Times was good enough to reply to my tweet asking him about the Jerry Blevins move, he wrote,

“Technically, Blevins was optioned. @tvprcretireplan I am more confused than ever. [David] Purcey traded – why DFA Blevins? Why not option him?”

Stiglich is the great, always happy to reply and answer questions or thoughts you share with him. Thanks Joe!

7:19PM PDT: Robert Andino gets on board with a weird bunt single. Wonder if with the wet infield grass this could be a strategy the A’s try and employ as well. Might not be the worst idea.

7:00PM PDT: A’s look to continue their success against the visit Baltimore Orioles. There will be a short delay to the start of the game (about ten minutes or so) due to rain having passing through Oakland prior to first pitch. Josh Outman makes his second start of the year against O’s righty Brad Bergesen. Bergesen has an ugly ERA (5.64) but a far more respectable FIP (3.91), suffering from a terrible 54.8% strand rate. He doesn’t strike out too many (5.2 K/9) and features average control (2.6 BB/9). Meanwhile for the A’s they have all their opening day starters in the lineup with Kevin Kouzmanoff apparently healed from his issues with a pulled groin and Coco Crisp back in centerfield. No move yet regarding Andrew Bailey being added to the 25-man roster so Bobby Cramer is still available in the bullpen but given his role hopefully he won’t be utilized. Cramer sort of strikes me as the Ross Wolf of 2011 (last year Ross was recalled from Sacramento on July 7th and was optioned back on August 22nd making just four appearances including none between July 29th and August 22nd).

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