Live Blogging: A’s @ Red Sox Game 59
6:28PM EDT: Single to right center. Game over. A’s fall to the Red Sox 9-8 in 14 innings. Not sure I agreed with the idea of pitching to J.D. Drew and sure enough he cashes in the go ahead run in Crawford. Disappointing. 5hrs 17mins of my life I will never get back. A’s fall to 27-32 on the year. Last place is still in their sole possession.
6:25PM EDT: Winning run on second as Carl Crawford fights off a pitch and it ends up plunking into the left field corner for a double. Jed Lowrie up but they will walk him to face J.D. Drew (not sure why, on the year sure Lowrie is a lot better than Drew, but he’s 0-for-6 today and it isn’t like Drew is a terrible ballplayer). That said, I love the moxy that Moscoso has. He just goes out there with this look on his face of like “yeah yeah yeah” like nothing is a big deal. Love it especially from a guy so inexperienced. He could be the real deal – nice little pickup by the A’s there.
6:18PM EDT: We go to the bottom of the fourteenth. After a tough first inning of work, Alfredo Aceves really settled in. A gutsy 71 pitch performance. I have to imagine his day is done and that Scott Atchison or Dan Wheeler comes in? Aceves’ last three appearances were as a starter and he went at least five innings and threw at least 78 pitches in those outings so perhaps there’ll be more of #91 on the hill? Time for “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” part two…
6:16PM EDT: A’s now have no positional players left. Kurt Suzuki is in to pinch run for Matsui at second. He will DH, but can sub out Powell if need be and the A’s will lose the DH.
6:15PM EDT: Barton singles off of Aceves so Matsui is on second now. Go ahead run in scoring position for Landon Powell.
6:11PM EDT: Hideki Matsui avoids a GIDP thanks to the Red Sox fans’ soon-to-be-least-favorite player Drew Sutton‘s hesitation on the attempted 3-6-3 double play. Sad to see older players struggle so much and look so… well… old?
6:08PM EDT: Wow… Aceves is out for a fourth inning of work. Does Francona not trust Atchison or Wheeler at all? Meanwhile Geren has Moscoso throwing in the pen. He is the last available “non-starter” (I put it in quotations because Moscoso is a member of the rotation but his start was skipped due to the off day Thursday) – not sure what the plan will be after that? Surprised really to see Moscoso even this early, you’d think Wuertz could throw two innings. Wonder if this move could jeopardize his projected start for Tuesday in Baltimore?
6:05PM EDT: Bet Francona would’ve preferred to have Adrian Gonzalez hitting there as opposed to Sutton. A’s go to the top of the 14th, longest game at Fenway Park since a September 5th, 1995 loss when Jose Canseco (playing for Boston) hit a game-winning three run blast off of A’s pitcher Carlos Reyes. That game lasted just four hours and twenty-seven minutes while today we are near the five hour mark now.
6:03PM EDT: Jacoby Ellsbury steals second so that prompts the A’s to again intentionally walk Pedroia to face Drew Sutton. Makes you wonder if it was worthwhile to steal the base? I know that analysis has shown that intentional walks lead to more runs, but this is a situation where you just want one run. Might’ve been better for the Sox to have Pedroia hitting. Wuertz needs to get Sutton and bring us to the 14th.
5:57PM EDT: Aceves goes a third straight inning with a 1-2-3 top of the 13th. The A’s now have a new pitcher it is Michael Wuertz. Wuertz has been good but his slider hasn’t been as sharp as it has in years past which may account for his K/9 being down to 8.6 K/9 from a career mark of 9.7 K/9. He has just a 17.5% whiff rate on the slider this year, compared to 25.4% with the A’s between 2009 and 2010.
5:44PM EDT: Strike three swinging. Eleven pitch at bat. Devine wins it. The power of getting ahead in the count right there people.
5:42PM EDT: Today’s at bat right now with Crawford behind in the count to Devine and having to fight off pitches is the complete opposite of yesterday’s matchup between Crawford and Fuentes. It gives the pitcher so much more latitude. The hitter needs to go after all those pitches that are borderline whereas when the pitcher is behind the batter can afford to take them. Changes the entire context of the at bat. Great job by Devine to get ahead. Let’s finish him off.
5:39PM EDT: 3-2 bunt fouled strike three by Mike Cameron. What a strange play. We really have seen it all this afternoon.
5:37PM EDT: Four pitch walk for Devine to Kevin Youkilis to begin the inning. Not what you want to do. The CSNCalifornia broadcast is saying that the A’s have Guillermo Moscoso also available in the pen. He pitched yesterday (40 pitches), is supposed to start in Tuesday just don’t realistically see him being used unless we start to get into a crazy long game.
5:24PM EDT: Bailey blows it by Sutton. So this game continues on to the twelfth. Several issues here for both teams when you go deep into a game like this. Red Sox have no bench players left. In the pen they have Scott Atchison, Tim Wakefield and Dan Wheeler available (though Wakefield is in the rotation now, I think he’d be available as the knuckleball is so low impact – I could be wrong on this). The A’s have Joey Devine and Michael Wuertz left with just Kurt Suzuki available off the bench though the A’s are hesitant to burn their final guy and be without an emergency catcher. Wild game.
5:22PM EDT: They intentionally walk Pedroia to face Sutton. Great point by Glen Kuiper though it does belabor a point, but the A’s didn’t get the insurance run in in the top of this inning and look how it has already come back to haunt them.
5:20PM EDT: One strike away from winning and a hanging cutter is driven into left for a ground rule double by Jacoby Ellsbury. The double scores Saltalamacchia. Blown save for Andrew Bailey we are again tied. Interesting call her, do you play matchups and pitch to Dustin Pedroia? Or, do you walk Pedroia and pitch to the lefty Drew Sutton a career .237/.296/.397 hitter?
5:16PM EDT: Phew… Saltalamacchia had a home run in 29 out of 30 parks. But not here! Thankfully it is a double off of the top of the Green Monster… this is one exciting ballgame!
5:15PM EDT: Gets Drew swinging! One to go!
5:14PM EDT: Gets Lowrie swinging! Two to go!
5:11PM EDT: It is Andrew Bailey time at Fenway. First save opportunity. Good to have the closer back – I believe in Bailey and love the guy. He will try and hold onto an 8-7 lead.
5:07PM EDT: Conor Jackson goes to upend Saltalamacchia as Willingham hits it on the infield grass. Love the aggressiveness from Jackson though it doesn’t pan out. With the Buster Posey – Scott Cousins situation there’s been lots of talk of going after the catcher as of late, but I see it as part of the game. The comparisons to Ray Fosse and Pete Rose are inaccurate as that game was an exhibition, Cousins was trying to score and win the game for the Marlins, can’t blame him for that. Catchers routinely get injured on plays at the plate (Carlos Santana of the Indians did last year) but when it is suddenly a team and the league’s star everyone cries foul. I liked Jackson’s aggressiveness there, I liked Cousins’ too, don’t want to see anyone get hurt but people do.
5:05PM EDT: Ryan Sweeney (chicks dig the sac fly) sacrifice flies to left field – right at the base of the Monster. Pennington scores, but even more importantly the insurance run (Jackson) also advances to third. Oakland A’s 8, Boston Red Sox 7 – my oh my who would’ve seen this coming? Andrew Bailey will be coming in for the bottom half… let’s give him some insurance.
5:03PM EDT: CoJax comes through again! Doubles a hanger off the Green Monster. A’s need to make him the DH – the time really should be up on Matsui.
4:59PM EDT: Fifth consecutive inning A’s have had the leadoff man aboard as Pennington walks.
4:57PM EDT: A’s now face Alfredo Aceves. The A’s really have an advantage with Ortiz and Gonzalez out of this game and also Aceves isn’t much to write home about with 4.9K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 for a middling 4.65 FIP.
4:50PM EDT: Cameron check swing grounds out to Barton. Barton doesn’t go for Sutton running to second double-clutching on the ball. I agree with Ray Fosse, he needs to throw it regardless. If it goes into the outfield somehow, the sliding Sutton won’t get anywhere. Need to try and get that out. Now we need to deal with the newly awakened Carl Crawford. While I say you leave Fuentes in to face Crawford. Not sure I like having him in the game this long.
4:46PM EDT: Fuentes still in but Gonzalez will be out of the game pinch-running with Drew Sutton. So Francona is all in now – gives the A’s a real advantage going forward should the Red Sox not score now.
4:45PM EDT: Fuentes in to face Adrian Gonzalez and Gonzalez singles. With Youk and Reddick (both RHBs) in does Geren make a move?
4:43PM EDT: Jenks gets out of the inning unscathed. We go to the bottom of the tenth…
4:39PM EDT: Gotta give credit to Jenks there. Weird bunt from Barton and Jenks quickly recovers to get Ellis out at second. Good play by Jenks, terrible play for the A’s as had Jenks not recovered A’s would really be in business now.
4:38PM EDT: Leadoff hit for Mark Ellis. A’s are in business baby.
4:35PM EDT: As usual not perfect nor always pretty but Fuentes gets it done we go to extra innings! A’s to play in their league leading thirteenth extra inning game owning a 5-7 record. The Red Sox prepare to play in just their fifth they have a 2-2 record.
4:25PM EDT: It is Fuentes, to face Drew (L), Saltalamacchia (S), Ellsbury (L).
4:22PM EDT: Footrace to first on the passed ball third strike and the Saltalamacchia throw beats Matsui to the bag. So close! A’s – Red Sox tied at seven. Matsui’s pause out of the box cost the A’s the run. Had he been running at first he would’ve made it and the A’s would’ve had the lead. I’d love to see Geren leave De Los Santos in this game, he has Brian Fuentes and Andrew Bailey warming in the pen. I assume Bailey only is in if we get the lead, I really don’t want to see Fuentes even though last night he was a victim of poor luck not a lack of skill.
4:16PM EDT: Hit parade continues! Ryan Sweeney with a hit down the left field line. CoJax can’t score so first and third one out…
4:15PM EDT: With Papelbon and Varitek out, now its an entirely new battery as Bobby Jenks joins Saltalamacchia.
4:13PM EDT: Now Papelbon is ejected too for yelling at Randazzo and bumping him too. Papelbon makes my skin crawl there are few I enjoy lighting up as much as him. Likely a suspension coming too given the contact with the home plate ump. Good riddance.
4:11PM EDT: COJAX WITH A HIT TO LEFT OFF OF YOUKILIS TWO RUNS SCORE A’S TIE THE GAME!!!
4:08PM EDT: Cliff Pennington keeps this one even more interesting as he doubles to left field to score Barton and now the A’s trail just 7-5. Varitek upset with the balls and strikes being called on Papelbon gets tossed out of the game for arguing with home plate ump Tony Randazzo. So new catcher for Papelbon is Jarrod Saltalamacchia, new hitter for the A’s too – Conor Jackson.
4:06PM EDT: Game ending double play averted as ball gets by Pedroia for an error. Ellis scores lead narrowed to 7-4.
4:04PM EDT: Powell strikes out on a fastball right down the middle. You’d think that catchers would seldom strike out and would really have very good plate discipline due to the fact that they watch 100 pitches a night and they have a better sense perhaps than anyone of any given umpires tendencies. Both he and Zuk walk at a decent rate and strike out less than others but you’d think it’d seldom happen at all and that they’d be able to put way more balls into play than the average guy.
4:00PM EDT: Barton walks, so with the Mark Ellis hit gives runners on second and first with nobody out. Yet here is how Geren half-asses it. Leaves Landon Powell in to face Papelbon. I get the whole LHB/RHP matchup thing but Powell doesn’t hit as well as the bench options of Kurt Suzuki or CoJax. Just ceding the game to the Red Sox.
3:57PM EDT: I hate Jonathan Papelbon. Throwing up his hands after a pitch like that. What a punk.
3:50PM EDT: De Los Santos strikes out Jed Lowrie with some blazing stuff. He is to be sent back to Sacramento tomorrow when Grant Balfour is reactivated off the paternity list. So he will lead Oakland with 27.0 K/9 yet be pitching for the River Cats. Life is so unfair.
3:49PM EDT: 96 mph with movement!
3:45PM EDT: This game is now pretty near officially over. Crawford gets a double down the first base line to drive in Gonzalez and Reddick. Red Sox now lead 7-3. If there is any positive in this double, it is that we now get to see the long-awaited MLB debut of Fautino De Los Santos who is coming in to relieve Breslow who does not get anyone out.
3:41PM EDT: Geren removes Brad Ziegler to have Craig Breslow face David Ortiz who promptly bangs one off the Green Monster. Second and third with two out now. Josh Reddick is pinch running for Ortiz. It is amazing to watch the difference between managers, Francona manages every game like it is a playoff game, but gets results. Geren sort of half-asses it. He does the “American League double switch” keeping Coco in the game and swapping out DeJesus with Andy LaRoche taking over at third. He plays the matchup by putting in Breslow despite a two-run defecit. But he leaves 0-for-17 Matsui in.
3:30PM EDT: 0-for-18 as he gets a IEGIDP. 6. 4. 3. Ugh. Home runs on the year for Matsui: 3, GIDP: 5. Only once in his career did he have more GIDPs than HRs and that was in an injury shortened 2008 with the Yankees and he had 10 GIDP and 9 HR.
3:28PM EDT: Here comes Matsui… 1-for-4 with 3BBs in his career versus Bard.
3:26PM EDT: Big base hit by Sweeney to lead off the eight off new Red Sox hurler flame thrower Daniel Bard. It’ll be interesting to see if Bob Geren pinch hits for Hideki Matsui with Conor Jackson. Jackson as a right-handed hitter is better suited to Fenway Park and Matsui has looked lost. This is the sort problem with Geren though (and for the record Matsui presently is on deck) is that he will bench guys frequently for whatever reason as he has with Matsui, yet won’t replace someone like Matsui midway through a game when it really could give the A’s a shot to win.
3:21PM EDT: OK. Two straight swinging K’s maybe my last comment was misguided…
3:19PM EDT: Why is Trevor Cahill still pitching?
3:15PM EDT: Maybe he is a left-handed specialist. Three pitches before he gets DeJesus to bounce into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play.
3:12PM EDT: Cliff Pennington flies out to Ellsbury deep enough to score Barton. A’s reduce the Red Sox lead to 5-3. Terry Francona is out to get yet another pitcher to face the top of the order going with “left-handed specialist” (making his second MLB appearance, his first being last night – that was Glen Kuiper’s description not mine hence the quotes) Tommy Hottovy.
3:09PM EDT: Base hit for Coco Crisp! No one scores but bases are loaded and there is a big “0″ in the out column. Amazingly that was just his 14th plate appearance in his career as a pinch hitter. He is now 3-for-12 with a BB and sac bunt in these situations.
3:06PM EDT: Here we go… Powell singles through the hole on the right side. Two on, none out. Coco Crisp is up to hit for Kevin Kouzmanoff. But there’ll be a new Red Sox pitcher too – Matt Albers who is having a good year. Albers is that rare, doesn’t strike out many but yet still walks quite a few reliever with career marks of 6.0 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 but this year he has turned things around a bit moving those marks to 9.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9. He is an extreme groundball pitcher (50.7% career, 51.7% in 2011) which is a good thing to have when coming in with men on base.
3:03PM EDT: Leadoff walk drawn by Daric Barton. Beckett pitch count is at 97 (56 over for strikes). Need to capitalize on leadoff walks and try and get some of those runs back. There is nothing more dejecting than scoring some runs then having the other team do the same right back to you. Let’s return the favor here even though empty bat Landon Powell is up.
2:56PM EDT: I think it is “time of a change care of Spee Dee…” as Carl Crawford drives in Youkilis to expand the Red Sox lead to 5-2. What a terrible turn of events.
2:54PM EDT: Kevin Youkilis gets one down the left field line, it bounces off of the garage door in left getting the ball to skip by Willingham – how awful must it be to be a left fielder at Fenway constantly just being set up to look terrible? The ricochet allows Pedroia to score all the way from first. Red Sox 4, Athletics 2.
2:39PM EDT: Swinging strikeout by Beckett of Hideki Matsui. I said a few days ago that the A’s need to either bat Matsui or ship him out, and the longer he plays the more out of sorts he looks and I think I lean more towards shipping him out (I’d feel better with Sweeney or Conor Jackson in a more regular DH spot). While I think a lot of the blame has to go with mismanaging him despite that he just looks lost at the plate, he clearly has lost a step, and once again as the A’s did with Jason Giambi and Nomar Garciaparra in recent years it seems like the A’s have signed a guy a year past his expiration date and assumed a big role for them would work out fine. This strikeout makes Matsui’s 0-fer streak a career long 0-for-17. Sad to see, but he is most definitely no longer the ballplayer we have seen since he came over from the Japan.
2:37PM EDT: I am loving me some Josh Willingham! Off the monster, scores DeJesus and Sweeney. This game is TIED! Willingham after a bit of a slower start (and the mountains of strikeouts) has just been great in the clutch. You just have a feeling something can happen with him at the plate, no one else on this team gives me that sort of feeling like he does.
2:36PM EDT: Passed ball by Varitek. Both runners advance. Need to take advantage. Need to.
2:34PM EDT: Huge spot for Josh Willingham to finally have the A’s get something against Beckett. DeJesus HBP, Sweeney 4-pitch BB. One out. Big chance to break it out for the A’s and Willingham has been hot as of late. It’d be nice to see him poke one over the monster.
2:23PM EDT: Took a while but the Red Sox got to Cahill again on ball up in the zone and J.D. Drew hits it into right to score Carl Crawford and expand the Red Sox lead to 2-0. Trevor Cahill is still only at 57 pitches through four and a third, and has pitched pretty well, save for the moon shot given up to Adrian Gonzalez in the first. He is keeping the A’s in this ballgame and it is the batters’ job to pick him up.
2:06PM EDT: Three up, three down for Josh Beckett. Quite a different story from the lengthy game we had yesterday. Beckett has been great and the A’s bats have been silent. Through four innings the A’s have managed two hits and a walk while being K’d three times – all on just sixty pitches.
1:52PM EDT: Dustin Pedroia with an amazing play to get David DeJesus on a double play. Despite Cliff Pennington running on the pitch, Pedroia dove, tossed the ball to Jed Lowrie with his glove, and Lowrie threw it on to Gonzalez to complete the DP. DeJesus should’ve been fast enough to make that a much closer play than it was it seems. He doesn’t strike me as a loafer who doesn’t run out ground balls but where the heck was he on that one?
1:31PM EDT: Daric Barton with a base hit. While I am all for sabermetrics, as you will see on the website, I think some sabermetricians understate the value of psychology in baseball. While it is a minute sample size, Barton in the sixth spot already has yet another hit. I think he was pressing in that two spot, only time will tell if this move works out longer term, but I think some players don’t handle pressure well in certain scenarios, feel more comfortable in others. It isn’t always measurable, but it isn’t illegitimate to put into your analysis.
1:23PM EDT: Adrian Gonzalez is good. He took it over the Green Monster – which is of course opposite field for Gonzalez – but man, to be able to have the power like that to left field is incredible. Red Sox take a 1-0 lead on the solo shot.
1:03PM EDT: When I was a kid day Saturday games at one o’clock were commonplace an every weekeend occurrence in fact and I went to many a Saturday afternoon game when I’d often spend but Saturday and Sunday at the ballpark, of course that has gone the way of the scheduled doubleheader (another thing the A’s will bring back later this year!) and seldom seem to happen much anymore. But today care of the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup appearance the A’s and Red Sox have a 1:10 start and here we go under the sunny skies of New England as Trevor Cahill faces Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox. Beckett is having a good bounce back year after a tough 2010 campaign with a 1.80 ERA and strong peripherals (8.1 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and 0.4 HR/9) though his numbers being aided by an unsustainable .240 BABIP, 85.8% strand rate and a 4.2 HR/FB rate mean his FIP of 2.86 is a bit better an indicator of how Beckett should be doing. For the A’s Cahill has struggled with the Red Sox coming in with a 5.19 ERA against them in 17.1 innings. His problem interestingly enough has been walks (7) as the Red Sox have hit an average but not exceptional .266/.342/.500. Lineup wise for the A’s Daric Barton again hits sixth, Landon Powell sets up in the backstop hitting seventh and Ryan Sweeney hitting second takes over in center field as the A’s look to bust up their four game losing streak. The Red Sox have a similar lineup to yesterday’s ballgame with the noted exceptions of J.D. Drew getting the start in right and Jason Varitek calling the game for Beckett behind the plate.