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Live Blogging: A’s @ Red Sox Game 60

June 5, 2011

4:26PM EDT: First pitching swinging, and a groundout by Cliff Pennington to Dustin Pedroia is the final play of this three game series in Boston where the A’s again get swept. The Rangers won in Cleveland meaning the A’s are now seven behind. They started this series four out – that is called getting separation. A’s head to Baltimore hoping to recapture their magic from their last series with the O’s.

4:22PM EDT: So Daniel Bard it is. Work is cut out for the A’s.

4:20PM EDT: A’s catch a break, Ellsbury had that stolen but the ump missed the call. Aggressive having him run with the three run lead in the bottom of the eighth.

4:17PM EDT: Ellsbury grounds it to third and Barton has a perfect throw to get Saltalamacchia at home and keep this a 6-3 game. Nice throw from Barton, nice tag by Zuk. Looks like we’ll be seeing Bard?

4:14PM EDT: Saltalamacchia triples off of new A’s pitcher Brad Ziegler. Following yesterday’s 29 pitch outing for Jonathan Papelbon, I assume that today’s closer would be Daniel Bard, so this run could prevent the A’s from seeing him though a four run ninth inning two days in a row is asking a lot – then again a three run inning off Bard is asking a lot as well. No easy way to win this one that this point.

4:06PM EDT: Dan Wheeler comes into the game for the top of the eighth as already the third Red Sox reliever following Matt Albers and Tommy Hottovy who pitched imperfectly but scorelessly the past inning and a third. Wheeler an offseason acquistion from Tampa Bay has been less than stellar thus far – which might explain part of Francona’s hesitance in putting him in yesterday?

4:03PM EDT: Wow. De Los Santos comes out again for the seventh and strikes out Jed Lowrie and Carl Crawford. Interesting because with Lowrie he again did a similar sequence to Saltalamacchia and Gonzalez:

  1. 95 mph 4-seam fastball
  2. 94 mph 4-seam fastball
  3. 83 mph curveball
  4. 84 mph slider
And then with Crawford he tried to do the same except started with the curve and then after Crawford fouled some off went back to the hard stuff. Regardless the out-pitch at first was the offspeed:
  1. 83 mph curveball
  2. 95 mph 4-seam fastball
  3. 84 mph slider
  4. 83 mph slider
  5. 96 mph 4-seam fastball
  6. 96 mph 4-seam fastball

3:42PM EDT: Kevin Youkilis pops out so the 27.0 K/9 is no more. That number has fallen precipitously to 20.3 K/9 with just one fly out.

3:39PM EDT: K’s Adrian Gonzalez on that curveball. That big looping curveball just must mess with the time so much. Interesting that he seems to be going from the super fast fastball to the curveball as the K pitch. The 27.0 K/9 is still intact. Gonzalez is no slouch either, and he was fooled.

3:37PM EDT: Single for Pedroia after getting the count full scores Ellsbury from third so the wild pitches come back to bite De Los Santos. Red Sox pad their lead to 6-3.

3:36PM EDT: A little amped up with runners on base is he? Two wild pitches in one at bat get Ellsbury from first to second and second to third. Dustin Pedroia must be scared – 97 mph and he is a little wild too – though both pitches were outside.

3:31PM EDT: Through two batters FDLS still is at 27.0 K/9 as he gets Saltalamacchia swinging. Three pitch strikeout with a tough sequence:

  1. 95 mph 4-seam fastball
  2. 96 mph 4-seam fastball
  3. 85 mph curveball

3:30PM EDT: Fautino De Los Santos comes in sporting some hot peripherals (27.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9 and 0.0 HR/9). His short one third inning career will continue here as care of the heavy bullpen usage the past two days he remains in Boston despite Grant Balfour rejoining the club.

3:23PM EDT: Barton in the six spot seems to working out quite well so far. He is now 6-for-11 with two BB’s in the spot as he hits a double of the wall in left to score Conor Jackson from second and narrowing the lead to 5-3.

3:11PM EDT: Anderson gets Mike Cameron to strikeout and end the fifth. He has thrown 103 pitches through five innings – I wonder if we see him again for the sixth? Bob Geren tends to be pretty narrow-minded on pitch counts however the A’s bullpen is heavily taxed from some serious use the past few days.

2:55PM EDT: Adrian Gonzalez has been a killer. Funny the ball is caught by a fan wearing a Red Sox cap but a Vancouver Canucks shirt (they’re playing the Bruins in the Stanley Cup right now). Again Gonzalez hits it over the Green Monster in left, the opposite field. Anderson’s look was just like, how the heck did that happen. I predicted Gonzalez would be the AL’s MVP, he is showing it thus far this year. The HR scores Saltalamacchia and as quickly as the A’s got back into this they again find themselves trailing by more, now 5-2.

2:43PM EDT: Daric Barton now scores Zuk on a sharp single to right. So if it was retaliation it backfired on Lackey, Saltalamacchia and Terry Francona. Red Sox 3, A’s 2.

2:42PM EDT: Suzuki steals second! If Lackey did it on purpose I hope this gets under his and Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s skin a bit.

2:41PM EDT: Either John Lackey is smart and makes it look accidental coming on the sixth pitch of the at bat getting him right in the shoulder. Seems a bit peculiar – Zuk is the catcher, the guy who presumably called the HBP on Crawford if that was intentionally done (which I don’t feel it was). Regardless Lackey has gotten away with it, its been deemed accidental.

2:32PM EDT: That is absurd that Anderson is being warned (and that both benches are warned too). That ball was way up high hitting Crawford’s back where the letters would be if the Red Sox uniforms had letters. Brett Anderson isn’t a head hunter, clearly the ball got away. Crawford had a big reaction that was needless. No one can miss inside going forward now I guess. DeJesus was hit earlier, and he didn’t complain about it despite it being two days  in a row.

2:21PM EDT: Kevin Kouzmanoff launches his fourth home run deep to center field nearly taking out a camera man sitting out there. Perhaps Kouz is feeling less pressure with LaRoche gone? Then again all of last season he had the job and it was clearly his no question and he didn’t perform. The jack cuts the Red Sox lead to 3-1.

2:18PM EDT: You can’t get behind hitters like Dustin Pedroia and not expect to be victimized as Pedroia gets a two-bagger down the left field line. Anderson gets behind 3-0 before throwing a get me over to make it 3-1. Not surprisingly if you look at his career stats, he like most hitters hits far better when ahead than behind.

  BA OBP SLG
Ahead .339 .504 .561
Behind .273 .281 .374

Disappointing outing thus far for Anderson. Unfortunately he needs to go for a few regardless of the outcome because this bullpen is spent.

2:09PM EDT: Carl Crawford hits a three-run home run and the Red Sox quickly take a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd. Ouch. Crawford is now 6-for-12 with two doubles a home run and eight driven in. Someone has certainly begun to heat up in a big way.

1:59PM EDT: I love that Glen Kuiper thought Ray Fosse was calling Kurt Suzuki “the biggest rally killer”. New nickname born though I love Zuk and don’t feel that is an accurate sentiment anyhow.

1:41PM EDT: David DeJesus gets drilled in the foot again. That is why he is DH’ing today. Hopefully this doesn’t keep him out of the lineup at all because he has been one of the few catalysts in this lineup and as mentioned earlier, we are quite short-handed to begin with with just the two bench players.

1:32PM EDT: A’s and Red Sox for a second straight afternoon start at Fenway Park. The A’s come into this game short on players. Andy LaRoche was DFA’d earlier this morning, Josh Willingham is out with a sore achilles which means the A’s have just two bench players: Hideki Matsui and Landon Powell. In the bullpen the A’s will not have Andrew Bailey or Guillermo Moscoso available and many of the other arms (guys like Joey Devine and Michael Wuertz) I am guessing will be unavailable as well due to the heavy burden the bullpen has shouldered these past two days. The Red Sox put struggling John Lackey on the hill to face Brett Anderson. In Anderson’s short career he has fared very well against the Red Sox posting a 2.08 ERA in six starts, while managing 8.6 K/9 to only 1.6 BB/9. Lackey who has a lot of experience against the A’s from his time playing in Anaheim as said earlier has struggled this year and comes in with a gaudy 8.01 ERA with terrible peripherals (4.4 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9) which add up to a still gaudy 5.30 FIP. Both teams I imagine must be a bit tired after two lengthy games, so let’s see if Oakland can salvage a win out of this three game set and snap their five game losing streak.

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