Live Blogging: A’s @ Phillies Game 79
3:52PM EDT: Chicks do not dig the game-ending double play ground out but that’s what Ryan Sweeney provided. So the A’s drop the series, finishing the six game interleague trip with a 2-4 record. The games were all for the most part close but of course that is of little to no consolation. We are now firmly in “wait ’til next year” territory. Let the sell off begin.
3:50PM EDT: Jackson is at first on another bloop hit. So Sweeney at the plate represents the tying run. Don’t think Philadelphia has anyone working in the bullpen still…
3:44PM EDT: So Roy Halladay comes up to the plate despite the Phillies holding a relatively narrow 3-1 lead with a RISP (Raul Ibanez) at second and two outs. The Phillies who are without the two men who have semi-regularly closed out games for them this year (Jose Contreras and Ryan Madson) figure their best bet is Halladay and who can blame Charlie Manuel for that decision?
3:36PM EDT: I don’t normally subscribe to some of Ray Fosse‘s conspiracy theories like this one that the home plate ump, Angel Campos is just giving Halladay calls because Carlos Ruiz talked to him and he is well Roy Halladay but, that call against Cliff Pennington for strike three was a terrible call. I expect Halladay to get the benefit of the doubt, but it does seem Campos is poorly set up to get a good cross view of the plate so I think Fosse is onto something here and it isn’t just sour grapes.
3:32PM EDT: Brad Ziegler with a decent inning of work there. Gets into a tough spot allowing Rollins to get on, then he gets all the way around to third by the time there’s one out but with the 3-4-5 hitters us. Gets an infield pop from Victorino. IBB’s Howard. But K’s Francisco. Nice work. Not perfect but kept the game where it needed to be.
3:17PM EDT: So Josh Outman‘s day is done with David DeJesus pinch-hitting for him and DeJesus strikes out on a nasty changeup down the heart of the plate. So A’s make some noise but ultimately come up lame – again. Against a lesser pitcher you could make a bigger complaint, but they really should’ve scored at least once this inning whether it be Jackson getting around third and scoring, or Powell hitting the ball in any manner but the way he did to score CoJax from third.
3:13PM EDT: Sizemore doubles, CoJax goes to third (think he should’ve scored by Mike Gallego held him)… so A’s have something going here with one away against Halladay.
3:00PM EDT: Yikes. Five pitch inning for Roy Halladay. Matsui being the lone “patient” Athletic watching one curveball spin by before choosing to join Cliff Pennington and Coco Crisp in the “anxious to swing” club.
2:53PM EDT: Bad play by Outman results in a run. Ben Francisco on a dribbler to the pitch, Outman looks around for a play (not sure why?) but gives enough time for Francisco is be safe at first and allowing Rollins to score and make it Philadelphia 3, Oakland 1.
2:43PM EDT: So at the end of that half inning Halladay and Outman have similar pitch counts with Halladay at 61 pitches and Outman at 60. Of course the key difference is that through four and a half innings, Halladay has pitched five innings, while Outman has just four. He is a scary dominant pitcher…
2:26PM EDT: A’s get a run a cut the lead in half. Phillies 2, A’s 1. Strange play though, Sweeney (chicks dig the bloop single) gets a bloop to center field. Wilson Valdez got out there and collided with Collins but to me it looks like Rollins had it and dropped it regardless of Valdez being sort of in the way (though the knee into Rollins’ head after the fact from Valdez I’m sure was greatly appreciated).
2:22PM EDT: I like the bunt single from Crisp. That sort of thing is great to take advantage of people playing back, keep them honest. Coco continues to “tee off” of Halladay.
2:08PM EDT: Jimmy Rollins hits another pitch up in the zone, nearly out. I think everyone thought that ball was out, but it hits maybe two or three inches shy of being a home run so Rollings gets his 13th double on the year. A’s avert a big hit, but still a mess to contend with with two outs for Josh Outman.
2:06PM EDT: There is some insult to injury. Halladay not only beats us with the arm, now with the bat two. Single right back up the middle.
2:01PM EDT: Well, that is the way to get yourself out of a rally. Scott Sizemore grounds it to third where Polanco runs to third and throws across for a 5-3 double play. Ouch.
1:52PM EDT: A’s trade a run for the double play. So Howard is out, bases are cleared but a run (Polanco) comes in to score and the Phils lead 2-0.
1:51PM EDT: Three straight hits, this time it was a change up down the middle that he was victimized on as Shane Victorino singles to score Rollins and give the Phillies a very early 1-0 lead on a day when we can ill afford to give them much of a lead at all and a world of a mess for Outman with Ryan Howard due up.
1:50PM EDT: Placido Polanco doubles getting Rollins to third. And as I said, you can’t keep leaving fastballs there. See results:
1:46PM EDT: First pitch of the game from Outman is right down the middle and Jimmy Rollins smacks it through the infield to left. These are professional hitters. He can’t keep leaving fastballs there. They will hit them. From BrooksBaseball.net:
1:42PM EDT: Double for Coco Crisp off Halladay. Strangely he hasn’t really faced many of the A’s hitters, but Coco Crisp is one he has faced quite a bit in the past and he has had a good amount of success against him coming into this at bat he had a 11-for-38 (.289) record against him with a .289/.289/.395 slash line only being K’d three times, after him Hideki Matsui has had the most success with a dreary .237/.286/.458 slash line but four home runs in 59 at bats.
1:28PM EDT: Series is tied with the winner of today’s game winning bragging rights in Philadelphia for a long ago never begun rivalry that has since resumed. The A’s are inserting Josh Outman on the mound for today’s game. Since entering the rotation, Outman has been a great surprise (especially given his struggles prior to that in Sacramento). He hasn’t struck out nearly as many hitters in the Majors (4.2 K/9) as he did in the Pacific Coast League (7.2 K/9) but he has featured far better control as well (3.4 BB/9 compared to 6.5 BB/9). Outman has been the beneficiary of a low BABIP (.243) and very low HR/FB% which explain the nearly equal run discrepancies between his ERA (2.86), FIP (3.90) and xFIP (4.90). Today Outman will square off against one of MLB’s best pitchers in Roy Halladay, who comes in already worth 4.2 WAR (best in MLB), hurling a solid 9.1 K/9 (9th best among qualified pitchers in MLB), while walking just 1.2 BB/9 (2nd best among qualified pitchers in MLB). He has a 2.51 ERA (9th best among qualified pitchers in MLB), with a league leading 2.16 FIP. In short, he won’t be easy especially as the A’s come in as one of the worst hitting teams in baseball. The A’s come in with a pretty typical lineup as of late with the exception of Landon Powell (hitting 8th) and playing shortstop, though we’ve grown accustomed to him playing the day game after the night for Bob Melvin‘s A’s. The A’s begin the day six games back and still in fourth place in the American League West, still finding themselves three and a half back of the third place Seattle Mariners. A’s hope to chip away at that today and steal a win from Roy Halladay.