Live Blogging: Marlins @ A’s Game 81
9:36PM PDT: Marlins win 3-0. Ninth time this year the A’s have been shutout. A’s fall to 36-45. Can we say it is official? Can we put the proverbial fork in it? Can we nail the coffin? We are all done here folks. A’s try to salvage a series against the coldest team in baseball tomorrow with the afternoon tilt from Oakland.
9:33PM PDT: Conor Jackson keeps hope alive by hitting Nolasco’s 107th pitch into short right center field. Leo Nunez, the Marlins closer stands around in their bullpen waiting for things to implode so he can be a hero.
9:28PM PDT: Brad Ziegler‘s K of Dewayne Wise makes it 13 on the evening for A’s pitchers and 25 in the two games of this series so far. Of course it is all meaningless when all you can string together are a combined one run on eights hits over those two nights. Ricky Nolasco will be around in the ninth to go for the shutout, the A’s look to prove that they should not be wholesale replaced by the lineup of the 15-straight wins Stockton Ports.
9:17PM PDT: Golden sombrero for Mike Stanton. Boy oh boy did Michael Wuertz get himself out of some trouble there with two big strikeouts (Morrison and Stanton). Double, walk, sac bunt, walk – not the way to start an inning when you then need to face two of the better young players on this Marlins club. He comes out unscathed – one thing we do have is pitching can’t say that enough times.
9:10PM PDT: Gaby Sanchez sacrifices over Bonifacio and Omar Infante. Why the hell would you do that? You have a 3-0 lead against a team that cannot score three runs. Then you are taking your best hitter, a 2.7 WAR player in June, a guy with a .374 wOBA, and you have him bunt it, to get one extra run against the Oakland A’s. I guess losing 23 of your last 26 will make you 100% certain you close out every victory possible – otherwise this is just ridiculous baseball.
9:01PM PDT: Swingles, Ryan Sweeney gets a hit! Finally the A’s get a hit! People have said that the A’s can’t buy a hit, and they can’t that was given to them by Logan Morrison playing it poorly. This my friends is the A’s offense.
8:58PM PDT: Well you can’t really complain about our pitching. Craig Breslow pitching a good seventh inning adding two more strikeouts to the A’s totals. So through sixteen innings the A’s have now fanned 22 Marlins. Not too shabby.
8:46PM PDT: Wow. Here I am talking about no offense and it looked like Pennington might’ve poked one out but a great catch from Mike Stanton at the wall gets him out (the ball mind you would not have left the yard – though it looked like it would at first to me).
8:43PM PDT: Guillermo Moscoso with eight K’s through six innings. Who is this guy? Most he had had this year prior to this outing (and I am not kidding) was three. If not for the HR ball, he’d be fine – of course that’s like saying if not for the failure to land the plane crash wouldn’t have happened. But how about this A’s offense. Putting everyone to sleep tonight that is for sure. With how anemic they’ve been, I am now officially on board with the why not Chris Carter people. Realistically can he be that much worse than what we’ve got in there already? This season is over we all need to accept that. I laugh everytime I read A’s and “fringe contender”. It’s done, let’s get these young kids some playing time.
8:13PM PDT: Logan Morrison homers to right field. To sound like a broken record… 4.5% HR/FB just isn’t sustainable. Marlins 3, A’s 0.
7:30PM PDT: Hideki Matsui was close to professional HR number 500 there. But close doesn’t count. Deep enough to advance Pennington to third.
7:26PM PDT: Base hit by Cliff Pennington ends a 0-for-23 skid. About time. While I think the whipping boy de jour of the A’s is now the reeling Kurt Suzuki, Pennington is another strong candidate. He has a pathetic -0.3 WAR entering play today and has been a -14.2 UZR/150 fielder at short. Every rate stat he has is down from last year with the exception of K% which is even at 18.9%.
7:19PM PDT: Well the stolen base doesn’t really matter. Hanley Ramirez takes Moscoso deep to straight-away center field. Fifth home run of the season for HamRam. As I said Moscoso’s 4.5% HR/FB wasn’t going to stay that low forever. Marlins 2, Athletics 0. So now with one swing of the bat, the Marlins lead the series so far in runs scored.
7:16PM PDT: Moscoso is really pretty bad at holding runners on. He only has two stolen bases against (including the one Emilio Bonifacio got) this year and just three in his career – surprised it isn’t more, that said no one has ever been caught against him. Remember too – stolen bases more often than not come off the pitcher not the catcher.
6:53PM PDT: So we have reached the halfway mark on the season. Can’t say this is where I expected us to be – a rotation that features Guillermo Moscoso (tonight’s starter), Josh Outman and Graham Godfrey; in last place, six games out; eight games below .500… yup all things I didn’t count on at the beginning of the year that is for sure. But alas here we are. I guess it could always be worse, we could be the Florida Marlins. The Marlins, who are the guests of the A’s tonight at the Coliseum again, will have Ricky Nolasco on the mound. Ricky has been quite the “fource” (4-4, 4.44 ERA). Nolasco has been consistently a better pitcher than his numbers show, as he has fallen prey to high BABIPs and low strand rates. So while this season he has a 4.44 ERA, his FIP is a respectable 3.48 and he has been worth 1.7 WAR. As mentioned earlier the A”s will have Guillermo Moscoso on the hill. Moscoso has only been worth 0.1 WAR, and has very middling peripherals (3.4 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9) along with an extreme fly ball rate (only 25.2% of the contact off him are ground balls) yet an amazing HR/FB rate of 4.5% explaining how he can have a 2.68 ERA and a pretty bad 4.7o FIP and scary 5.74 xFIP. Tonight’s lineup looks the same as last night’s but hopefully can have some more success at the plate than just the one run yesterday.