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Live Blogging: A’s @ Rangers Game 90

July 8, 2011

 

9:58PM CDT: Rosie grounds out. Game over. A’s record sags to 39-51 and they fall to an even ten games behind the Rangers in first place. Pending the outcome of the M’s-Halos game they will be either four or five games out of third even (they presently are tied 1-1 in the fourth). Can we close the book officially on 2011 now and admit we are sellers?

9:57PM CDT: Terrible swing by Kurt Suzuki to ground into a double play. That was ball four, he leaning out and reached for it. Terrible. Jackson scores so it is an 8-5 game, but awful.

9:54PM CDT: Despite what I said in my last comment, a CoJax walk followed by a Sweeney single makes it first and third no one out. So the tying run is on-deck.

9:50PM CDT: Grant Balfour looked good in his first inning of work since he was back from the disabled list. Twelves pitches – eight for strikes including a strikeout of Ian Kinsler. The Rangers meanwhile will hand the ball over to closer Neftali Feliz – though not a save situation, they’re hoping to get an inning of work in for him evidently. Sometimes when not a save situation closers struggle a bit – this not true of Feliz this year:

  BA OBP SLG
Save Situation .227 .318 .400
Non-Save Situation .189 .304 .324

9:40PM CDT: Hunter strikes out three (with a lawyerball walk thrown in there) – the A’s have now been K’d eleven times this game in eight innings. Terrible numbers. Not a way to win or be competitive.

9:30PM CDT: The A’s have managed to rid themselves of C. J. Wilson as Tommy Hunter enters the game. Hunter is just making his third appearance this year – originally supposed to be a part of the rotation he began the year injured.

9:25PM CDT: Endy Chavez is pinch-hitting for Craig Gentry. So with the lefty Bob Melvin is making a move and is opting to go with Craig Breslow. Interesting because if you were to really have a guy go for one-out here I’d say go for Brian Fuentes. But maybe he has scared off Melvin from using him in tight spots too? That said Breslow is better overall so I guess go with the better pitcher. Just wish we could build up some confidence in Fuentes and treat him as we should (as a LOOGY) and really benefit from him being on the club.

9:16PM CDT: After not seeing much of him, we see Michael Wuertz on back to back nights. While Wuertz hasn’t had that amazing slider this year like in years past, he still is having a solid year. He owns a 2.73 ERA which a higher 3.79 FIP. Strikeouts are down big time to a 7.9 K/9 mark so coupling that with a high (though not much higher than usual for Wuertz) 4.8 BB/9 you can see why the FIP doesn’t look as hot. Regardless he has induced groundballs (50.7%) and has stranded loads (82.2%) so you cannot complain. Good trade bait, I’d be surprised if he spends the entire season in Alameda County. He is to be paid $3.25M on the option the A’s hold for 2012 (the A’s have a $250K buyout) so he’d make a decent pickup for a club willing to pick that up potentially.

9:06PM CDT: How about we try and get in front of the ball Rosie. Two errors in the game – two really preventable errors, I mean all errors are preventable per se but when you back hand a ball like that, especially in light of your making a mistake that was the exact same previously, that is bad. No excuse to not get in front of it. That to me is almost benchworthy. I hate to say it because Rosales really gives his all, look at how he runs to first on a walk or HBP. Look at how he races around the bases on home runs. But that is sloppy play at shortstop – and Rosie isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire with his bat either (enters today as a -0.2 WAR, 59 wRC+ hitter).

9:03PM CDT: Well that was all the scoring for that inning as the next three hitters (Sizemore, CoJax and Ryan Sweeney) promptly struck out – rally over.

8:55PM CDT: Josh Willingham with a double into the left field corner scores Coco all the way from first. The A’s close the gap to 8-4. Still nobody out here in the sixth with C. J. Wilson at 76 pitches.

8:53PM CDT: Great stuff as the DeJesus bunt pays off, as he steals second, advanced to third on the cross-up and then Coco Crisp with an infield single to score him. Rangers 8, A’s 3. Might as well try and make this respectable.

8:50PM CDT: I like that play. I love guys laying down the bunt for a hit and taking advantage of a defense the way David DeJesus just did. Good play. Let’s get something started.

8:40PM CDT: Yorvit Torrealba singles to score Mike Napoli who greeted new pitcher Brad Ziegler with a one-out double. This doesn’t really qualify as relief does it? Rangers 8, Athletics 2 – interest in continuing to watch this game pretty near zero.

8:17PM CDT: Scott Sizemore lawyerballs C.J. Wilson. Bases loaded. So of course what happens? Conor Jackson GIDP. At least Coco scores and it is a bit closer at 7-2.Love how Sizemore took out Kinsler. I can’t stand Kinsler.

8:13PM CDT: A’s beginning a rally? Coco Crisp lawyerballs himself on. Josh Willingham singles him to second. No one out…

8:02PM CDT: This is completely irrelevant right now but something made me think of it. The A’s rotation order for the second half will apparently in part be decided by whether or not Gio pitches in the All Star Game in Phoenix and if he does, how much action he sees. Kind of funny given that the manager of the team is an AL West rival. Wonder if Washington would use guys from the M’s and Angels heavier than normal because it could mean they miss an appearance or two right after the break? Probably overanalysis by me, but you’d think that the league would want to have some sort of ombudsman to represent the interests of the individual teams in how their players are used.

7:46PM CDT: Well then – so much for erasing the ugly Texas start huh? Adrian Beltre deposits it basically right around where Kinsler did and the Rangers are up 7-1. I wonder if Bob Melvin leaves Gio in there to suffer through this? The A’s just don’t have the guy in the pen who can go two-three innings.

7:42PM CDT: Second inning doesn’t exactly start off as planned for Gio as Ian Kinsler takes a 3-2 pitch and deposits it deep into left field. Wonder if Ron Washington is sitting in the Rangers dugout right now thinking, and I picked this guy to be on the All-Star team? Wonder if after thinking about that he looks at how there really isn’t any better option… pretty depressing… Rangers now lead 6-1 and restore their impenetrable five run lead.

7:36PM CDT: Scott Sizemore home run! This guy is the only Athletic who can hit! Rangers 5, A’s 1.

7:31PM CDT: Don’t get why Ray Fosse and Glen Kuiper keep saying all five runs unearned, you can’t assume the double play, just one of those runs (Andrus) is earned – unless I am missing something here and I don’t think I am. So a messy very-unAll-Staresque first inning for Gio Gonzalez as he hurls 35 pitches – 21 for strikes, four hits allowed, one walk, the home run allowed and two K’s. The A’s just can’t come back from a lead like this with their inept offense.

7:26PM CDT: It looks clear out so this grand slam will count. Mike Napoli makes it 5-0 Rangers. This game is as good as done.

7:23PM CDT: Wow. Scott Sizemore watched that ball all the way to third. Just toed the line. You seldom see a ball like that just stay fair. Michael Young infield single gives the A’s a world of trouble with Nelson Cruz due up and the bases loaded. Can’t afford to get down by much because simply put we can’t hit.

7:20PM CDT: Adam Rosales and the slick fielding A’s made their 69th error of the year (Texas leads the AL at 71, Oakland is second) the ball gets past Rosie and instead of a GIDP for Adrian Beltre, Andrus scores from second and the Rangers lead 1-0. Still one-out men on second and first.

7:18PM CDT: Josh Hamilton makes it two singles in a row. Elvis Andrus now on second. These Rangers are tough can’t afford to get behind them. Can’t lawyerball your way out of a mess too often.

7:01PM CDT: It’s time for some Lawyerball. That’s right the A’s take on C.J. Wilson and the Rangers tonight. A few days ago, Joe Stiglich wrote that Wilson still stands by this nonsense. In the article in the San Jose Mercury News he wrote,

“It’s part of their game, right? Some teams swing at anything close and are trying to hit home runs. Oakland, one thing about them, they work really well as a team. Maybe it’s the white-shoe unity program, I don’t know. They all seem like they have (the patient approach). That’s what makes them effective.”

I wish the A’s would take some walks and have the patient approach. I wish I could even agree with the fact that we are somehow effective – but I can’t. Interestingly enough the Lawyerballing A’s have 263 walks this season, the exact same amount as Wilson’s Texas Rangers. This nincompoop who is an American League All Star comes in with a 3.12 FIP, being worth 3.1 WAR, so he may be an idiot but he is good. He will face a teammate of his on that All Star squad in Gio Gonzalez making his final appearance before possibly pitching in Phoenix. Gio is up to 8.8 K/9 his walks still high at 4.0 BB/9 but he has an impressive 2.31 ERA and 3.24 FIP in his 2.2 WAR season. The A’s lineup has a bit of a shakeup, David DeJesus is hitting second and Adam Rosales is playing short and hitting last. Temperature is 106° – yikes.

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