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Live Blogging: A’s @ Mariners Game 110

August 2, 2011

10:03PM PDT: Three up, three down for League. M’s win again 4-2. Strange how much Oakland has struggled facing the Mariners this year. Pretty pathetic actually. A’s fall to 49-61 on the year and now are only 1 1/2 games up on Seattle to stay out of the AL West cellar. Can’t ever count on a win against Felix Hernandez but this one sort of feels cheap because Rich Harden pitched a lot better than it looked. A’s that crazy play that Susan Slusser tweets as something,

“I’m going to call that the worst play by the #Athletics in the 13 years I’ve covered them full-time. And maybe beyond.”

Here is a link to a video of it, show your Little Leaguers this, though chances are they play more heads up baseball to begin with. Do it all again tomorrow.

9:57PM PDT: Brandon League is in to close out the ballgame with it actually being a save situation today. He has 16 shutdowns to 7 meltdowns which is pretty far out of line from his 25 saves and four blown saves which is interesting. Don’t see that much of a difference too often, though I prefer the shutdown/meltdown stat especially for its fairer treatment to middle relievers.

9:49PM PDT: Brian Fuentes is in to face Adam Kennedy (L), Olivo (R) and Justin Smoak (S – but will hit R). The white flag is being waved…

9:47PM PDT: Eric Sogard strikes out. Opportunity wasted: the Story of the 2011 Athletics.

9:43PM PDT: What a mess of a play. Suzuki swings at a pitch that was headed straight for his side. How he swings at that is beyond me? Meanwhile the ball gets away from Miguel Olivo but Matsui can’t advance. Granted 4-2 and 4-3 not really a big difference at this point in the game, but still.

9:40PM PDT: Wow. Bad move by Jeff Gray to try for Godzilla at third. He doesn’t get him. Everyone is safe. Bases loaded. Kurt Suzuki is up. One out.

9:37PM PDT: Matsui just continues to rake. Where was this guy in the first half? With that single he is hitting .485/.591/.774 since the break.

9:19PM PDT: That home run to Casper Wells hurts a little bit more right now as Scott Sizemore with Eric Sogard on via a single, homers to straight center field to make this game 4-2 still in favor of the M’s. That came on Hernandez’ 113th pitch of the night, so perhaps the pitch count got to him too? Eric Wedge like Melvin following the two-run home run allowed by his pitcher, is removing King Felix opting for former Athletic Jeff Gray. Gray has split the season between the White Sox and Mariners having been claimed off waivers from the Pale Hose on May 13th. Gray has been consistent posting an identical 2.70 ERA with both Chicago and Seattle this year though the 4.05 (White Sox) and 2.64 (Mariners) FIPs tell a different story. Overall he has a 2.70 ERA of course, with a 3.41 FIP with 0.3 WAR while putting up some weak peripherals: 4.8 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.

9:05PM PDT: Melvin may have left Harden in past his expiration date as Casper Wells hits a two-run home run deep to left field off Harden’s 114th pitch of the evening, breaking open this game in favor of Seattle 4-0. That also runs Harden from the game as Melvin will go to the bullpen and one of our favorite A’s, Fautino De Los Santos. FDLS still has crazy peripherals (12.9 K/9 and .226 BABIP), and also now has a bigger role in the A’s pen with Joey Devine in Sacramento and Brad Ziegler in Arizona.

8:50PM PDT: Hernandez gets out of another jam here in the sixth. His pitch count has gone up to 101 now at the inning’s end which means that the A’s do stand a chance of coming back in this one if they can get into that Mariners bullpen.

8:36PM PDT: Big save by Conor Jackson there on a very high throw from Harden on a Ryan grounder to the mound. Won’t show up in the box score, but given how astute a baserunner Ryan has proven to be the only thing holding him back would be Ichiro who was running ahead of him but he too is a smart baserunner so could’ve been big trouble for the A’s who have zero room for error as they’re already down by two runs which might as well be four-thousand with how Hernandez is dealing.

8:23PM PDT: Rich Harden is pitching well too, overlooked with him being on the loser end of a 2-0 score. But through four innings he has six K’s with two walks and three hits. Difference is Carp’s double and the Ryan running Jackson/everyone in the infield miscue, though likely at least one run would’ve scored nonetheless which doesn’t make a difference when you’ve failed to score all night.

8:13PM PDT: That is probably as close to a rally as the A’s will get. Promptly after saying, I don’t see how Oakland can put anything together, Swingles gets a hit, followed by a CoJax walk. Rest assured Kurt Suzuki struck out (Hernandez’ seventh through four) to end any threat. Feels like that is as close as the A’s will get tonight…

8:07PM PDT: King Felix is just on fire. Don’t see how Oakland can score anything with the way he is slinging things tonight. Lot can change of course and the game isn’t over until it is played but three and two-thirds inning and he has allowed just one hit, one walk and six K’s. Meanwhile, apparently this Ichiro lookalike has been around Safeco the past few days, here is a picutre of him from a Mariners fan’s blog.

7:58PM PDT: Some “excitement” in an otherwise slow game: Ackley grounds it past CoJax at first, it bounces into the tarp area where a fan (a fan who is a dead ringer for Ichiro Suzuki and who the CSNCalifornia crew had commented on earlier and who Glen Kuiper said he had seen that morning even – truth can be stranger than fiction with how of all the fans it was that guy) reaches out and grabs the ball which is still in play. The umps give Ackley a triple! Sort of a crazy call as Ryan Sweeney was about to pick it up and third was far from obvious. Bob Melvin is out to argue but it likely will be to no avail.

7:26PM PDT: Here we go again. Mike Carp takes it deep and off the wall in left over the head of Hideki Matsui. Ryan trots in from third, Dustin Ackley on first with a walk scores. Carp ends up on second base with a two-RBI double. M’s up 2-0.

7:23PM PDT: Stupid baseball. Brendan Ryan grounds it deep to the hole, Sogard throws it to Conor Jackson at first. Jackson is looking down and Ryan takes off for second (sort of like what Rajai Davis used to do on unsuspecting infielders, pitchers and catchers). Jackson throws it to second base where no one really is there to get Ryan. Ryan then notices third is left unmanned and runs to third like how Johnny Damon did it in the 2009 World Series. Terrible, terrible play by the A’s, but smart baserunning that you have to respect from Ryan. What a mess.

7:13PM PDT: Coco Crisp hit that one deep to center field and Franklin Gutierrez was able to get it right at the wall right in front of a great fan sign that read “Death to flying things, Franklin Gutierrez” which was what Dave Niehaus used to call him.

6:58PM PDT: A’s and M’s again from Seattle. Yesterday Cliff Pennington was removed from the game due to a strange condition called Bell’s Palsy and which WebMD describes as follows,

“Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop. The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks.”

Pennington came out of the game and was replaced by Eric Sogard. Given the fact that this limited the A’s bench to just Landon Powell prior to tonight’s game a move was made. Jerry Blevins was designated for assignment in order to clear optional waivers (see what is now the most popular post in the history of this blog for a full explanation) for the third time this year and in his place Adam Rosales was recalled from Sacramento. Blevins, whose performance hasn’t garnered him any reason to be kept in Oakland this year, was nonplussed saying to Susan Slusser in the A’s Drumbeat,

“I understand it, I get it, it’s just not fun.”

Play better and you won’t be hopping flights to Omaha! In other news, Jack Cust who also was recently designated for assignment by the Mariners (not for the purpose of optional waivers), visited the Oakland clubhouse today reported Slusser in that same piece. She wrote,

“[Cust]‘s got five more days before his waiting period is over but he said some teams have expressed interest in him. Oakland has not called, however.”

I found that weird, first off I wouldn’t have thought Cust could visit the opposing team’s clubhouse given that he still could potentially clear waivers and go to Tacoma in theory – which also makes it strange to think he is actively hearing from other teams.

Today’s game has Rich Harden – still an A – pitching against Felix Hernandez in his first start since almost becoming a member of the Boston Red Sox. Hernandez is having another great year with another crappy W-L record (9-9) to show for it. Though his ERA (3.38) is a run higher than last year (2.27) his FIP (3.14) is right around the same place as 2010′s (3.04). He has been worth 3.6 WAR, and has near identical peripherals to his 2010 stats, with the BABIP being a noted exception leading to that higher ERA.

  K/9 BB/9 HR/9 HR/FB BABIP
2010 8.36 2.52 0.61 8.5% .263
2011 8.35 2.84 0.65 8.6% .297

The A’s lineup is basically yesterday’s lineup but with Sogard getting the start at shortstop. Also yesterday I lamented that the A’s got the bases loaded with noone out and failed to score. I asked statman David Feldman how many times it had happened before and I was correct it had happened before but I thought it had happened more than it had. He tweeted me back saying,

“#Athletics have loaded the bases with 0 outs 17 times this year and twice they failed to score. 7/19 at Det, 8/1 at SEA”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Wayne permalink
    August 3, 2011 12:57 am

    Thank you for linking the picture of Ichiro look-alike with me from my blog!

    -Wayne

    • August 3, 2011 1:00 am

      Thank you for posting it! I don’t know if you heard about his excitement today at the ballpark or not. It was pretty funny because the A’s broadcast crew talked about how they saw him outside their hotel this morning and then lo-and-behold there he was, and then later in the game he interfered with a ball, seemingly got thrown out but then reappeared. Having met him, what was his deal? Just a super fan with a likeness?

      • Wayne permalink
        August 6, 2011 2:13 am

        I’m not really sure what his deal was. I saw him wandering around taking pictures with Mariner fans…and I’m sure I have not see the last of him.

      • August 6, 2011 11:40 am

        It is a neat photo to get, I’d absolutely do it like you if I were at Safeco. I’ve been to Safeco once and when there I only saw the real Ichiro myself. It was just funny because on the A’s broadcast they talked about him, then spotted him in the stands, and then later he grabbed the ball. Truth is better than fiction!

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