Live Blogging: A’s @ Rays Game 113
10:08PM PDT: There we go! B.J. Upton grounds into a game-ending double play. Brandon McCarthy earns the much-deserved win following a great outing. Alex Cobb and the Rays bullpen really got roughed up as the A’s did a lot of situational hitting with the A’s scoring three runs on sacrifice flies, and one on an Adam Rosales groundout. Good game all around for Oakland. They look to win the series tomorrow. The Mariners currently lead the Angels 4-0 in the fourth inning, so the A’s guarantee they will remain a half-game ahead of them regardless of that game’s outcome.
10:06PM PDT: De Los Santos walks two straight pinch-hitters (Fuld and Justin Ruggiano who hit for Casey Kotchman). Would’ve preferred to have seen McCarthy out. Even though a win is a win, you’d hate to see the A’s lose a shutout.
10:01PM PDT: Maybe that experience for Magnuson or Norberto wouldn’t be all it was cracked up to be. With the game out of hand Maddon is pinch-hitting away his best hitters, Evan Longoria is being replaced by Elliot Johnson, and it looks like Ben Zobrist is being replaced by the Legend of Sam Fuld. De Los Santos is out there, so maybe he can get a few extra K’s out of it.
9:57PM PDT: David DeJesus takes it deep! When it rains it pours for him. Hits it basically the same place he did it last time. A’s 8, Rays 0. Pretty wild, this is the third time this year he has had a two-home run game he also did it May 4th versus Cleveland and May 24th in Anaheim. What’s remarkable is that after that game against Cleveland he commented that he hadn’t ever had a multi-HR game ever before at any level (I want to say that included Little League, etc), now in one year he has three!
9:54PM PDT: McGee gets Matsui out and now Balfour is sitting in the pen and Fautino De Los Santos is up. While getting De Los Santos some innings is better than pitching Balfour two straight nights, still doesn’t seem as valuable as giving some kids a shot at some tough hitters (the 3-4-5 for Tampa Bay are due up).
9:52PM PDT: New pitcher for the Rays is southpaw Jake McGee. Brandon McCarthy is getting congrats in the dugout so I think it is safe to expect Balfour to come out for the ninth. Not thrilled with that move putting Balfour in two straight games where he isn’t needed. Why not use Trystan Magnuson or Jordan Norberto in a situation like this (basically same argument that I had last night though the tables were turned and it was a pressure-free outing in a game that we were losing in versus a pressure-free outing on the winning side tonight).
9:49PM PDT: McCarthy through eight: five hits allowed, no walks, five strikeouts. Great outing. Pitch count is at 109, his highest on the year is 114 coming on April 15th versus Detroit. Even though Grant Balfour is up and throwing in the pen, I’d love to see McCarthy get the shot at the shutout. He has just one career shutout, it came on May 24th, 2009 in Houston against the Astros when he was a member of the intrastate rival Rangers.
9:38PM PDT: Jemile Weeks doubles opposite field it gets past Jennings who I thought took a bad route to the ball, maybe I am wrong, tough to tell, just didn’t look clean. Double plates Suzuki, A’s add on and make it 7-0. McCarthy is at 97 pitches but this has been a long eighth inning, so I wonder if that means we won’t see anymore of him? I’d love to see him get the chance for a shutout myself. He is having a great night.
9:35PM PDT: The steal of third results in another A’s run as Rosales sac flies out to left field. Jennings doesn’t challenge Pennington at the plate, A’s lead 6-0.
9:33PM PDT: Pennington just stole third for the seventh stolen base by the A’s tonight off of Chirinos. He also stole second prior to that. On the night it is Crisp with four, Penny with two and Sizemore with one. The Rays had never allowed more than five steals in a game to any opponent prior to tonight. As long as Maddon leaves Chirinos behind the plate, I say the A’s keep trying until he can prove he can stop them.
9:25PM PDT: Juan Cruz out for his second inning of work, walks leadoff hitter in the eighth Cliff Pennington. Cruz like many of his Rays cohorts in the bullpen is not the greatest with his control allowing 5.3 BB/9 in 2011.
9:03PM PDT: McCarthy gets out of the jam. Great work there, getting Evan Longoria to fly out and preserve the shutout, leaving two men stranded. Not an easy inning but handled perfectly.
8:55PM PDT: Sean Rodriguez singles following a Chirinos single, so two straight after McCarthy had disposed of thirteen straight. First jam McCarthy has faced tonight, it’ll be interesting to see how he responds with the top of the order due up.
8:43PM PDT: Thirteen straight set down by McCarthy. He is looking great tonight despite not racking up a ton of K’s (at three he is slightly off the pace of his normal 6.2 K/9 this year).
8:31PM PDT: After getting DeJesus to pop up on the infield, Joe Maddon must feel his reliever is warmed. New pitcher: Brandon Gomes. Gomes has a tidy 2.74 ERA but that masks a 3.74 FIP and a 4.99 FIP. He is kind of the Rays’ Guillermo Moscoso with a few less crazy stats. What stands out for Gomes is he doesn’t allow the long ball (0.4 HR/9 and 2.9% HR/FB). A’s should be patient against him as his control is less than optimal (4.3 BB/9). Line on Alex Cobb stands presently at: four and a third innings pitched, four runs (all earned) on seven hits, with four walks, four K’s and the solo shot surrendered to DeJesus, however all three runners on base are his responsibility so an already shaky outing can look a heck of a lot worse quickly.
8:28PM PDT: Willingham draws a walk. Bases are loaded, nobody out. The bullpen is up and throwing for Tampa Bay and that usually means a not-so-great pitcher is awaiting entry to the game.
8:27PM PDT: Wow, Coco Crisp gets his fourth stolen base of the game – swiping third. He is looking at locking up that American League lead for the rest of the year all in one game.
8:25PM PDT: How scared of Hideki Matsui are people? An intentional walk with no one out in the top of the fifth? Weird. Willingham needs to make them pay for that decision.
8:19PM PDT: Ten in a row set down by Brandon McCarthy with 47 pitches through four innings. Efficient outing. Hands down the best pickup of the offseason, bar none. Excited to have him back in 2012.
8:12PM PDT: Jemile Weeks singles to score Sizemore from second, then he too over runs first and Chirinos throws behind him and gets the out to end the inning. Run scores, A’s 4-0. Another rally prematurely over though – whoever works on baserunning with the A’s needs to work a little harder, running ourselves out of innings constantly here.
7:54PM PDT: 22 pitches, 18 strikes for McCarthy (again unreal percentage in the zone) as he K’s Robinson Chirinos for this first strikeout of the ballgame. McCarthy just keeps getting better the further we go along.
7:50PM PDT: Willingham nearly gets it out but it was deep enough that it was an easy jog for Coco to get home and make it 3-0 A’s here in the top of the third. Nice to see Brandon McCarthy getting some run support.
7:37PM EDT: Rosales grounds out, Sizemore scores running on contact. A’s 2, Rays 0.
7:36PM EDT: Solid double down the left field line from Kurt Suzuki. Fortunately, Scott Sizemore does not try to score and is safely on third meaning second and third with one out for Adam Rosales. Good solid hit from Suzuki, he hasn’t strung anything together this year, and it’d be nice to see that somehow be the start of something.
7:27PM EDT: David DeJesus deposits it into the right-field bleachers. The solo shot gives the A’s a 1-0 lead. Could’ve been 3-0 given the running mistake last inning…
7:17PM EDT: After Coco Crisp stole his 34th base to also steal the top of the leaderboard in the American League in stolen bases from Brett Gardner and Rajai Davis, Josh Willingham singles into left and Desmond Jennings throws a shot to the cut-off man Alex Cobb. Cobb with a great play gets Crisp hung up between the plate and third. Does exactly what you’re supposed to do, run at the runner. Gotta give credit, nice play by both Jennings and Cobb, kind of an unacceptable running miscue from Crisp – couldn’t tell if Mike Gallego was waving him home or not.
7:14PM EDT: Surprised they give the error there to Cobb. Tough play, Coco Crisp should’ve gotten a hit there. Home town scorer saving that hometown earned run average?
7:00PM EDT: The A’s and Rays match up again tonight from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Brandon McCarthy and his 2.8 WAR, coupled with a 3.58 ERA and 2.75 FIP will take on rookie Alex Cobb and his 1.0 WAR, coupled with a 2.79 ERA and 3.29 FIP. Good pitching matchup, and the young Cobb has been impressive though with him averaging just over six innings a game in his eight MLB starts, the shaky Tampa Bay bullpen may be a deciding factor in this one. A’s lineup is quite a bit different than what we’ve seen lately with Cliff Pennington hitting sixth against the right-handed Cobb and Adam Rosales getting the start at first hitting ninth. We’ll see if the new lineup can give the A’s a different result here in August, which they so far are winless in.