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Live Blogging: A’s @ Yankees Game 129

August 24, 2011

 

10:23PM PDT: Strikeout of Andruw Jones and the A’s have taken two straight in New York! Spoilers here we come? Great outing by Fautino De Los Santos, solid outing from Trevor Cahill, great performance from Coco Crisp add up to a nice night.

10:20PM PDT: Bailey just can’t do the shutdown inning can he? One out away from a win and Nick Swisher hits it into the right-field bleachers to narrow the lead to 6-4.

10:16PM PDT: Andrew Bailey comes in to hold a three run lead again tonight. Yesterday he nearly failed to do so. I like using shutdowns and meltdowns versus saves and blown saves as regular readers will know. Because Bailey kept the lead he did not earn a meltdown last night (because it was a three run lead with no one out he didn’t earn a shutdown either) but that is the problem with WPA. Yesterday’s outing earnEd Bailey a .053 WPA, when really he did virtually everything in his power to reduce the likelihood the A’s won. However if you are pitching, hold the lead late, it is inevitable you “aided” the team in winning. Bailey enters tonight’s game with 16 shutdowns and four meltdowns for what it is worth.

10:13PM PDT: Huge home run! Coco Crisp launches one into the right-field bleachers to give the A’s a 6-3 late lead! Crisp has driven in five of the runs tonight, three right here on his second dinger of the night. The fans are streaming for the exits and the crowd is raining down boos on Rafael Soriano. Huge home run from Crisp.

10:11PM PDT: A’s might have something going here. Back to back singles from Cliff Pennington and why the heck is he batting ninth Sizemore. Two men on, one out.

10:07PM PDT: Rafael Soriano comes in for the Yankees. This is the extra innings bullpen strategy that I’d employ, have them try and beat your best (Rivera) then go second best which at this point is Soriano – despite some shaky numbers this year (4.03 FIP, 3.91 ERA and a poor 6.5 K/9 and poor 4.8 BB/9).

10:05PM PDT: Great 1-2-3 from De Los Santos! Got both Gardner and Granderson to go down on strikes.

10:00PM PDT: Fautino De Los Santos faces the Yankees in the bottom half of the ninth. Big moment to trust him in, but it was bound to happen. Normally I’d advocate putting Bailey into this spot but with how he pitched yesterday, I don’t think I want to see him at all tonight – lot of pitches and a day game tomorrow and possible doubleheader Friday.

9:50PM PDT: One third-basemen lines out to another. Inning over – two left on. Mariano Rivera comes in to pitch the top of the ninth with the save off the table. The greatest closer of all time – unquestionably – comes in with a 2.25 ERA (his highest since 2007) and a 2.30 FIP.  His peripherals are still great at 8.3 K/9 and just 0.9 BB/9.

9:48PM PDT: Chopper past the mound, gets Andruw Jones (PR for Posada on with a single) to second and Nunez legs it out for a single. Makes it second and first with two outs. Eric Chavez is due up pinch-hitting for Cervelli.

9:40PM PDT: Ouch. Perhaps I jinxed it? (Sorry?) Mark Teixeira with a no-doubter to right field on the fifth offering from Balfour. Tied at three.

9:38PM PDT: A’s do the textbook move which is put Grant Balfour in for the eighth. I’m not opposed to the move, though I don’t know how I feel about Andrew Bailey coming in with a one-run (albeit potentially more, or of course Balfour could blow this lead himself) lead after throwing 31 pitches in a very shaky outing last night. For how well Balfour has pitched this year, I was a little surprised by the big gap between his ERA (1.94) and FIP (3.27). His peripherals look good, but the ERA must be seriously aided by a very low .220 BABIP and incredible 88.1% strand rate.

9:32PM PDT: Broken bat single up the middle for Coco Crisp scores Sizemore from second and the A’s retake the lead! Not the guy you’d expect them to do it against in Robertson. Oakland 3, New York 2.

9:25PM PDT: Scott Sizemore doubles to score Kurt Suzuki and tie this game up at two taking Cahill off the hook for a loss. Have to ask yet again after a 3-for-3 night against the LHP C.C. Sabathia (who is being removed) – why on earth would Melvin bat him ninth against lefties? How much more does this guy need to prove that he needs to hit far higher up in the order with a southpaw on the mound. He is far better than CoJax (105 wRC+ vs. LHP to Sizemore’s 154) who is hitting much further up in the lineup (sixth). As mentioned, Sabathia is out, new pitcher is David Robertson who is easily one of MLB’s best middle relievers this year with 13.5 K/9, he has yet to allow a home run and owns a 1.24 ERA and 1.61 FIP, along with an amazing 2.1 WAR.

9:18PM PDT: Good inning by Fuentes as he gets the Yankees 1-2-3. That closes the book on Cahill: six-plus innings, of two (earned) run ball, on seven hits (one of them the Swisher HR), while walking two and fanning six.

9:12PM PDT: Fuentes is in for the long(er) haul and will face the right-handed Jeter looking for a double play.

9:10PM PDT: Brian Fuentes comes into the game after a Nunez double and Cervelli sacrifice attempt that turned into an infield single with no one out. Due up is Brett Gardner (L), wonder if Bob Melvin has him go longer than that and face Jeter (R). After him it is another lefty in Granderson.

8:55PM EDT: Second home run in as many nights from Nick Swisher who takes Trevor Cahill deep to left-center into the Athletics bullpen. Opposite field to the deepest part of the park. Yankees 2, A’s 1.

8:47PM EDT: Jemile Weeks got nailed at third. Nice throw from Granderson to Cano to Nunez to get Weeks. Really nice play by the Yankees but that hurts – you never want to make the first out at third base.

8:34PM EDT: Another hit versus a lefty for Sizemore. He is batting ninth because…?

8:27PM EDT: Cahill K’s Francisco Cervelli! What a way to get out of an inning, very strange but it gets the job done.

8:24PM EDT: Very weird play there. Nunez hits it even more weakly than Posada and after everyone stood there thinking it was a foul ball, Suzuki picked it up and then taggEd Nunez standing there and he is out. Crazy out – but it was the right call by the umpires. Nice heads up work by Zuk.

8:23PM EDT: Jorge Posada hits the ball so weakly that it serves as a pseudo-sacrifice. Robinson Cano (on with a double) and Swisher (on via the walk) end up on second and third with now one out.

8:13PM EDT: A’s hitters look pretty feeble against C.C. Sabathia this evening. He K’s Conor Jackson to end the fourth – his sixth strikeout of the game.

8:03PM EDT: Base hit #3,055 from Derek Jeter scores Gardner and ties the game at one. It also moves Jeter to a tie for 21st on the all-time hit leader with former Athletic and Yankee Rickey Henderson.

8:02PM EDT: Brett Gardner, aboard with an infield single steals second off of Cahill and Kurt Suzuki. This steal – his 37th – ties Gardner with Crisp for first in the American League. Also puts him in scoring position with the heart of the order due up.

7:48PM EDT: Sizemore with a great double over the head of Swisher in the gap in right-center – why he is batting ninth against a left-handed pitcher is beyond me. He should be higher up in the lineup anytime a lefty starts – the ninth spot is appropriate for him against righties but this just makes no sense.

7:42PM PDT: Eduardo Nunez hit on to deep center field but Crisp, the hero of tonight’s game so far, tracks it down and collides with the wall to keep it from being any trouble. Not exactly shutdown for Cahill thus far but solid (36 pitches, 21 for strikes)…

7:38PM PDT: Cahill hits Nick Swisher with a pitch. Not a lineup you can afford to give extra baserunners like this with. Second inning has been a tough one for Cahill this year also…

7:21PM EDT: Early trouble for Cahill – a Derek Jeter single and Curtis Granderson walk – leave it first and second one out.

7:10PM EDT: Home run for Coco Crisp! Quick 1-0 lead on the first pitch he saw from Sabathia.

7:04PM EDT: Yankees and A’s continue tonight at Yankee Stadium. The A’s may be looking at a doubleheader on Friday because of Hurricane Irene as NBCSports HardballTalk highlights but for tonight they will play in the Bronx under presumably clear skies. The skies however can turn dark in a hurry because for the Athletics on the hill is Trevor Cahill who has weathered a few stormy outings in New York in his career coming in with a 0-2 record and 27.00 ERA at Yankee Stadium with the Bombers bombing him for a .545/.590/.909 slash line. On the year Cahill has struggled as well, he had a bad outing last time out and he last positive WPA came in his last win way back on July 27th in Tampa Bay. Cahill has an ERA of 4.17 and an FIP of 4.04. He faces C.C. Sabathia, one of the American League’s better pitchers coming in with 5.9 WAR and a stellar 2.96 ERA and 2.79 FIP. His peripherals are amazing as in 27 starts he has 8.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and just 0.6 HR/9. Tall order to beat him tonight and the lineup to face him has Scott Sizemore hitting last. I am dumbfounded by this as Sizemore has hit lefties so well this year – look no further than yesterday when he drove in two runs on a pinch-hit double off southpaw Boone Logan.

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