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Live Blogging: Angels @ A’s Game 148

September 13, 2011

10:31PM PDT: Game over. Best the A’s can hope for is a .500 season as this represents their 81st loss on the year. With with fourteen games left to play that does not seem like it will come to fruition.

10:26PM PDT: This has been a miserable game, between the A’s rally killing double plays, and the Angels’ inability to score their runners leaving nine on base and hitting only 2-for-11 with men in scoring position. Too many pitching changes, too many pitches, awful game. Jordan Walden comes out as this still is a save situation. It looked alright at first with a one-run deficit for a guy with nine meltdowns, but with the three run lead this likely is all but wrapped up.

10:22PM PDT: Wagner walks Alberto Callaspo, so after just two bases on balls through eight innings, the ninth has already featured three – all three in a row no less to load the bases for Vernon Wells.

10:18PM PDT: Wuertz walks, two straight and Melvin gives him the hook. Neil Wagner is set to come in. What a mess. Wagner comes in with some sloppy numbers: 9.82 ERA, 6.03 FIP, his 2.5 HR/9 being a big problem as is his 25.0% HR/FB. His xFIP is a bit more normal at 3.84, but all of this is just small sample size nonsense.

10:12PM PDT: Wuertz is trying to make Billy Beane‘s decision even easier by surrendering a hanging slider home run to Howie Kendrick. His second of the game – this one a two-run bomb, gives the Angels the insurance runs they sought: 6-3 for the Mission Viejo Angels of Laguna Niguel.

10:07PM PDT: Bourjos, fastest dude alive, steals second – not necessarily because he stole it so much as the base was left uncovered. Bourjos’ speed is why is on base in the first place, don’t get why this guy doesn’t just bunt himself on all the time ’til people prove they can throw him out.

10:05PM PDT: Michael Wuertz comes into the game. A’s have a decision to make on his option this offseason and so far Wuertz is making the decision for them with a 6.06 ERA and not much better 4.92 FIP. Control has been a problem: 6.3 BB/9 and he has been worth -0.3 WAR in 2011. A forgettable season for Wuertz.

10:01PM PDT: Fourth GIDP tonight as Kurt Suzuki first-pitch swinging erases a runner. Eight men left on for the A’s, despite the four GIDPs.

10:00PM PDT: Now Melvin plays the matchups, pinch-hits for Sweeney with Jai Miller who gets a hit past Aybar to put the tying run on first.

9:59PM PDT: Scott Downs is in as the new Halos pitcher. The southpaw Downs was one of the bigger acquisitions the Angels made this offseason. He comes in with a stellar 1.34 ERA, which sort of masks a decent but not that impressive performance as his 3.37 FIP indicates. He has managed 5.9 K/9 with 2.5 BB/9 but has benefited from an unsustainable .206 BABIP.

9:43PM PDT: Bobby Cassevah who for a short time was a member of the A’s, comes out to pitch for the Angels. He owns a 2.73 ERA and 3.60 FIP in 23 outings with a poor ratio of 5.7 K/9 to 4.1 BB/9 though he has allowed a microscopic 0.3 HR/9 (just one in his 33 innings of work).

9:36PM PDT: Grounder to Sizemore who throws home to get Trout out. And that’ll be all for De Los Santos who allows the go-ahead run to get across the plate in his time on the mound and will be replaced by Craig Breslow.

9:35PM PDT: A whole bunch of small ball crap gets it to second (Mike Trout) and third (Erick Aybar) so the Izturis ground out to Pennington results in a run scoring after an offline throw home. Angels take the lead 4-3.

9:13PM PDT: Fautino De Los Santos takes the hill for the Athletics. He comes in with 12.4 K/9 – nice!

9:07PM PDT: Melvin leaves Sweeney (L) into face the lefty Takahashi and he pops out to Vernon Wells but not deep enough to left to score the runner from third. With the lineups expanded why not pinch-hit there? You’re pulling your starter after four and two-thirds to play matchups but you won’t remove Sweeney in this situation?

9:02PM PDT: “Who cares what his average is he has 46 RBI since the All-Star Break,” – Ken Korach, regarding Josh Willingham who just notched his 90th RBI of the year. I love Ken Korach but that is major cringeworthy. Meanwhile, Sizemore is down on strikes and with that Mike Scioscia is going to his bullpen ending Jerome Williams‘ night. New pitcher is: Hisanori Takahashi. He hasn’t had that great a year with a 4.07 FIP and 0.2 WAR. Takahashi had a tough stretch in August that have sunk his numbers on the year (6.96 FIP with -0.5 WAR in August).

8:59PM PDT: Josh Willingham puts it just outside the reach of Torii Hunter who dives and doesn’t get to the ball. Cliff Pennington scores, Hideki Matsui gets to third, Willingham to second. A’s tie it up at three!

8:45PM PDT: Early hook for Guillermo Moscoso as Melvin heads out to the mound to insert Jerry Blevins to face Bobby Abreu (L) with two outs in the fifth and Izturis on second. Moscoso throws 92 pitches in his four and two-thirds – don’t exactly get why Melvin is playing this like a playoff team that needs to cauterize this game before it gets away, but he seemingly is (one could argue putting Blevins in would be the exact opposite of cauterizing…).

8:35PM PDT: Allen ends an 0-for-22 streak with a double.

8:11PM PDT: A’s get Williams out of the inning with a inning ending double play from Ryan Sweeney.

8:07PM PDT. Williams walks Willingham with the bases full. Weeks trots home. A’s narrow the gap to 3-2. Williams is upset with how his pitches are being called thinking he had him, but Pitch f/x from BrooksBaseball seems to indicaT. Williams is indeed missing.

7:59PM PDT: The errant pick off throw from Williams to try and get Taylor at first comes back to haunt him as he scores from second on the Jemile Weeks double over the head of Bourjos. A’s trail 3-1.

7:51PM PDT: Howie Kendrick homers. Moscoso’s crazy high fly ball rate + unsustainable low HR/FB rate = what we saw Kendrick do. Regression to the mean is not Moscoso’s friend. Maicer Izturis scores on the dinger, Angels 3, A’s 0.

7:44PM PDT: Aybar scores on a bad throw from Allen and poor play from Sizemore and Moscoso at covering third. Allen makes a nice play to get out Peter Bourjos on a pop up in the expansive foul ground but Aybar did a great job of being aggressive and getting to third. Sizemore gets most of the blame here. He tries to apply the tag as opposed to conceding the base and blocking the throw. That’s him being relatively new to third still coming back to bite him. Halos 1, A’s 0.

7:39PM PDT: Leadoff double for Erick Aybar past Brandon Allen ends any hope of a no-hitter tonight.

7:31PM PDT: Moscoso carried a no-hitter into the eighth versus Kansas City his last time out, so far he is perfect thru six tonight.

7:21PM PDT: Josh Willingham with a basehit leaving it up to Scott Sizemore to make something happen. Not sure why Sizemore is hitting fifth as a righty who has struggled mightily versus right-handed pitchers.

7:04PM PDT: Angels and A’s face each other today. Great piece written by Jason Wojciechowski at Beaneball about the lineup and Bob Melvin‘s approach coming into the end of the year, as the A’s start all their regulars tonight. Melvin feels that the team is obligated to put their best team forward when facing teams competing for a playoff birth. From his piece Jason makes the very good point of,

“For a bunch of athletes that like to spout cliches like, ‘We just have to play our own game’ and ‘We can’t worry about what the other team is doing,’ there sure is a lot of worrying about what the other team is doing.”

So instead of the A’s getting to see what they have beyond 2011, we see what we already have. Even worse when the guy you are benching is David DeJesus, so you are threatening his Type-B status, allowing us to see Michael Taylor. Not entirely the best way to manage the lineup if you ask me. They all will back Guillermo Moscoso who has me totally baffled. Last year Trevor Cahill showed you can in fact have a season long defy the odds performance and I think Moscoso has done just that. Moscoso comes in with a 3.34 ERA, 4.18 FIP and 5.18 xFIP. His K/9 (5.1) and BB/9 (2.9) are OK. His BABIP (.230) incredible and his HR/FB (5.4%) outstanding for a guy who never induces groundballs (25.6%). He faces reclamation project Jerome Williams. Williams in six appearances (this will be his fourth start) has a 3.51 ERA and 3.65 FIP, while putting up some nice peripherals: 6.7 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9. Angels look to hang tight with Texas in the race for the West, the A’s look to screw that up for them.

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