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Live Blogging: A’s @ Mariners Game 162

September 28, 2011

 

9:34PM PDT: Bailey K’s Mike Carp to end 2011. A’s win. Final pitch of the regular season for all of MLB. The Athletics-free postseason is all we have to wait for.

9:26PM PDT: Kelley strikes out the side which ends a phenomenal night by the M’s bullpen: seven innings, three hits, one walk and eleven K’s. Andrew Bailey will try and equal the zero’s the M’s pen put up on the board as he will be out for the save. He has had 21 shutdowns to just five meltdowns so odds are good he’ll close this out.

9:23PM PDT: The man who likely will be the last M’s pitcher of the night and 2011 season will be Shawn Kelley. Kelly has pitched 11 2/3 innings this season with zero earned runs allowed but a 2.60 FIP.

9:09PM PDT: Tom Wilhelmsen now in for the Mariners who are doing a typical last day of the season heavy bullpen outing but the pen has been good so far (5.0IP, 2H, 1BB and 8K).

9:05PM PDT: Coco Crisp went a long way to try and get a ball hit in the gap off the bat of Alex Liddi. Looks painful how landed on his left wrist but he seems alright. Double for Liddi.

8:55PM PDT: Nice play by Ichiro to save another big hit (though not a home run) off the bat of Jai Miller.

8:51PM PDT: Gio Gonzalez strikes out the side. He is looking good now after a shaky start and with that he hits the 200 inning mark and only has thrown 83 pitches in the ballgame. Is there a real need to keep him out there at this point? Let’s let some relievers get some final work see what they can do and Gio can go home with a great outing (1H, 3BB, 8K). The M’s are going to have a new pitcher out: Steve Delabar. Delabar is making his sixth MLB appearance. In his six innings he has 7.5 K/9, 6.0 BB/9 and 1.5 HR/9 adding to a 6.03 FIP despite a clean 3.00 ERA.

8:39PM PDT: Hideki Matsui pinch hits for Josh Willingham who looked like he may have tweaked something in his previous at bat. He’ll have a few months to get over it. I don’t know how I feel about Willingham. In many ways he inspired more faith in me than any of the other A’s hitters but you need to think that realistically that does not say very much. His 29 home runs were great, but if offering him a new contract means keeping him around until he is 35 or so that seems dangerous for someone who seems to consistently miss so much playing time. That said, the man replacing him is also destined to be a free agent, yet he seems now all but assured to be returning which is a clear cut terrible move. At least re-signing Willingham to a three-year deal is a debatable move.

8:35PM PDT: Ruffin strikes out the side. Filthy stuff.

8:26PM PDT: Gio strikes out two in the fourth which might keep him in a little longer, but he is still at a relatively high 61 pitches. M’s also will be inserting a new pitcher come the top of the fifth: Chance Ruffin who came to the M’s to complete the trade that sent Doug Fister to Detroit. Ruffin, the son of former pitcher Bruce Ruffin was a first-round draft pick in 2010. In his fourteen appearance long MLB career, he has been worth -0.4 WAR for the Mariners thus far as he like Vasquez is homer happy (2.3 HR/9) – how you do that at Safeco is beyond me.

8:01PM PDT: Third walk on the night for Gio, with Chris Gimenez on board via a single it makes it second and first with no one out. Control just isn’t there and at 41 pitches don’t see him reaching six innings at this pace either.

7:50PM PDT: Control for Gio is less than stellar so far. Two walks in the second but he gets out of the jam. Total so far is 35 pitches with just 20 strikes. Wonder if he will make it to six innings (the point at which he’d reach 200 innings) and likewise wonder does it even matter? Vasquez will not make it to six innings as he has already been replaced in what I imagine will be a game with a great deal of bullpen usage, by Josh Lueke. I assume we will see a parade of Mariners hurlers tonight – not sure that’ll be the case for Oakland because of the aforementioned mark Gio is chasing.

7:30PM PDT: Carter’s compadre in striking out, Jai Miller hits a home run to right-center and gives the A’s a 2-0 lead Ichiro Suzuki and Trayvon Robinson can just watch that deep shot.

7:29PM PDT: I am starting to wonder if there is any pitch that Chris Carter can swing and make contact on. He has been immensely disappointing in his time in the green and gold getting worse with time too. Entering play today he already had a K% of 44.2% this year topping last year’s disappointing 26.9%. I worry that Carter is headcase, he certainly hasn’t shown to not be one. I hope he succeeds but he just looks lost.

7:05PM PDT: Here we are the end of the line. The A’s and M’s both are far from contention this year and will see each other in their next regular season games next March in Tokyo. This game resembles a Tacoma Rainiers – Sacramento River Cats game more than M’s-A’s as the A’s feature a roster behind Gio Gonzalez that is so unique it bears printing in full:

  1. Coco Crisp, CF
  2. Michael Taylor, LF
  3. Jemile Weeks, 2B
  4. Josh Willingham, DH
  5. Scott Sizemore, 3B
  6. Chris Carter, 1B
  7. Jai Miller, RF
  8. Landon Powell, C
  9. Adam Rosales, SS
These guys will face Mariners rookie Anthony Vasquez who is making his seventh start owning a 8.89 ERA with an even worse 9.28 FIP owing to a 4.0 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and 4.0 HR/9 set of peripherals. 57.6% of his runners end up scoring and 26.7% of his fly balls end up in the seats so he has been the victim of peculiar luck but regardless he also hasn’t been very good – the 5.65 xFIP which normalizes the HR/FB still is strikingly high. This is how we will wrap up 2011 a disappointment by any measure.
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dangerous Dean permalink
    September 29, 2011 1:18 am

    Congrats to you on a very informative blog and keeping it updated all year long. I know it was a tough year to be an As fan (I have been through too many of those as a Ranger fan to count) but you do your fanhood proud.

    I was wondering where Pennington has been the last few nights. Is he hurt?

    Also, Oakland should go balls to the wall to sign Willingham. He was your best player by far and he will likely not drop off any time soon. As I have said before, I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a Ranger uniform. But right now, Texas doesn’t have a spot for him as currently configured (some would permanently move Hamilton to CF and play Willingham in LF, but I think that would hurt Josh too much from a wear and tear standpoint).

    I don’t know any inside info, but I have a gut feeling that Texas will sign Pujols this off season. He may never again be the 9-10 WAR guy he once was. But even a 6ish WAR Pujols would be fun to watch in Arlington. Plus, he is still a very nice defender and is by all accounts a great clubhouse influence.

    I don’t think Albert will put much faith in Texas’ ability to rejuvenate hitters, but if he does, it would be a mark in our favor.

    I am probably wrong, but John Daniels has been crazy like a fox in the last couple of years so I think he will get something like this done. If he doesn’t, then putting Napoli at 1b might give us almost as much production at about half the price.

    Have a great offseason. If I don’t see you soon, I will drop by in the Spring.

  2. September 29, 2011 2:39 am

    Thank you for your compliments and continued readership. I think the offseason will be a good time to check in here. I’ve long felt my forte is more so roster development analysis rather than in game strategy – or at least that’s what I feel more comfortable with so I think the offseason should offer a fair amount of content – if for no other reason than we have lots to fix in Oakland.

    Alas I was wrong on many things this year and wish your Rangers luck (not very much as I’d like to see Detroit and Tampa Bay move on, but for your sake I wish your team the best.)

    Pennington has been out with tightness in his left oblique.

    I go back and forth on Willingham as you know from reading. I like him on a 2/20 to 2/24 deal but rapidly lose interest when the third year is added on. I imagine someone will give him that third year though so if that’s what it takes to re-sign him I pass. I worry about his health; his deteriorating quality in left field; his age, etc. It is rare a slugger wants to stay in Oakland these days but that third year seems like it will be a huge albatross.

    Pujols in Arlington would make a scary lineup downright nightmarish for opposing pitchers. I think if Pujols ends up in the AL it is with Toronto. They’re not far from opening a good window of contention and he makes them instantly credible as contenders even in the AL East.

    Keep reading! Thanks for sharing on this blog all season long it is humbling to hear your compliments and know you take time our of your day to stop by here.

  3. Genaro permalink
    September 29, 2011 4:25 am

    I have enjoyed reading your blog since I became aware of it mid-season; I find the very detailed analysis informative even if I don’t always agree with the conclusion.

    One thing about the Willingham issue that gets me, and you alluded to it somewhat earlier with the Rollins/Willis comments, is that the A’s could have entered into negotiations much sooner in the season, starting from when they first acquired him. When you view how often he posted a high OBP year after year and combined the power numbers that occurred while he was in a terrible hitter’s park, the likelihood of his offense translating was fairly likely. To see him as a new hitter to the AL, putting up a 750+ OPS in the first two months, the A’s should have started conversations then and there.

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing more analysis when the acquisition/transaction period really commences. Thanks again for your efforts!

    • September 29, 2011 11:19 am

      Yeah if one were to negotiate with Willingham seemingly the time was much earlier. My guess is that the A’s wanted to verify his health over the course of the season and held off with the Achilles being reason for even more pause. Even then I think I’d pass on the third year if it were brought up. Thanks for reading keep back and also I love dissent as it can help inspire future posts!

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