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Live Blogging: Royals @ A’s Game 5

April 9, 2012

The A’s take on the Royals today at the Coliseum. The lineup again features Yoenis Cespedes in the cleanup spoot, with Daric Barton making his season debut at first base and hitting seventh. The Royals put Luis Mendoza on the hill, him being sort of a surprise out of Royals camp as his career split between Texas and Kansas City has featured some lackluster numbers (4.6 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.2 HR/9 for a 5.31 FIP, better than his 7.36 ERA). The A’s counter him with Tommy Milone and despite this being Oakland’s fifth game, this will be just the third pitcher we grab a glance at, the control specialist will look to keep the 2-1 Royals from getting on base via the walk which so far isn’t a problem as they are second worst (only to Oakland’s 2.7% BB%) with a 3.7% BB%.

  • 7:09PM PDT – Top of 1st, 0 out – Jason Bourgeois begins the game with a double. An inauspicious start for the young A’s hurler.
  • 7:10PM PDT – Top of 1st, 2 out – Bourgeois is pretty fast. But Lorenzo Cain flies out to right and Josh Reddick throws a perfect throw to get Bourgeois trying to advance to third. Great play, nice by Josh Donaldson too at making sure he blocked the base. That quickly changes things.
  • 7:25PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 2 out – Yuniesky Betancourt doubles it into left field. One hopped the fence, Coco Crisp bare-handed it and threw to second. I wonder if with a better arm that play becomes a possible out? Seems like it very well could be. Interesting point brought up on Athletics Nation about how his arm in left is in some ways more of a liability than it is in center. Worth a read.
  • 7:30PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 1 out – Mendoza pulls the string on Cespedes and Cespedes obliges. It’ll come with time, but in the interim there’ll be some ugly feast or famine outings. Like how for example, excluding this at bat, he presently is on pace for 122 home runs but also 284 strikeouts.
  • 7:32PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 1 out - Seth Smith hits it just out of the reach of Chris Getz. I really have a feeling Smith is going to be good and though I wish he were used more, I think the platoon with Jonny Gomes will pay some dividends. Nice little pickup.
  • 7:39PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 2 out – Donaldson with a base hit to the right side right in the hole. Smith trots home and the A’s have an early 1-0 lead.
  • 7:42PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 2 out – Cliff Pennington draws a walk on the 3-2 pitch from Mendoza. Bases juiced for Jemile Weeks. Weeks is 3-for-5 in his short MLB career with the bases loaded.
  • 7:43PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 3 out – Groundout. Threat done. Mendoza seems to have got a piece of it slowing it and making it an easy 4-6 out.
  • 7:47PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 0 out – Alcides Escobar with a double to right field. Three hits off of Milone thus far and all have fallen for doubles. Not a trend he nor the A’s want him to keep up.
  • 8:00PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 2 out – Ray Fosse commented on it, but it was noticeable that Cespedes adjusts to pitchers the more he sees them – as he should. He didn’t fall for the breaking stuff Mendoza offered up the first time around and managed to draw the walk and keep the inning alive.
  • 8:06PM PDT – Top of 4th, 0 out – Milone has yet to record a strikeout as an Oakland Athletic but unexpectedly has his first walk first as he loses Eric Hosmer and gives up a walk to lead off the fourth.
  • 8:08PM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Another great throw from Kurt Suzuki to get Hosmer trying to steal third. The M’s were aggressive against the A’s and managed five stolen bases, but Suzuki managed to catch them three times. Now on the year he is throwing out 44.4% of runners.
  • 8:09PM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Now a four pitch walk to Jeff Francoeur. Where is this control Milone?
  • 8:10PM PDT – Top of 4th, 3 out – Milone helps himself out and picks off Francoeur to end the inning. Nice management of the baserunning game by the A’s defense.
  • 8:16PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 0 out – Ninth pitch is the charm. Nice to see Suzuki work a pitcher like he just did with Mendoza. Not a screamer of a hit, but it was out of reach of Escobar and will look like a line drive tomorrow in the box score.
  • 8:23PM PDT – Top of 5th, 2 out – That is one thing you got to love about Barton. He really is very good defensively. Dove and stole a surefire single from Brayan Pena. Great play.
  • 8:32PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Not sure that was a great decision but hindsight is 50/50. Pickoff throw gets away from Hosmer, Weeks takes off for second. It doesn’t get quite far enough, Hosmer with a relatively easy throw to Betancourt to nab him. Some baserunning faux pas on both sides of this contest.
  • 8:48PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – Little two out rally for the A’s here. Suzuki singles to left. Cain misplays it which allows Smith to go from first to third on the play. Nice chance for Barton to have himself a good debut, but Ned Yost is going to make him do it against the left handed 5’7″ and 165 lb sopping wet Tim Collins. Mendoza threw 97 pitches pretty inefficient, but a decent outing nonetheless, five and two thirds innings, with five hits, the one earned run but a problematic for him four walks to just two strikeouts. A’s have failed to capitalize for the most part on the walks, but Smith sitting on third and on board via the base on balls could be a chance to take advantage.
  • 8:54PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – The lefty-on-lefty didn’t work out as planned as Barton draws a walk to load the bases for Donaldson – fifth walk for Royals pitching. Up next is the right-handed Donaldson with a chance to break this open.
  • 8:57PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 3 out – Great curveball from Collins finally gets Donaldson. Nasty pitch. Keeps it close at 1-0. Amazing, an A’s game with a 1-0 score!
  • 9:01PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – Another four pitch walk from Milone as Hosmer gets a second free pass. Three walks and still yet to record a strikeout for Milone. He has been inducing weak contact – or at least it seems so. Double barrel action in the pen though as Brian Fuentes and Ryan Cook are up and throwing.
  • 9:05PM PDT – Top of 7th, 2 out – I like Fosse and while I don’t think much of his statement that Betancourt is dangerous because he is aggressive, that isn’t the one I take exception with. The addition, “and he’s had success against the A’s” I take exception to. Sure Betancourt does have success against the A’s, enters this game with a .301/.322/.425 slash line against them and a strangely high .294/.311/.385 slash line at the Coliseum, perhaps because he is relatively quick and a gap hitter, who knows and more importantly who cares, because that is kind of a meaningless stat. Milone has been a member of the A’s now for six and two-thirds innings. It isn’t like Betancourt sees a green and gold jersey and is ready to rock. This is just a misuse of stats, and taking something meaningless and trying to impart meaning into it.
  • 9:15PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 2 out – Crisp gets on via his speed and then steals second showing off some more speed. His first steal of the year. That is to me where his value lies. I am not crazy about his defense because of his weak arm, but his speed is indisputably an asset without doubt.
  • 9:21PM PDT – Top of 8th, 3 out – Milone throws his eighth straight shutout inning. Good outing for him. I imagine if the score stays the same Grant Balfour comes in for the ninth. His outing: eight shutout innings, three hits, three walks and no strikeouts.
  • 9:24PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Jose Mijares takes the hill for the Royals. He signed in the offseason with Kansas City as a free agent. He is a big lefty and that likely will prompt Smith to be replaced as they are running a strict platoon in that DH spot.
  • 9:26PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 1 out – And here comes Gomes…
  • 9:28PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 2 out – And there goes Gomes who is struck out by Mijares.
  • 9:30PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 2 out – Base hit for Suzuki. 3-for-3 night with a walk, which is great to see. Hope he gets a day off this week, I think he could be a lot better with some additional rest. That ball nearly was snagged by Bourgeois in left but the dive came up a bit short.
  • 9:34PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Balfour in for the save.
  • 9:36PM PDT – Top of 9th, 1 out – Finally an A’s pitcher records a strikeout as Balfour gets pinch hitter Alex Gordon to swing at strike three.
  • 9:39PM PDT – Top of 9th, 1 out – Mitch Maier walks, which means the game winning run is now at the plate in the form of Hosmer.
  • 9:43PM PDT – Top of 9th, 3 out – Done. Ballgame. A’s win 1-0.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Hungary4A'sNews permalink
    April 10, 2012 9:54 am

    Ok I have to say….this insanely detailed game live blog really helps me to get some perspective if I only have the box score and random MLB highlights to go on…Since I never know when I can listen on MLB Net or watch..

    I gotta say something in an Al Pacino Toni Montana voice:
    “You are a friggin Ma-cheeeen”

    Thanks!

    • April 10, 2012 1:28 pm

      Thank you! I just think it is a nice format to sort of talk about my thoughts of things going on. Sort of like an annotated viewer guide to watching the game.

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