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Live Blogging: White Sox @ A’s Game 19

April 24, 2012

Tommy Milone looks to prove that he can continue to win without inducing many strikeouts or even whiffs as his K/9 rate stands at a very low 3.8 K/9 right now. He squares off against Gavin Floyd who gets a lot of strikeouts (8.2 K/9) but has walked a lot of guys as well (4.1 BB/9) and allowed far more home runs than he should (2.0 HR/9). He has a sloppy 6.10 FIP and the A’s hope to get his ERA (4.58) up to that level. Lineup for the A’s is very different as some regulars sit and Eric Sogard (SS – hitting 2nd), Jonny Gomes (LF – hitting sixth) and Anthony Recker (C – hitting ninth) get the start.

  • 7:12PM PDT – Top of 1st, 2 out – Luke Hughes with a pretty bad error on a routine ground ball from Alex Rios to third. Not what you want.
  • 7:15PM PDT: Top of 1st, 3 out – Milone picks up Hughes and get a swinging strike out of Paul Konerko to end the inning.
  • 7:27PM PDT: Top of 2nd, 2 out – Two pitches each, and two fly outs to Gomes in left as Milone quickly retires Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo. Gomes sure doesn’t look pretty in left field. Not entirely sure why Bob Melvin is opting to put him out there instead of Seth Smith who is starting today at designated hitter.
  • 7:33PM PDT: Bottom of 2nd, o out – A’s are in business with an errant throw from Brent Morel that draws Brent Lillibridge off of first. Will Yoenis Cespedes be running?
  • 7:37PM PDT: Bottom of 2nd, 2 out – With the count 3-2 the runner was going. Smith swung on ball four inside. Tyler Flowers‘ throw was up the first base side but Ramirez applied the tag for the strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play.
  • 7:54PM PDT: Bottom of 3rd, 3 out – Recker is K’d on a nasty pitch from Floyd that freezes him. No hits allowed by either pitcher, both whom would be perfect through three if not for errors by both their third basemen.
  • 8:00PM PDT: Top of 4th, 3 out – Another 1-2-3 inning for Tom Milone. Four K’s in his four innings of work. Great outing for him thus far. This game is just chugging along.
  • 8:03PM PDT: Bottom of 4th, 0 out – And the first hit for either team comes care of Jemile Weeks. Weeks hit it into the gap in right-center but a really good play by Alejandro De Aza to keep Weeks at first. White Sox have only permitted two stolen bases this year and already stopped Cespedes so it’ll be interesting to see if Weeks has the green light or not.
  • 8:05PM PDT: Bottom of 4th, 1 out – I know Sogard isn’t a great hitter but the sacrifice really? What a terrible play. The A’s are terrible at scoring runs, giving up outs isn’t the solution.
  • 8:08PM PDT: Bottom of 4th, 1 out – Weeks really has Floyd worried. He has stepped off so many times now as Weeks is dancing off second. This is the power of the stolen base. I have become such a huge advocate of stealing for this team, but clearly Weeks has gotten into the head of Floyd. That means he isn’t focusing on the true threat which is Josh Reddick at the plate. Advantage: A’s.
  • 8:16PM PDT: Top of 5th, 0 out – First hit of the game for the White Sox as Ramirez gets an opposite field single between Weeks and Daric Barton. Solid single. First bit of “adversity” for Milone since the error that allowed Rios to first in the first inning.
  • 8:19PM PDT: Top of 5th, 3 out – Milone through five, just one hit, no walks, four strikeouts on just 64 pitches.
  • 8:26PM PDT: Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Barton with a good double to the right field corner. Barton can be a good productive first baseman without power if he can continue to hit good doubles like that.
  • 8:34PM PDT: Top of 6th, 1 out – Gordon Beckham plunks one into center field. This has been a great pitching matchup. Love these games where pitchers just dominate like this. No long counts. No lengthy foul outs. Just good efficient pitching around the strike zone. It’ll be good to watch Milone work out of this minor jam.
  • 8:48PM PDT: Top of 7th, 1 out – I am not doubting that Konerko got hit. But it was pretty funny, he acted all like hoppy and jumpy as if in pain, then the second the umpire calls it. The act suddenly ends and it walks to first as if nothing is wrong.
  • 8:56PM PDT: Bottom of 7th, 2 out – First walk by either club as Smith gets on after he takes Floyd to a full count.
  • 9:00PM PDT: Bottom of 7th, 3 out – Another swinging strikeout from Gomes… it is old. 35.1% is just inexcusable. The thing is however, he actually is hitting really well, entering with a wOBA of .439 and wRC+ of 183.
  • 9:07PM PDT: Top of 8th, 3 out – Morel was running and Recker threw a perfect throw to get him. Nice play to end the inning, third caught stealing on the year for him against just one stolen base.
  • 9:11PM PDT: Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Barton draws a lead off walk. A’s need to capitalize on it here despite it being the bottom of the order. There was an interesting comment made during the broadcast of Sunday’s game something to the effect of the leadoff walk not coming around to hurt so much like it used to because of sabermetrics and waiting for the three run home run as opposed to bunting him over, hitting to the right side, scoring him, or something to that effect with smallball resulting in that one guy ending up scoring more often. I wonder if that holds true or not. Regardless now is one of the few times I’d support the small ball philosophy. Just takes one run here, get Grant Balfour in, close it out.
  • 9:13PM PDT: Bottom of 8th, 1 out – Had no problem with Hughes bunting here. He showed bunt first two pitches. Then took a pitch for strike two looking – why? Then waves for strike three. I am unimpressed with him thus far.
  • 9:14PM PDT: Bottom of 8th, 1 out – A’s are going to a pinch hitter: Kila Ka’aihue and Robin Ventura‘s White Sox respond with a new pitcher: Matt Thornton. Thornton has 5.6 K/9 over eight innings and has yet to allow a walk or even a run thus far. Ka’aihue comes in with a .333/.375/.400 slash line with .345 wOBA and 120 wRC+.
  • 9:16PM PDT: Bottom of 8th, 1 out – With Thornton out, Melvin is going to Kurt Suzuki as a pinch-hitter now for Ka’aihue. Zuk is not as impressive as Ka’aihue this year at .186/.197/.254 with a .196 wOBA and 19 wRC+, but he is right-handed which seems to be the point here. Given that Ka’aihue was to hit for Recker, this doesn’t burn as many players as it may seem it would.
  • 9:18PM PDT: Bottom of 8th, 1 out – The move pays off. Suzuki hits a double into right field on the chalk, wow that was close. Barton hustling scores from first aided by Viciedo having trouble picking up the ball in the corner. Floyd is now on the hook for the loss as Barton was walked by him of course – tough to get a loss or no decision in this one for either pitcher the way they’ve pitched, but Milone has deserved a run all night and finally gets at least one. Balfour is warming in the pen and should come in to close in the ninth. A’s up 1-0.
  • 9:22PM PDT: Bottom of 8th, 2 out – Nice opposite field hit for Sogard off his fellow southpaw. That scores Suzuki from third, to give the A’s an important insurance run. A’s 2, White Sox 0.
  • 9:26PM PDT: Top of 9th, 0 out – Balfour is out to face Beckham, De Aza and Lillibridge, though I assume somewhere in there will go Adam Dunn. This will be Balfour’s tenth appearance on the season, he owns a 0.90 ERA but just a 3.63 FIP as the K/9 hasn’t been there for him early on at just 5.4 K/9. The BABIP (.080) and strand rate (100.0%) certainly have been there and hopefully he keeps them up.
  • 9:30PM PDT: Top of 9th, 2 out – Kosuke Fukudome pinch hits for Lillibridge. I guess Ventura is going with the have Dunn in a position where he can tie it strategy.
  • 9:31PM PDT: Top of 9th, 2 out – The go for the home run was the strategy as Dunn comes in to hit, but surprisingly for Rios. Not sure I’d have done it that way but I am not a White Sox fan.
  • 9:35PM PDT: Top of 9th, 3 out – Dunn strikeout! A’s win! Celebrate!
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