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Live Blogging: A’s @ Royals Game 53

June 2, 2012

Brandon McCarthy takes the hill for Oakland looking to get back on track this 2012 season. For the Royals they send Luke Hochevar out there, who has a big divide between his ERA (6.19) and FIP (3.70). 52 1/3 innings for him this year, 7.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9 on the year. The A’s new starting first baseman, Kila Ka’aihue hits fifth in today’s order and Coco Crisp again finds himself in the seven spot. Yoenis Cespedes is in left field again – don’t like that at all with Crisp being in center.

  • 11:11AM PDT – Top of 1st, 0 out – Jemile Weeks is indeed heating up. Leadoff triple to put the A’s in business and give them an opportunity to tag Hochevar for an early run.
  • 11:13AM PDT – Top of 1st, 1 out – Collin Cowgill grounds out. Scores Weeks, A’s up 1-0.
  • 11:25AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 2 out – Billy Butler with one of the uglier GIDPs you’ll ever see. Brandon Inge got it threw to Jemile Weeks who really looked like he was pulled off the bag, who throws it on to Ka’aihue who was pulled off the bag and tags Butler out. Ugly. But, looks like a crisp 5-4-3 in the box score tomorrow morning and gives McCarthy a lot of help.
  • 11:27AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 2 out – Jeff Francoeur gets a doozy of a pitch, and he puts it into left field (could’ve been worse) and that drives in the run. Tie game 1-1.
  • 11:35AM PDT – Top of 2nd, 3 out – Crisp strikes out. Inning over. 1-2-3 for Hochevar.
  • 11:40AM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 1 out – Jarrod Dyson with a single. This guy is one of the fastest guys in the majors. McCarthy has been awful at holding men on this year, so watch out Kurt Suzuki
  • 11:51AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – Two straight four pitch walks for Hochevar as the speedy Weeks and relatively speedy Cowgill get on. Nice to see baserunners for Josh Reddick.
  • 11:56AM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 0 out – First pitch swinging and Alex Gordon drives it opposite field for a double that splits Cespedes and Crisp.
  • 11:57AM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 1 out – Sacrifice bunt by Yuniesky Betancourt to get Gordon to third. What stupid decision making from Ned Yost. Granted two runs may be more than the A’s can manage so they might need to only play for one.
  • 11:59AM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 2 out – Butler strikes out. And there is why the sacrifice is so stupid. For all we know Betancourt could’ve singled or something. Can’t say I mind seeing poor strategy from opposing managers.
  • 12:00PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 3 out – Another K for McCarthy as he gets Mike Moustakas. 39 pitches for the efficient McCarthy threw three, with 30 for strikes. Great outing so far.
  • 12:03PM PDT – Top of 4th, 0 out – Nice base hit there from Cespedes. Dyson is fast gets to it despite really playing him to pull, and it should be a double but wow the speed of Cespedes the second Dyson screwed up the pick up of the ball and Cespedes lands on third.
  • 12:04PM PDT – Top of 4th, 0 out – Wow. Humberto Quintero nearly gets Cespedes at third on a pickoff. Wow, like a snake striking just lazily goes then snaps it.
  • 12:05PM PDT – Top of 4th, 0 out – Can’t pick that off! Wild pitch. Cespedes in, 2-1 A’s.
  • 12:15PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 2 out –  A good throw would have had Alcides Escobar there. But McCarthy’s pitching motion is so lethargic, guys get good jumps off of him. Even there were there was a slight delay in Escobar’s departure, he still makes a close play of it at second. Regardless throw is wide. Stolen base.
  • 12:19PM PDT – Top of 5th, 1 out – Leadoff single from Suzuki then a sacrifice bunt by Cliff Pennington. Ugh! Why oh why? Granted slowly but surely Pennington too is now under the .200 batting average mark, but sacrifices are just such horrible things to do. Pennington can keep himself out of a double play. What a stupid decision.
  • 12:23PM PDT – Top of 5th, 1 out – Passed ball by Quintero moves Suzuki to third. Bob Melvin hopefully takes note and sees there are ways guys move up that don’t involve giving up an out.
  • 12:31PM PDT – Top of 5th, 2 out – Reddick hits it to right-center and that scores Suzuki and Weeks (on with another walk) and ends up with a triple. A’s lead is now up to 4-1. Reddick is so great, I am really pleased with him.
  • 12:32PM PDT – Top of 5th, 2 out – Cespedes dumps one into right field. Reddick scores. 5-1 Oakland. Hochevar’s day is through: four and two-thirds, with five earned runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Of course, Cespedes is his responsibility at first. Into the game comes the diminutive Tim Collins with an exceptional 13.2 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9. His ERA (2.42) is right where it should be according to FIP (2.41) in his 26 innings of work.
  • 12:34PM PDT – Top of 5th, 2 out – Ka’aihue against his former teammate Collins, takes the first pitch and puts it over Dyson’s head though it should’ve been caught, for a double to score Cespedes and tack another run onto Hochevar’s ledger while moving the score to Oakland 6, Kansas City 1.
  • 12:42PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 3 out – Another 1-2-3 inning for McCarthy. He has been exceptionally efficient with his pitchers so far. Just 57 pitches across his five innings with 46 going for strikes. Doesn’t get much better than that.
  • 12:53PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, o out – Well that was an efficient way for McCarthy to walk a guy, four pitches. So 26.7% of his balls in this entire game came in that one at bat to Butler.
  • 12:58PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 1 out – Eric Hosmer with a double to left field. Terrible route taken to the ball by Cespedes who looks truly lost in left field. It is so horrible a decision to have him playing in left. Crisp has had a bad year and has whined and moped regarding being moved from center to left, yet the A’s decide that center fielder of the future Cespedes is going to move. They have trouble with how he plays in center yet he has improved continually and if that is where he is going to end up why stunt his progress? Furthermore he is having trouble with reads and breaks and those are easier and truer from center than they tend to be from left or right field. Poor decision making. From the A’s. Run scores on the play, Royals tighten it up to 6-2.
  • 1:00PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 3 out – Wow. Cowgill! Escobar flys out to right, Cowgill comes up throwing, Suzuki lunges to tag out Francoeur trying to score from third. Double play. Wow.
  • 1:02PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – New pitcher for Kansas City, Louis Coleman. Replays show that Francoeur actually made it in safe. Wow. Big break. Coleman on the year, 3.45 ERA that hides some bad pitching as his FIP is 5.58 with 7.5 K/9, 5.2 BB/9 and 1.7 HR/9 in 15 2/3 innings.
  • 1:04PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – With a 2-1 count, Quintero gets thrown out of the game for arguing a pitch, as does Yost. Good point from the broadcast regarding the umpire showing up the catcher. Some bad officiating these days. New catcher will  be Brayan Pena.
  • 1:14PM PDT – Top of 7th, 1 out – Not sure why but Weeks is coming out of the game and will be replaced at second base by Adam Rosales. Rosales is a useful guy to have on the team even if he isn’t very good because of his versatility. I really like the guy, and I really wish he were better than he is because he plays the game with all his heart and you have to love that intensity. We need to wait and see whats up with Weeks as there wasn’t anything overtly wrong with him.
  • 1:17PM PDT – Top of 7th, 2 out – Wow, incredible play by Moustakas to save Coleman’s ERA. Solid hit from Cespedes and Moustakas dives and gets it on the line and throws out Reddick at second and nearly turns two as Cespedes legs it out.
  • 1:21PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 0 out – McCarthy’s day is through. I suppose this is some he-just-got-back-from-injury thing? I am not one for pitch counts but shoot, he only has thrown 71 pitches why not leave him out longer? But alas, I am not in charge and his final line is a good one: six innings, two earned runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Loved the efficiency, 54 of those 71 were strikes. New pitcher is Grant Balfour, Balfour is who has a 3.55 ERA, 4.37 FIP in 25 1/3 innings of 6.8 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9 baseball.
  • 1:26PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 0 out – Two hits in a row for Kansas City to start the seventh. Cespedes threw it to third which was unadvisable as that was the sole reason that Pena was able to get to second on that one. Makes it second and third for the Royals with no one out and Gordon and the top of the Kansas City order due up.
  • 1:30PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 2 out – Betancourt with a flyout to Crisp in center. Dyson scores easily from third. Royals create a save situation for the A’s relievers as the score moves to 6-3.
  • 1:42PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 0ut – Got to love the nine-pitch at bat resulting in a walk from Suzuki. Nice at bat there.
  • 1:44PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – That is what I like about Pennington. Betancourt misplays it then sort of lollygags after it and then once Pennington sees that he goes and takes second. That is heads up. Great contrast there to see the heads up run hard Pennington up against the lollygagging it Betancourt. That spells the end for Coleman too, as Aaron Crow will enter the game. Crow is another good Royal reliever: 2.82 ERA, 3.07 FIP, 8.5 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9 in 22 1/3 innings.
  • 1:47PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – Rosales with a single into right field plates two. Inherited run percentage for these Royals is not looking good today. Oakland 8, Kansas City 3.
  • 1:51PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – Another Royals error, scores another A’s run as Reddick outruns the Escobar bobble. A’s 9, Royals 3.
  • 1:57PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Don’t get why Melvin would use Ryan Cook here even though it has been a while since he last appeared (Memorial Day). Cook has a 0.75 ERA but much worse (though still good) 3.03 FIP with 7.8 K/9, an alarming and much overshadowed 5.3 BB/9 with no home runs allowed. Cook has been the huge beneficiary of an enitrely unsustainable .107 BABIP.
  • 2:06PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Jose Mijares in for Kansas City, as is defensive replacement Mitch Maier. Mijares sports a 2.49 ERA and 3.72 FIP in 21 2/3 innings with 6.7 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and 0.8 HR/9.
  • 2:14PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 0 out – Jerry Blevins is out to finish the game. Three outs and the A’s streak is over. 1.93 ERA but a 4.10 FIP for Blevins in his 23 1/3 innings. 8.5 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 are his peripherals. The 8-9-1 hitters are due up for the Royals.
  • 2:20PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 3 0ut – Blevins gets Betancourt swinging. Game over. Streak over. A’s win.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Hungary4A'sNews permalink
    June 3, 2012 6:28 am

    A’s fans…
    what do you think about Physioc and Rex Hudler teaming up to call Royals games?
    Yes they came from the dreaded Angels…but i used to hear them a lot in So Cal and
    to me it is a welcome return of the slightly zany baseball-holding Hudler. (a poor man’s Fosse)

    • June 3, 2012 1:03 pm

      I have no real issues with Physioc who I think is neither good, nor bad. Hudler on the other hand I think rivals Ken Harrelson for the worst in the game. When the A’s game was only broadcast by FoxSports Kansas City I had to listen to Hudler who had such great illuminations like “why players wear sunglasses”, he confused the difference between a thesaurus and a dictionary, he also claimed basically that every Royal has impeccable work ethic, character, etc while saying the A’s clearly lacked that because of his observation to end all observations guys didn’t have a long conversation at the mound but kinda stood around during a pitching change. I find Hudler horribly offbase, horribly uninformed, and perhaps due to that just generally all around kind of annoying. You can do so much better than him!!! Fosse has insights that are far better and while can go way off topic and Kuip does a poor job of reeling him in so to speak, he usually only does that in games that are long out of hand and frankly are boring already. So, sorry but I disagree on Hudler. Loved the way he played the game, maybe he should coach instead?

      • Hungary4A'sNews permalink
        June 3, 2012 2:10 pm

        Good points! I was listening when he mentioned the deeply enlightening : ) “sunglasses” insight. I generally agree that Hud can be a spaz..I just guess that I laugh with him cause to me at least he is honestly himself..warts and all. I felt bad for him when he was hospitalized in Oaktown for aneroism. By the way Ted Leitner drove me so nuts that every time I had to wait out his incessant chatter waiting for Coleman…but I envy you being within earshot of Vin !

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