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Live Blogging: Mariners @ A’s Game 1

April 1, 2011

10:01PM PDT: DeJesus down on strikes. A’s lose. As is often the case on Opening Day everyone freaks out and read way too much into the results of one game. While every game is important, this is but 1 of 162. The A’s defense was great last year despite four errors on Opening Day, and this year’s five errors does not mean that anything should be different this year. Hernandez is an exceptional pitcher, and realistically beating him is something one should not really ever expect to do. So A’s lose 6-2, are 0-1 on the year – no big deal. We got tomorrow, M’s and A’s do it all over again.

10:00PM PDT: It all rests upon DeJesus’ shoulders now to keep this game alive. Our chance of winning presently is 0.1%. He is 9-for-25 (.360) in his career off Hernandez.

9:54PM PDT: Wuertz looked good in his 1-2-3 inning of work. The A’s presently have a 1.4% chance of winning this thing. So here goes nothing. Crisp, Barton and David DeJesus are up, time to make some magic happen. They did it in Cincinnati yesterday, we can do it tonight right? Even against Felix Hernandez? (Gulp)

9:50PM PDT: When it is time for a change, even if it is for the fifth time, call SpeeDee… Michael Wuertz is in the ballgame. Andy LaRoche makes his MLB debut at shortstop taking over for Sweeney who was a PH.

9:48PM PDT: Double play. Inning over.

9:47PM PDT: Interesting to see Ryan Sweeney being used as a pinch-hitter here for Pennington. I like the move, we need a contact hitter, Sweeney fits the bill. I hope this signals that Geren will be a bit more creative with respect to using his bench.

9:46PM PDT: Kevin Kouzmanoff who hit into 25 double plays last year nearly hit into another.

9:44PM PDT: Powell gets a basehit off of Felix Hernandez, ending the eleven straight hitters set down by King Felix.

9:38PM PDT: There we go, Mark Ellis snags a liner and tosses it to Barton for the DP. The five errors make tonight’s game a record night for fielding futility on Opening Day beating out the record set last year of four errors.

9:37PM PDT: Another error – this time “credited” to Pennington. We are now at five errors on the game. That’s just beating yourself. What happened to our stellar infield defense?

9:36PM PDT: Its amazing just how fast Hernandez’ 1-2-3 innings go by. As we are now back in the top of the eighth. Zook may be a gamer but the medical staff has pulled him and now Landon Powell is in the game.

9:25PM PDT: Nice work by Cramer to get the double play (of Ichiro no less) to get out of the inning.

9:22PM PDT: Ziegler is now out, Bobby Cramer comes in. I think this means the game is effectively out of reach. You don’t bring in your long man if it isn’t. And needing to get four runs to tie this game and with them having Felix Hernandez on the mound a guy who only allowed more than four runs five times in thirty-four games last year – it is done.

9:21PM PDT: Brendan Ryan had 11 stolen bases last year, a decent number but when you’ve already thrown one pick off attempt to Livermore practically why are you trying again Ziggy?

9:20PM PDT: I love Kurt Suzuki! What a gamer, he is staying in. Powell can continue catching in the bullpen with his new #11.

9:17PM PDT: Appreciate the attempt from Cliff Pennington to get the lead runner at home but it looks like Zook may have been hurt as Olivo pushed him out of the way. He scores, it is now 6-2. Not sure this was the best play. We needed a perfect play at the plate, and didn’t get it. Looks like Landon Powell will be making his way into the game. Let’s hope this isn’t a knee ligament or something.

9:16PM PDT: Ziegler’s control is a mess. He threw that last pitch practically behind Brendan Ryan.

9:11PM PDT: Stellar outing for Ziegler so far, an error for Barton and then Ziegler makes matters better by throwing away a pickoff attempt. Mariners are now up 5-2.

9:08PM PDT: Breslow isn’t on his game today and Geren now pulls him so that Brad Ziegler can make his 2011 debut. I don’t get this, he has Blevins in to face a bunch of right-handed hitters, now he takes Ziegler basically a “ROOGY” and has him come in to face Olivo which makes sense and next Langerhans. Though as I look up Langerhans’ career stats it seems he has a reverse split hitting .226 off RHP and .238 off LHP. The split is about even for both OBP and SLG.

9:05PM PDT: Allen Greene of San Francisco starts off another year of stupid questions for the Ask Glen and Ray segment asking if there are any promotions associated with Hideki Matsui joining the team. You got Ray Fosse with experience in the World Series, All-Star Game, a high ceiling prospect, but no let’s ask them something that can easily be found by looking at the back of the pocket schedule. Thank you for being lazy Allen Greene of San Francisco.

9:03PM PDT: It is amazing how quickly Hernandez works. Seven pitch inning. Once he gets on a roll like this he just can’t be hit. As I said in my predictions, he will win the AL CYA. There is no way any other pitcher in the AL is as good as he is. Scary thing is given his age, he isn’t even in his prime yet.

8:56PM PDT: Figgins matches his home run total of last year with a drive to left off Breslow. M’s 3, A’s 2.

8:55PM PDT: Great pick off of Ichiro by Breslow and Daric Barton.

8:52PM PDT: Ichiro finds the hole in left, the inside out opposite field type hit he is so adept at. Josh Willingham though had a great throw, he has really shown off his arm thus far with the A’s, I recall two plays in spring training with him gunning guys out at the plate and he nearly had Ichiro now. Game is tied 2-2.

8:51PM PDT: Now Ichiro tried to bunt. What the heck is Eric Wedge thinking with that move?

8:49PM PDT: Jack Wilson sacrifices Ryan to second. Now technically I think Wilson was trying to bunt for a hit, with the worst case scenario being that he just pushes Ryan along but it goes down as a sacrifice. Now Bob Geren is coming to take Blevins out and go with Craig Breslow, who I have a lot more confidence in.

8:48PM PDT: Walks Brendan Ryan.

8:47PM PDT: It’ll be interesting to see how Blevins handles the righties since he clearly isn’t being used in a LOOGY situation.

8:38PM PDT: So I like the statistic, leverage index. I use it a lot think it has a lot of value, but this game brings up its limitations. Here Ryan Langerhans (who just struck out – nice work from Blevins) is up to face Blevins with a man on second and a man on first with two outs with the A’s up 2-1 in the fifth. Leverage index is 2.47. The LI doesn’t take into account however the real stress of the situation. The A’s are up against a guy in Felix Hernandez where getting two runs may be all you get. So in a sense I wish there were a leverage index that took this sort of thing into account.

8:36PM PDT: So Cahill threw 105 pitches, but he did have eight strikeouts, and his four walks didn’t help bring that total down either.

8:34PM PDT: Cahill is at four and two-thirds innings and 100+ pitches. He allows a hit to Miguel Olivo, seems like he’s having a lot of trouble once he gets to two outs. Now Geren is coming out again, this time he’s pulling Cahill. Blevins is coming in, lord help us.

8:19PM PDT: Wow. Seventh strikeout for Cahill as he gets Chone Figgins again. That was huge, way to fight out of the second bases loaded jam of the night.

8:18PM PDT: All these people in the bullpen, all these quality arms, and it is Jerry Blevins warming up. Ugh.

8:16PM PDT: A second Kouzmanoff fielding miscue. Then rushes the throw to first with no chance at all at getting Ichiro. That was a dangerous play. He should’ve held onto it with the foul ground being so big that could’ve given the M’s the lead.

8:15PM PDT: Kouzmanoff with a fielding miscue at third. Cahill is at 85 pitches (3 2/3 innings in) and the inning is needlessly extended.

8:13PM PDT: I love the new feature on MLB TV that let’s you watch the CSN Bay Area broadcast with the KBWF radio broadcast with Korach and Cotroneo. I love Ray Fosse and Glen Kuiper but this interview with MLB International is quite a downer for Opening Day.

8:04PM PDT: Three up three down for Hernandez. Through three A’s 2, M’s 1.

7:56PM PDT: Cust takes the 3-2 pitch, walks home a run. 2-1 A’s. Look at the crazy shift they put on him. Never got why Cust didn’t work on bunting, then every so often bunt it down the 3rd base line to keep them honest. Carlos Pena did that with the Rays quite a bit and it worked.

7:54PM PDT: Bases are full. Pitch count for Cahill is a bit high for the third at 52 pitches.

7:47PM PDT: It is obvious that Hideki Matsui‘s presence on this club is responsible for all these Japanese advertisements (Dandy House) behind the backstop. This is what I think is the sort of “added value” of Matsui’s signing to the A’s. I think he likely more than recoups his salary not only playing wise (where he merely needs a 1.0 WAR season) but also in terms of these additional revenue streams he creates. I think his signing was really valuable in a multitude of ways.

7:44 PM PDT: Of course given my previous comment, Kouzmanoff has to strike out.

7:42 PM PDT: I love seeing Kevin Kouzmanoff hit eighth. I think he is going to have a great year. I realize this is a complete 180, but I feel he is really motivated this year and has a lot less pressure with him hitting so low in the order. Great move putting him down there, think it’ll really pay dividends and help us score some more runs.

7:36PM PDT: 1-2-3 inning for Cahill. Gotta say the field looks beautiful tonight. Great work by the grounds crew, of course it is a lot easier when the Raiders aren’t tearing it up on a Sunday afternoon.

7:28PM PDT: So given the stat I threw up there regarding Hernandez, this basically means this game is sewn up doesn’t it?

7:27PM PDT: Welcome to Oakland Josh Willingham! What a debut! Off of Felix Hernandez! Curtain call!

7:25PM PDT: Unbelievable stat they put up that demonstrates both Hernandez’ dominance and also Seattle’s offensive struggles last season. In his twelve losses last season the M’s score a mere seven runs. That is a total. Unbelievable.

7:22PM PDT: Coco Crisp starts off the A’s season offensively with a single to right. Let’s see him steal second. Be aggressive, we need runs against Hernandez.

7:17PM PDT: That isn’t cool that they booed Jack Cust. We treated him like garbage really with the non-tendering and the sending him down to Sacramento. He is a good guy and played hard for us. I wish him the best, but that said, I think he will strike out three times tonight and maybe walk once.

7:16PM PDT: Ichiro has incredible speed. That throw from Kurt Suzuki was perfect but he just flat out beat it on speed.

7:14PM PDT: Great pitcher from Cahill to freeze Chone Figgins.

7:12PM PDT: Ichiro Suzuki walks. He can be pesky over at first.

7:10PM PDT: And we’re off!

6:52PM PDT: It is Opening Day! I have been waiting for this for quite some time. This is a great year to be excited about the A’s and about baseball in general. There are only two teams that have yet to debut in 2011 and they are the Mariners and A’s. Save the best for last? Trevor Cahill takes the hill for the A’s with Felix Hernandez taking the hill for the Mariners. The A’s look to snap a six-game Opening Day skid, though it is a tough task with King Felix pitching. The A’s have a sellout, let’s keep that up! Take down the tarps!

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