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Live Blogging: A’s @ Blue Jays Game 5

April 6, 2011

9:26PM EDT: Mark Ellis pops it up to end it. So Dallas Braden who got 3.3 runs per game from his hitters last season, again suffers from poor run support as the A’s fall 5-3 to Toronto and fall to 1-4 on the season. A disappointing start to say the least for a club with big expectations. However as I wrote today on Athletics Nation in a comment, let’s put this in perspective. We are now 3% through the season. To translate it to football, right now we would be looking at situation where we’d be in the second quarter of the first game with just under a minute left. You don’t rule out a season at that point, and in baseball we have a marathon not a sprint. Teams go through 1-4 stretches and win, when you do it to start a season it is much more apparent. Take the Orioles, their 4-0 start (though they currently trail the Tigers in the eighth 7-3) has earned them articles in Sports Illustrated yet if they began 4-9 then won four straight no one would notice. So its disappointing, but no cause for immediate concern.

9:23PM EDT: So with the lefty Hideki Matsui taken care of by the lefty Rzepczynski, Farrell goes to Jon Rauch to close out the game.

9:17PM EDT: That sweeping slider had Juan Rivera fooled. Big difference when Ziegler is ahead in the count versus behind. True of any pitcher but that pitch can’t be pulled off when you’re 2-0. Looking at the stats it bears out this hypothesis, when ahead hitters post a .222/.222/.316 line, versus when he is behind they hit .324/.492/.431. Even more dramatic when Ziegler has two strikes on a guy (regardless of the number of balls) hitters are .159/.236/.216 off him a number even lower than when he has them specifically at 0-2 making me think he tries a different pitch perhaps out of the zone before blasting them with that slider.

9:14PM EDT: Ziegler allows a hit which scores a run giving Toronto the insurance run they wanted and needed.

9:11PM EDT: Brad Ziegler is up and throwing in the bullpen – and I noticed it today.

9:01PM EDT: Pulled the string on Rajai Davis – that is how Dallas’ change up is when it is effective. Speed on it was 72. Looking back at Pitch f/x it says that the pitch to Snider that was belted was an 80 mph cutter, I mistakenly thought it was a change. But, Dallas’ change is great. It got in a perfect game.

8:54PM EDT: Great point by Glen and Ray, that the scorer in Toronto is garbage. Yesterday’s second error on Kouzmanoff was changed to a base hit – it should not have been. That pitch from Rzepczynski to Coco was called a wild pitch when it was clear Arencibia just totally blew it and it should have been a passed ball. For the traditional stats folks out there, it seems you can’t trust anything that’d come out of Toronto this year with this moron out there. It was interesting because in yesterday’s broadcast you could hear someone yelling “E5” etc, and I have to assume it was the scorer and at one point I believe he had third and short mixed up as well, saying LaRoche had made an error that was in fact Kouzmanoff’s if I recall correctly.

8:49PM EDT: Kevin Kouzmanoff is in to hit for Pennington. I assume this means Kouz’ll take over at third and LaRoche will shift over to short – not really any other options for them.

8:46PM EDT: Andy LaRoche hit chases Jesse Litsch from the game. Blue Jays manager John Farrell is bringing in “can I buy a vowel” Marc Rzepczynski who like other members of the Blue Jays bullpen is another high strikeout (8.3 K/9), high walk (4.3 BB/9) guy.

8:41PM EDT: Great pitch from Dallas to freeze Snider. The bottom of the order now needs to pick him up and score a run. With Litsch approaching 100 pitches now is the time to get to him.

8:29PM EDT: What a strange line for Aaron Hill in 2010 as Dallas Braden does a good job getting out of the inning covering for DeJesus’ miscue – in 2010 Hill had a .205/.271/.394 slash line with 26 home runs but only 68 RBI. Don’t see that too often.

8:27PM EDT: Strange misplay by David DeJesus. This play isn’t an error but still represents the poor defense that has thus far defined this young season.

8:20PM EDT: Good to see Barton driving in a run like that. A’s down by one now. Blue Jays 4-3.

8:19PM EDT: I love how Coco Crisp runs. He gets extra bases all the time because he runs so fast. He could’ve had an inside the park home run had he run like that from the start as he slowed up when it looked like Rajai Davis would get to it but turned on the jets halfway to second when it skipped off his glove.

8:11PM EDT: Travis Snider got into that one. Three-run home run. Braden’s change-up is just not working for him today the way it has in the past for him, that was like a batting practice pitch.

7:58PM EDT: Two-run double by Hideki Matsui gives us the lead, 2-1 Oakland. This is why we went after this guy. Knock those guys in. Great work.

7:54PM EDT: David DeJesus laces a double down the right field line off Jays pitcher Jesse Litsch. The guys are talking that he is excited to have come to Oakland. I am psyched about DeJesus, he is one of those guys I’ve always watched and respected, hopefully he puts together a good season. Good trade by Oakland, Vin Mazzaro is a good ballplayer and Justin Marks by all indications is also a good pitcher but neither are in Kansas City this season, both are in the minors.

7:51PM EDT: Daric Barton got to see five pitches before Cliff Pennington was caught stealing to end the inning. So now has gone to 3-2 again. Way to work some pitches. Daric needs to start hitting, he’s off to a tough start going after pitches he shouldn’t always.

7:48PM EDT: Good inning for Dallas. That pickoff move is unreal.

7:41PM EDT: Glen Kuiper made a slight mistake in saying Roberto Alomar is the first Blue Jay player in the Hall of Fame, lest we forget Rickey Henderson, Paul Molitor, Phil Niekro and Dave Winfield. But other than those guys he is the first.

7:34PM EDT: Great toss by Josh Willingham to nab J.P. Arencibia trying to stretch that single into a double. He showed off his ability to get some outfield assists in Cactus League play.

7:30PM EDT: A little bit of a late arrival to the game. Have listened on the radio. Dallas Braden is healthy as reported earlier, and thus far has allowed one run in his one inning of work. The A’s have yet to do anything offensively, so it is 1-0 in favor of Toronto. The A’s lineup is the same as we’ve seen in the first three games of the year except Kevin Kouzmanoff is sitting and Andy LaRoche is in at the hot corner.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dangerous Dean permalink
    April 6, 2011 8:18 pm

    I can’t say that I am rooting for the As, but I wasn’t happy to see Snider hit the HR. I wanted it to be Lind, as I have him in a fantasy league.

  2. April 7, 2011 10:42 am

    A lot of guys on the Blue Jays are the strange sorts you’d love to have on a fantasy team (high SLG numbers c/o HR’s, doubles, etc along with relatively high RBI totals) but are sort of nightmarish for setting up an actual real-life baseball team (woefully low OBP numbers – poor defensively).

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