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Live Blogging: A’s @ White Sox Game 11

April 12, 2011

10:41PM CDT: Alexei Ramirez with a drive to left and this game is over. White Sox win 6-4 in ten innings. Bobby Cramer takes the loss in 2/3 of an inning. Chris Sale who was impressive with his two innings of work gets the win. Ramirez with his second dinger of the game sends the Pale Hose faithful home happy. Tomorrow afternoon baseball, can still win the series in the rubber match.

10:35PM CDT: Or watch a breaking pitch go by for strike three… same difference…

10:33PM CDT: Josh Willingham is pinch-hitting for Coco Crisp. Hope this is not indicative of a problem with Crisp. But it is a strange spot for him to be pinch-hitting as Glen and Ray mentioned. Sale seems to be relying a lot on his fastball, just going fast, faster and fastest. I imagine if Willingham sits fastball he could really drive one.

10:22PM CDT: That was a pretty poor strike call on Adam Dunn by C.B. Bucknor, but I’ll take it. I haven’t always been the biggest supporter of Jerry Blevins, but he really has earned my confidence with how he has pitched this year. He has looked good lately. Speaking of Bucknor as his bad call though, C.B. Bucknor never has received many plaudits from players for his officiating.

10:13PM CDT: Chris Sale comes into the game. He was the 13th overall pick in last year’s Amateur Draft – and was the first to make the majors from the 2010 draft class making his debut last August. Looks like a good pitcher, tough lefty to face David DeJesus and Hideki Matsui.

10:09PM CDT: Still tied. Blevins with a good inning of work. This game sure has changed from just terrible pitching to pretty good pitching the deeper we’ve gotten into these bullpens. Sort of the opposite of what I preached before about high pitch counts letting you get to the subpar bullpen arms.

10:03PM CDT: Sergio Santos is filthy. Talk about pulling the string on Barton. He swung and had walked back to the dugout before that change crossed the plate.

9:52PM CDT: When it is time for a change call Spee Dee… Jerry Blevins is coming in to relieve for Ziegler. Ziggy had a great outing. Liked the movement on his pitches, he had a good approach.

9:48PM CDT: Sergio Santos downs the A’s in order, efficiently too twelve pitches, eight for strikes. Interesting story Glen and Ray were talking about that Santos was a former position player and converted to pitching in 2009 making his MLB debut the next year, pretty amazing athlete to do that.

9:40PM CDT: Good work from Brad Ziegler to get out the tough Paul Konerko. This game is a mess. Anyone who knows me and has read this site knows full-well I like the well-pitched games that take two and a half hours. I hate these sloppy games. Here is the sloppiness: 262 pitches in a combined six innings – roughly 22 pitches an inning per team (for basis of comparison yesterday’s full ten inning game featured 283 combined pitches). That is why this game is two and a half hours old, and we still have a third left assuming we don’t remain tied. These poor people in Chicago are watching a terrible game, in 40 degree weather. God bless them. I’ll feel even worse for them when they go home with Pale Hose as losers.

9:32PM CDT: Juan Pierre nearly takes off Craig Breslow‘s head that allows Alexei Ramirez (lead off walk) to score, game is tied at 5-5. Currently with a -13.2% WPA Breslow is looking at his third straight “meltdown”.

9:22PM CDT: Ugly strikeout from Suzuki. Bases left loaded but the A’s lead it 5-4.

9:17PM CDT: Wow! Huge error by Rios in center field. That was an easy catch. E-Z. Inexcusable error really for a former Fielding Bible Award player (2007) – for those of you unfamiliar with the Fielding Bible Award it is the equivalent of a Gold Glove for people who understand fielding statistics. Terrible play for Pale Hose but their loss is the A’s gain, bases juiced for Godzilla.

9:15PM CDT: He couldn’t make the Juanderful diving catch but Juan Pierre did a good job of keeping the ball in front of him. Not sure what it is with Barton’s hits but Pierre sure isn’t a fan of fielding them. He’s been OK with everyone else, nothing spectacular, but Barton hits them over there and we got an adventure.

9:10PM CDT: With Mark Ellis on (as a result of a sort of swinging bunt) Kevin Kouzmanoff deposits a ball into the left-field bullpen out of the reach of Juan Pierre (is anything within his reach?) for his first dinger of the year, but more importantly it gives the A’s the lead at 5-4.

9:07PM CDT: In the first non-shortstop error related pitching change of the night. Guillen goes to his pen and calls on Tony Pena.

9:04PM CDT: Breslow comes in to face A.J. Pierzynski he hasn’t pitched since April 2. Both his appearances this season have been “meltdowns” (i.e. relief appearances where the pitcher is responsible for a 6% negative change in win expectancy), but in reality they were more like Chernobyl-style effect the livelihoods of everyone in the Northern Hemisphere variety meltdowns as on Opening Day he was responsible for the A’s having a -41.1% WPA and then the next night a -23.4% WPA. Ouch.

9:00PM CDT: Apparently the managerial strategy for today is shortstop gets an error you get pulled. LaRoche bobbles the ball Alex Rios gets on, so naturally Cahill is pulled for southpaw Craig Breslow. This game just has a terrible pace to it. Cahill leaves having thrown 97 pitches, 55 for strikes, and a similarly messy line 4 2/3 innings pitched, 4R (all earned), 3BB, 3K along with the 1HR.

8:50PM CDT: In some roster jockeying given the new left-handed reliever, Will Ohman, Geren decides to pinch-hit for Sweeney with Conor Jackson. Doesn’t work, Pale Hose are out of the inning and still lead 4-3.

8:47PM CDT: Kurt Suzuki gets on care of an Alexei Ramirez error and Ozzie Guillen has seen enough of his starter and is headed to the bullpen for some relief. The line on Jackson is pretty pathetic, 4 2/3 innings, 7H, 3R (all earned), 2BB, 4K. He threw exactly 100 pitches, with only 61 of them being strikes. Jackson was pretty upset leaving the mound – can’t blame him a bad outing and also to be pulled following an error really is almost unfair.

8:43PM CDT: Seems like Hideki Matsui is getting it together finally, he singles, Crisp scores. White Sox 4, A’s 3.

8:39PM CDT: Two singles to begin the top of the fifth as Coco Crisp and Daric Barton get on.

8:13PM CDT: Matsui grounds out, A’s halve the lead as Barton scores on the play and now trail the White Sox 4-2 (hat tip to reader JK for the idea of making the score a bit more visible).

8:08PM CDT: Juan Pierre misplayed a Daric Barton ball in left – also this week Wednesday will follow Tuesday – so Barton gets to second and the A’s are already in business here in the third.

8:04PM CDT: Nice attempt by LaRoche and good job to get one on the Konerko grounder. Realistically Adam Dunn‘s slide into Ellis is the only thing that prevented that from being the inning ending double play. Dunn deserves the credit for any additional runs the White Sox score in this inning if they do score. So 4-1 ChiSox now.

8:00PM CDT: 48 pitches and Bobby Cramer is working in the pen. Bases are juiced for Paul Konerko. Really need a double play here – otherwise this could get out of hand very quickly. Good news is that realistically it isn’t like Edwin Jackson is on his game either so this could just be a crazy 12-10 see-saw type affair.

7:54PM CDT: You can put it on the board… no. Cahill is leaving hanging breaking balls all over the zone today – he just isn’t in this game. Alexei Ramirez puts the White Sox up 3-1 with one swing of the bat. Today is the opposite of yesterday’s ballgame with Mark Buehrle and Dallas Braden being such quick workers and being efficient with pitches, today Cahill is blowing on his hand between every pitch and both he and Jackson are throwing it all over the place. As forty-five minutes into this game we are in the bottom of the second inning with nobody out. Sheesh.

7:43PM CDT: With the runner in motion, Sweeney scores from first on the Mark Ellis double to left-center, another 3-2 count for Jackson up to 39 pitches with no one out in the second.

7:37PM CDT: Likewise the White Sox force Cahill to throw a lot of pitches too (23). Not a good strategy for either starter if they want to put their club in the best position to win.

7:26PM CDT: Omar Vizquel gets a bloop single into center, hit number 2,802 of his career. Vizquel is the only player left who played in the 1980s (though Jamie Moyer could be added to that list next year as he hopes to return from Tommy John surgery). He made his debut in 1989, incidentally in the same game as Ken Griffey, Jr.

7:25PM CDT: It will be interesting to see how Trevor Cahill uses his curveball today and if he can keep up the high K/9 numbers he has had thus far this year. I don’t expect double digits, but if it were up to 7.0 or so it’d be huge. Remember this kid is potentially here through 2017, we need him to continue to get better and better.

7:22PM CDT: As I mentioned when discussing Edwin Jackson‘s no-hitter, this kid for all his talent has some trouble with control and high pitch counts. Good work by A’s hitters, even though they weren’t able to tag him for any runs, they made him hurl 26 pitches in the first frame (17 were strikes). While I wouldn’t anticipate every inning to have such a high count, the earlier we can get Jackson out, the more we can start hitting the slop offered up by the Pale Hose bullpen arms.

7:19PM CDT: Hideki Matsui gets a double into right center. Lot of talk about his slow start this year, but one very telling stat is his BABIP (.192). Obviously that’ll come up, but if it was anywhere near normal you know we wouldn’t be talking about a .182 batting average coming to this game.

7:02PM CDT: Trevor Cahill takes the mound today to face the White Sox new contract in hand. Lineup-wise Cliff Pennington is out of the lineup as Bob Geren wants to get Andy LaRoche more at-bats, but Susan Slusser also reports that:

“it turns out that Pennington also is dealing with an infected sweat gland under his right arm and it makes swinging difficult; it’s clear that we can presume that’s the reason he bunted in the 10th inning last night.”

That sounds uncomfortable. Also, Ryan Sweeney gets the start in left-field meaning 60% of the A’s home runs are sitting. I think given the way LaRoche has been hitting it is strange that Geren hasn’t swapped him (9th) and Sweeney (6th) in the lineups but we’ll see how it turns out tonight at the Cell as they take on Edwin Jackson

. Jackson thus far this season is having an exceptional year, in two starts he has pitched 14 innings striking out 20 while walking only five. Someone is looking for a payday come their impending free-agency. Jackson has always been a highly regarded pitcher, yet has bounced from organization to organization with stops in Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Arizona and now the South Side of Chicago. He threw handily one of (if not the) sloppiest no-hitters ever last season while with the D-backs – 149 pitches including eight walks – against his former teammates with the Rays. I’d love to see eight walks tonight for Oakland, but would like to see us get more than zero hits.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2011 8:57 pm

    I know I can always check the score elsewhere but it would be nice while following the live blog to see the score somewhere. Maybe in the entry where a run(s) is scored you could BOLD the current score. Just a thought.

    • April 12, 2011 9:13 pm

      That is a good idea. I think I am going to underline though because that way it should stand out, bold and it’ll just look like a link I think.

      • April 12, 2011 9:20 pm

        Looks good. I like it.

      • April 12, 2011 10:37 pm

        Like Todd Van Poppel we try to serve it up! 🙂

  2. sc_athleticsfan permalink
    April 12, 2011 10:45 pm

    David, what is wrong with Breslow? Is there anything you’ve heard or can see regarding Breslow? I haven’t seen him pitch this year, but it appears (from looking at gameday) that Breslow is hiding an injury. I mean when you are surrendering hits to Pierre and Vizquel?!? Craig doesn’t seem to be the same low whip high strikeout pitcher of last year. It’s possible we have our answer to who’s going to the DL when Bailey returns.

    • April 12, 2011 11:02 pm

      Yeah Craig definitely doesn’t seem right. I can’t see anything with my eye that says something is off. Statistically there are very slight changes to his velocity about 1 mph off his fastball and cutter with his change being a mile faster than it has been. I can’t imagine that accounts for how much hitters have lit him up. I’ve always liked Breslow but he has seemed to benefit from some good luck (very low BABIP’s since he’s been in Oakland) but still he should be maybe a 4.00 ERA guy, not an 18.00 ERA guy (his one run in one inning of work allowed him to actually lower his ERA from 27.00 to 18.00). I have to think he didn’t get enough work in in Spring Training. I know bullpen guys often don’t need to throw much in games but they do a ton of work outside of game action and I presume Breslow missed an awful lot of that and that rust is what we’re seeing now. It would look like he is a candidate to hit the DL though because it certainly seems like something is up. And Geren’s not going to him from the 2nd to today is also telling. Breslow has been among the league leaders in appearances and it isn’t like him to sit for 10 days. Especially in close ballgames.

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