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Live Blogging: A’s @ Mariners Game 19

April 21, 2011

9:29PM PDT: Mark Ellis pops up, game over (with Matsui on deck for what it is worth). M’s win 1-0. Very tough loss for Brandon McCarthy. Pretty bad offense from the A’s but on this one you get a pass, you’re up against the best pitcher in the American League. That’s all for tonight.

9:24PM PDT: I think they ought to pinch hit Sweeney with Hideki Matsui. I realize that means Matsui would need to play in the field (a liability) but he has more appearances than anyone else on the club against League (18) and has done alright (5-for-16 [.313] with a double).

9:23PM PDT: That is the way to start it. Josh Willingham gets a single under Chone Figgins‘ glove at third. So a leadoff hit for Willingham and the tying run now is on first against Brandon League.

9:19PM PDT: Brandon McCarthy completes the eighth – if the A’s fail to score this will be his second career complete game. The other one being a shutout he had on May 24, 2009 in Houston while pitching for the Rangers. Great outing for Brandon, six strikeouts, just one walk and four hits allowed including the one key home run to Adam Kennedy that is the one run scored in this ballgame.

9:14PM PDT: Well that was anti-climatic. First-pitch swinging ground out to Jack Wilson. I assume it is up to us to now score on Brandon League who I figure comes in to close it out while David Aardsma is still on the shelf. Kurt Suzuki, due up third in the ninth, has had particular success against League (3-for-6 with a HBP and two doubles).

9:11PM PDT: Good take by DeJesus to get a walk. Eric Wedge is pulling Felix Hernandez and putting in Jamey Wright. The A’s have a chance here. Conor Jackson is 2-for-6 with a walk in his career against Wright.

9:08PM PDT: Terrible swing and a miss by Coco Crisp there. Seemed like on the pitch prior he swung at what would have been ball four, fouling it off, then it he did it again to get the K.

9:04PM PDT: Pennington with another hit in what looks like will be Hernandez’ last inning of work. With his speed it’d be good to see him try to make something happen and get himself into scoring position.

8:58PM PDT: McCarthy strikes out the side. Through seven and only 92 pitches thrown. Terrible to see him get so little run support when he is pitching his ass of out there, just think back to his last start, eight innings, one run – blown to crap by the Miguel Cabrera home run off of Brian Fuentes in the 9th.

8:56PM PDT: Watched that play again with Ellis. They got him, amazing stretch by Kennedy at first. His home run will be the credited with winning this game (and rightfully so) but that stretch could perhaps have saved the M’s lead given that Oakland looked to be possibly getting to Felix there.

8:52PM PDT: I need to see a replay on that call at first. I think Mark Ellis beat it out – clearly Ellis himself agrees with me – regardless a heck of a play by Ryan to make it even close. After six and a half M’s 1, A’s 0.

8:48PM PDT: …or Ryan Sweeney lines out to Figgins who doubles off Willingham at first. A’s still trail…

8:47PM PDT: Leadoff basehit for Josh Willingham. Three – count ’em – three hits now off of King Felix.  Need to move him along and get something going.

8:43PM PDT: Really great curveball from Brandon McCarthy to strikeout Chone Figgins. Bottom just dropped out. Like the change in speeds everything had seen was 87-90 then that curve was 80.

8:34PM PDT: David DeJesus gets a single up the middle off of the glove of Brendan Ryan. Just the second hit for the A’s off of Hernandez tonight.

8:14PM PDT: Former Oakland Athletic Adam Kennedy hands out a souvenir to the right-field bleacher fans as he takes McCarthy deep. M’s 1, A’s 0. Bad pitch location by McCarthy, left that in a place where it was easy for Kennedy to drive and drive it he did. With the way the A’s have been hitting, and with how good a pitcher Felix Hernandez is, that one run may be more than enough…

8:12PM PDT: Chone Figgins really made McCarthy work there with an eleven-pitch at-bat prior to flying out to Coco Crisp. If we trust Pitch f/x he threw nine two-seamers along with a curve (that Pitch f/x is misclassifying as a slider) and four-seamer. McCarthy is now at 54 pitches (30 of them strikes).

7:55PM PDT: Third of the way through the score is still 0-0. Pretty even so far for the pitchers:

Pitcher IP H BB/K Pitches Strikes
Hernandez

3

1

0/3

42

25

McCarthy

3

1

1/1

43

22

7:50PM PDT: …and he is promptly picked off. Welcome to the bigs, kid!

7:48PM PDT: Carlos Peguero gets the first M’s hit of the night off of Brandon McCarthy and also that is the first hit of his career.

7:44PM PDT: Strange play. Ball is thrown away by Hernandez on a pickoff attempt and ends up under the tarp aside the right field stands. Cliff Pennington likely would have got to third no problem but on account of the ball being under the tarp and therefore out of play he goes back to second. Weird sort of play. It is true every game you see something you never saw before.

7:41PM PDT: Terrible at-bat from Kevin Kouzmanoff. Came in 10-for-50 (.200) and struck out really just being purely overpowered so now he is back below .200 at .196. What an awful start he’s had. After spring training I really thought he’d turned some sort of corner, some sort of mental block, but then we get the same lackluster Kouzmanoff from last season. Pretty disappointing.

7:37PM PDT: Ray and Glen are arguing about the number of wins that Hernandez had last year while winning the Cy Young Award and whether or not he was worthy of it. Ray is saying the wins matter, Glen is saying that if Ray considered him the best pitcher then he deserved the award. This is the closest to a heated argument I’ve ever heard. Got to say Ray Fosse is wrong on this. The wins mean nothing. Despite his 13 wins, he was the best pitcher in the AL bar none. The only way you have an argument is if you argue that the Cy Young isn’t an award for best pitcher but “most valuable” pitcher. Then you can make the argument that as a pitcher on a team that won only 61 games he wasn’t particularly valuable.

7:36PM PDT: Hernandez is doing it again having thrown only 23 pitches through two perfect innings.

7:20PM PDT: So through one inning both pitchers are perfect as McCarthy sets down the M’s 1-2-3. Good article the other day in Hardball Times about McCarthy – highly recommend everyone check it out.

7:12PM PDT: Last time the A’s faced King Felix, the A’s to a degree beat themselves swinging really early in the count as he threw a complete game with only 108 pitches. The A’s need to make Felix make more pitches and get deeper into counts and wear him out. He has been solid but not at the level we’ve come to expect of Hernandez (i.e. other-worldly) as he sports a 4.33 ERA, with a 3.08 FIP (his FIP isn’t that different from 2009 [3.09] and 2010 [3.04] but the results clearly with respect to ERA thus far are very different) 7.7 K/9 but most different for him is the .338 BABIP and 54.2% strand rate.

7:07PM PDT: Looks like a nice day in the Pacific Northwest at Safeco Field tonight for a game that will feature Felix Hernandez taking the hill for the M’s and Brandon McCarthy opposite him for the A’s, but despite that the roof is closed – on account of it being cold I assume (53°) – though it is still open air. I’ve never been to Safeco with the roof closed, but it is amazing just how different it looks. The builders did a good job making the ballpark feel like a ballpark with the roof off, it really is a nice facility.

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