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Live Blogging: A’s @ Angels Game 24

April 26, 2011

9:48PM PDT: Jordan Walden finished out the game for the Angels as they win 8-3. Its pretty bad that the A’s couldn’t jump on Tyler Chatwood because it is a taller order trying to beat Dan Haren tomorrow afternoon. A’s drop to 11-13 on the year. The bats need to perk up still and Bob Geren needs to learn how to use his pitchers or be replaced.

9:36PM PDT: Alexi Amarista with a sac fly to score Bourjos. Not a bad MLB debut for this guy. I bet Bourjos could score on a sac fly to the shortstop, man he is fast. Halos 8, A’s 3.

9:35PM PDT: Jerry Blevins in for the A’s, and he promptly allows a lead-off stand up triple to Peter Bourjos. Its amazing this kid doesn’t have a triple every time the hits the ball out of the infield.

9:26PM PDT: Dear A’s, Make sure your cups are in place because Fernando Rodney is on the mound for the Angels. He has aim like the aquarium has elephants.

9:24PM PDT: Craig Breslow looks sharp in an inning of work. Made no sense to put in a lefty but as I’ve said before Breslow’s splits aren’t as bad as other guys’. He clearly was rusty early this spring, makes me wonder why they didn’t have him go on the DL to work out the kinks or something – he was in no way 100% and it seems stupid to have brought him to Oakland so fast when he was going through spring training in games that counted. Glad to see he’s put things together though, I’m a big Breslow fan.

9:05PM PDT: So McCarthy strikes out Abreu and then is pulled. Just don’t get it. Brad Ziegler is going in, fortunately the next six hitters are mostly right handed, with Alberto Callaspo and Conger being switch-hitters who both fare better against lefties. So finally a move that at least makes some semblance of sense.

9:02PM PDT: Well Bob Geren apparently disagrees with me because McCarthy is back out there. Can’t see why. What does he promptly do? Allow a hit to Erick Aybar followed by a wild pitch. This is not an indictment of McCarthy by any means, every pitcher has off days, today happens to be his. But it is an indictment of the nonsensical approach Geren takes to managing his pitching staff and bullpen. The A’s starters have thrown a ton of innings, the relievers are rested and able – plus they have an off day Thursday. It is completely unnecessary to have McCarthy out there to get shelled. He is at 100 pitches now too.

9:00PM PDT: I’d be surprised to see Brandon McCarthy come back out to pitch the sixth. Five innings, thirteen hits, seven runs (all earned) with a walk and K, all on 96 pitches. Can’t see how Geren justifies this much longer.

8:52PM PDT: The pitch count gets Mike Scioscia to remove Tyler Chatwood. He goes five and a third, allowing five hits, four walks, with one strikeout and one home run surrendered. Of course the important stat is that he has only allowed three runs while the Angels have piled on seven. Into the game comes (the other) Francisco Rodriguez. Rodriguez is not particularly awe-inspiring, with a career ERA of 4.33 and FIP of 4.77, he walks a lot of guys (5.0 BB/9) so it’d be good to see A’s hitters take advantage of that.

8:44PM PDT: Peter Bourjos running at 126mph, gets a triple to the gap which scores Conger and adds to the Halos tally – 7-3 for Los Angeles. McCarthy needs to be pulled, Bob Geren is just hanging him out to dry right now which isn’t good or fair.

8:43PM PDT: Hank Conger drives in Kendrick (again) the high wall in right keeps it in the park but the Angels score again and lead 6-3 now.

8:31PM PDT: It appears as if Tyler Chatwood is starting to settle in. The A’s hitters can’t let this happen, but here again David DeJesus swings at a pitch out of the zone and weakly grounds out. The A’s are beating themselves with this poor approach at the plate.

8:08PM PDT: The hit parade continues, fifth of the inning, ninth of the game, as Hank Conger‘s hit scores Kendrick. Angels 5, Athletics 3. The San Juan Capistrano Angels of Newport Beach look locked in, McCarthy does not. Think it is time to get someone else up and in there and salvage this game.

8:04PM PDT: Vernon Wells with a basehit off of the hand of Brandon McCarthy. Don’t need any more injuries today. Wells meanwhile brings the average cost of per hit down to $1,567,226.88. The hit plates Torii Hunter and gives the Angels a 4-3 lead.

8:03PM PDT: Wild pitch from Brandon McCarthy allows Bobby Abreu to score from third. Game is tied at 3. McCarthy isn’t as sharp as he has been in past games. Already at 43 pitches.

8:00PM PDT: Crisp is out with left-quad tightness. Another instance of tightness taking out an A’s player as Josh Willingham was out last night with back tightness which has kept him out today and likely will keep him out tomorrow.

7:53PM PDT: Conor Jackson home run! Matches his total with the A’s last year. First home run since an August 16th blast off of Shaun Marcum at the Coliseum. A’s take a 3-2 lead. Great to see the offense pick up Brandon McCarthy who got the short end of the stick last inning.

7:52PM PDT: The deflection by Tyler Chatwood prevents double play and Kouzmanoff scores on the David DeJesus ground out and the A’s halve the lead. It is now 2-1 Angels.

7:49PM PDT: Two injuries on one play? Cliff Pennington and Coco Crisp both being looked at by trainers, and Crisp is being removed. Not sure on account of what just yet. Daric Barton is coming in to pinch-run. This is the sort of bizarre thing that can happen in an inning led off by a Kouzmanoff walk.

7:38PM PDT: In his major league debut, Alexi Amarista doubles home both Howie Kendrick and Peter Bourjos (who is I swear the fastest man alive). Kevin Kouzmanoff‘s “+16 defense” strikes again and comes back to haunt A’s pitching, as his SNAFU allowed Kendrick to get on base, and the next out would have ended the inning. Unfortunately, because it was Kouzmanoff doing what Barton has done so often and ranging farther than he should, it was credited as a hit to Kendrick meaning these runs are all earned by McCarthy. Tough pill to swallow for a pitcher who has had to swallow some tough pills already care of the A’s offense and defense. Angels lead 2-0.

7:30PM PDT: Chatwood has held the A’s in check through two. A’s are letting him off the hook too easy only 27 pitches in the first two innings. With young guys like this I have to imagine they have pretty strict pitch counts. Make him labor out there. Take a few pitches.

7:28PM PDT: All-Star balloting begins today at all 30 MLB ballparks. Can’t say I’d vote for any of the A’s at this point. Very stupid to have people vote this early anyhow. I mean if you are Sam Fuld is a starter right? That can’t hold up.

7:19PM PDT: Kurt Suzuki who is in tonight’s lineup will apparently be out tomorrow as he takes his paternity leave. This means that today is the last day that we hear about Ray Fosse talk about Zuk being out for “maternity leave”. Glen Kuiper was a good guy for not correcting him the first time he said it, he really ought to have said something about it since!

7:07PM PDT: So Coco Crisp again does that weird sliding past second thing. Crisp should slide foot first. However it seems that Erick Aybar pushed his foot off which means he ought to be safe. Still, it seems he is sliding too hard if he is going over the bag numerous times now. Despite two straight games with a caught stealing he is still 8-for-10 on the year which is a solid steal percentage and above the magic breakeven point of 75%.

7:03PM PDT: Lineup note: Daric Barton is sitting. Don’t get that because last night he should’ve gone 2-for-4 and seemingly working his way out of his slump seems to be a bad time to bench him. Conor Jackson is out at first for the start and hitting third (another thing I don’t get about this lineup construct). Ryan Sweeney gets the start in left field. They will face Tyler Chatwood, a rookie who was called up to fill in for the ineffective Scott Kazmir. He has three career starts which have yielded a 3.50 ERA but a 6.04 FIP largely due to a  4.5 K/9 rate, 5.5 BB/9 rate and a 1.5 HR/9 rate. He has a low BABIP (.245) too so it seems it could be far worse and he has been a very lucky young man thus far in his short stint in the pros. Brandon McCarthy – the A’s feel good story of the year perhaps? – pitches for Oakland. He threw a complete game but lost against Seattle last week. He comes in with a 2.44 FIP and amazing 0.9 BB/9 and 0.3 HR/9 rates.

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