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Live Blogging: Indians @ A’s Game 30

May 3, 2011

10:03PM PDT: And there’s your game. A’s lose because Bob Geren doesn’t understand how to use his bullpen. There are strat-o-matic players who can make better bullpen moves. Why don’t we treat this like football? We have the bullpen coach Rick Rodriguez make all these decisions. A’s fall back to .500. The entire AL West is all knotted up with the Angels and Rangers leading it, the A’s one game back and the M’s two games out.

9:55PM PDT: Wow, great play by Suzuki. Santana hits it into Purcey where it caroms into foul territory, Zuk runs up grabs it and throws and Barton gets it out of the dirt to complete the play. Suzuki has just been great defensively tonight. So the A’s head to the ninth now trailing by three. The 3-4-5 hitters are due up so, it’d be nice to see them string something together off of Indians closer Chris Perez.

9:48PM PDT: Basehit up the middle. Two runs score. Indians lead 4-1. Pathetic. Note: Brian Fuentes has not gotten one batter out, and now in a move that is too little, too late, Fuentes is pulled for David Purcey. Geren needs to be fired. This is absolutely pathetic. This game is too reminiscent of the April 15th game where Geren decided brilliantly to have Fuentes come into a 1-0 game to face Miguel Cabrera – to whom he promptly let up a home run – and then left him in for the tenth – a tenth inning that ended up a seven run tenth inning.

9:47PM PDT: Fuentes plunks Grady Sizemore in the back. Bases are now loaded. The other Cabrera due up.

9:46PM PDT: Single for Orlando Cabrera. LaPorta scores. Indians take the lead 2-1. IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE.

9:44PM PDT: Nope, he walks out just to have a chat. Pathetic usage. I feel bad for Fuentes really, he is just being set up to fail.

9:43PM PDT: With the outfield playing in Contra Costa County, the Hannahan single to right allows the lumbering Matt LaPorta to go first to third. So, Fuentes’ inning looks like this: walk, single, single. Terrible. Now, Bob Geren marches out to remove him.

9:40PM PDT: Nice pickoff – caught stealing. That was a great (and huge) play. Nice move from Fuentes, great throw from Barton. Good job all around. Big, big play. Brantley hasn’t been a smart baserunner in his career with a very low 69.2% steal percentage (18-for-26).

9:38PM PDT: Nine pitch leadoff walk. When it is time for a change, do not call Bob Geren for acceptable intelligent bullpen management.

9:32PM PDT: Pretty pathetic 1-2-3 inning for the A’s hitters. A seven pitch inning? Really? Not a winning strategy. If I am Acta I put Carmona out again for the ninth unless the Indians get a lead. Meanwhile on the A’s side of the ledger, Geren is putting in (cringe) Brian Fuentes to face Brantley (L), Matt LaPorta (R) and Hannahan (L – but the best hitter in the AL versus lefties coming into play today). I hate seeing Fuentes in. Not only is he ill-suited for the situations Geren puts him in, he is overusing him too – this is his fifteenth appearance meaning he is on pace for 81 games this year. He also used him the last two games.

9:29PM PDT: Carmona starts the eighth for the Tribe. He is at just 89 pitches coming into this inning. Very efficient outing. A’s hitters have managed only five hits, while walking once and striking out five times.

9:25PM PDT: I thought Ryan Sweeney could’ve gotten to that foul by Shelley Duncan. He slowed down on it it seemed and let it drop. Wouldn’t have been an easy play but it seems he could’ve attempted a play.

9:14PM PDT: Fausto Carmona gets out of the 7th with a strike ’em out (Andy LaRoche) throw ’em out (Mark Ellis) double play. Santana had a good throw, but it was apparent from the get-go that unless LaRoche made contact Ellis would be a sitting duck. He got an awful jump and was thrown out by a mile. Sad to see Ellis decline like this. Speaking of declines, there was an interesting article regarding Derek Jeter and his decline today.

9:09PM PDT: Ryan Sweeney gets on. Chicks dig the opposite field single under the glove of the diving shortstop.

9:08PM PDT: Orlando Cabrera, another former Athletic with these Indians, who took over as a pinch-runner for Hafner stays in the game to play second base. Cabrera spent the first half of 2009 with the A’s but was dealt to the Twins in a deadline deal right on July 31st. He was traded for Tyler Ladendorf. Ladendorf a utility infielder, is presently playing for Midland, but don’t expect him in Oakland anytime soon, as in 79 plate appearances he so far has a .164/.228/.301 mark with a dinger.

9:05PM PDT: Wuertz gets the strikeout happy Sizemore (26.0% this year) on that devastating slider. Great K. Phew!

9:04PM PDT: Hafner walks. Bases loaded, Sizemore up career vs. RHP .293/.383/.525.

9:01PM PDT: SHOCKER! Manny Acta puts in a left-handed pinch-hitter in Travis Hafner. .342/.393/.566 Travis Hafner. It isn’t like there’s a line of right-handed hitters coming up to face the right-handed Wuertz, next hitter is Grady Sizemore – also good – also left-handed. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

8:59PM PDT: Geren makes me go crazy. He brings in the lefty Craig Breslow to face the American League’s best hitter against left-handed pitching. Now with the right-handed Adam Everett due up, he wastes a pitcher (again in a tied game) to put in Michael Wuertz to face the righty. Man oh man, the level of foresight that goes into his decision making is less than zero isn’t it? Geren simply put can’t manage a bullpen.

8:57PM PDT: So Breslow is in to pitch. He comes in to face the lefty and former Athletic Hannahan. Stupid move by Bob Geren, thus far he has been very good against left-handed pitching with this out of the world slash line in 22 plate appearances: .500/.591/1.000 with a .654 wOBA and 332 wRC+ (yes 332).

8:54PM PDT: Matt LaPorta singles up the middle to score Santana from third. Game tied 1-1. The Indians offense is good – I really don’t buy into their pitching nor their early success, but that being said I don’t feel particularly comfortable in a close game with this club right now.

8:50PM PDT: Michael Brantley with a base hit, it moves Santana to third. First little bit of trouble that Ross has gotten into so far this game. Craig Breslow is now loosening in the pen and Ron Romanick is walking out perhaps to waste some time and give Breslow a chance to get ready. So one out men on the corners…

8:40PM PDT: Matsui beats the shift a second time again hitting it to the right side between Jack Hannahan and Asdrubal Cabrera this time Hannahan tries to dive and just can’t get him. Two infield hits. I have said it a million times but here goes again: I hate those stupid shifts. Keep ’em honest Godzilla!

8:35PM PDT: Well Tyson Ross is 2-0 on Shin-Soo Choo but with his next pitch he will cross the 76 pitch threshold he has yet to cross this young season. Ross is pitching a good game, it’d be nice (and this is a common lament) to see the offense pick him up a bit. The day/night splits are significant for the A’s, don’t have a breakdown specifically on these numbers at the Coliseum but overall the difference coming into tonight is .256/.339/.404 under the blue sky and .232/.290/.336 under the night sky. Seems the ballpark plays even bigger at night in Oakland, it just seems they struggle offensively under the lights.

8:21PM PDT: Suzuki is an underrated defensive catcher. The ball got a little bit away and then Zuk threw out Adam Everett while falling away on a perfect throw at second. Great play.

8:13PM PDT: Mark Ellis is set down on strikes, so the threat is over. Ellis is having a terrible year, just don’t get why he is in the lineup everyday. It is very clear that he is in a decline. Wish he could get a few more days off maybe to sort things out.

8:09PM PDT: Carmona is a guy who gets all crazy and inside his own head, and he already is struggling mightily in this inning. Allowing a three ball count to Zuk and now walking Sweeney. When he struggles, he struggles. First three batters took just five pitches, the past two have taken ten.

8:07PM PDT: Kurt Suzuki grounds out which scores Daric Barton from third. Solid job there. Might not be a hit with RISP, but that is good solid hitting and what you want to see. It’d be nice to see Sweeney drive in another run and get us some padding in this 1-0 lead.

7:53PM PDT: Interesting talk on the radio broadcast, Vince Cotroneo reporting that Cliff Pennington‘s safety squeeze yesterday was done on his own. Nice little play it was. But regardless, the A’s go down this inning so through three we’re tied at nothing apiece. Carmona is much sharper than Ross thus far, and is being more efficient with his pitches 30 to 46. The A’s bullpen got a lot of work last night so I would’ve hoped that Ross could go longer tonight but I have a feeling it’ll be a short night – it seems he gets a shorter leash than the other members of the rotation.

7:33PM PDT: Hideki Matsui is able to hit against the shift hitting it too far to into the hole for Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to toss it to first in time. So Matsui in fact legs out an infield hit, hate that stupid shift, great to see him hopefully keep the Indians honest by beating the shift.

7:27PM PDT: 1-2-3 top of the second inning for Tyson Ross. So far he is looking sharp again, he has thrown 27 pitches so he isn’t on the pace he was on in his last start when he threw just 76 pitches in his seven innings of work (noteworthy also is that in his start prior to that in Seattle he also threw 76 pitches albeit in just four and a third).

7:19PM PDT: Over in Chicago Francisco Liriano just threw a no-hitter for the Twinkies. Speaking of strange, it was a 6BB and 2K no-hitter, but a no-hitter nonetheless.

7:15PM PDT: Nice strikeout of Carlos Santana. Santana has been a hero as of late for the Tribe but is having a weird year sporting a .191/.324/.382 slash line largely due to a .185 BABIP. Yet he has five home runs including a game winning grand slam.

7:00PM PDT: Fausto Carmona takes the hill for Cleveland. On paper he should’ve been the best pitcher for the Indians but thus far he has been the worst: 5.15 ERA, 4.20 FIP with average peripherals: 5.7 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. Tyson Ross counters him following a very good outing in Anaheim. Ryan Sweeney gets the start in left, and Andy LaRoche again gets the start at third (yay!). Shin-Soo Choo is in the lineup for Cleveland despite his interesting evening last night. Craig Calcaterra reported here (which includes a link to the police report) about the incident writing,

“the details of the traffic stop (note: police didn’t notice his driving until he stopped to ask them for directions home).  It also has the details of his field sobriety test, which he did fairly poorly on.  It also has his preliminary BAC results: .201, which is over twice the legal limit. Indeed, that was twice the legal limit back before everyone lowered the DUI threshold several years ago.

Finally, it notes that Choo was given a lift home the next morning by one of the police officers, who noticed damage and green paint on the bumper of Choo’s car, which was towed to his house earlier that morning.  So, if you have a green car that was mysteriously smashed late Sunday night or early Sunday morning in the west Cleveland burbs, you may want to call Mr. Choo’s attorney.”

Despite their hot start according to Baseball Prospectus the A’s (39.4%) have a better shot at the playoffs than do the Indians (37.8%).

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2011 12:53 am

    Fuentes blows another save.


    • May 4, 2011 1:08 am

      I just don’t get why Geren keeps trotting him out there in particular in these types of situations. Today he didn’t blow the save, he was stuck in with a tie game, but he blew the game and I mean that was obvious anyhow. Even if it were a save situation, allowing three runs he’d of blown the save anyway. He didn’t get a SINGLE BATTER out. The one out was on a pickoff. It makes me want to bang my head against the wall the way he uses this bullpen. UGH!

      • May 4, 2011 1:19 am

        Thanks for the correction you are right it was tied so not a blown save at all, but none-the-less the use of him as a closer is driving me crazy!

      • May 4, 2011 1:26 am

        I think the two things go hand-in-hand but… my biggest complaint has to be the complete disregard for Fuentes’ lengthy history of having trouble with right-handed hitters. I don’t think a LOOGY can be a closer, but then Geren sticks him in to face right-handed hitters all the time. And good ones at that. I mean its like watching a train wreck in slow motion. We aren’t talking minimal splits, we are talking splits to the point where you question whether or not to ever have him face any RH batters.

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