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Live Blogging: A’s @ Royals Game 34

May 7, 2011

8:28PM CDT: A relatively shallow pop up for Aviles to left and Dyson scores for a sac fly. However, everyone on the A’s bench was quick to argue he left third early and replays seem to indicate he did. So baseball fans there you have it the Miller-Porter-Hoye-Cuzzi crew cannot be trusted to make calls on tag up plays. Terrible officiating this game between the Gordon not touching second, Willingham being struck out on a pitch well off the plate, and then the game-winning run scoring when Jarrod Dyson leaves third early. Inexcusable. A’s lose 4-3 but they didn’t lose to the Royals so much as they lost to the umpiring crew.

8:26PM CDT: And that’s what they do and Hosmer gets intentionally walked for the first time in his career.

8:24PM CDT: Jeff Francoeur with a single with Dyson on the move. Dyson goes first to third. Eric Hosmer up. So nobody is out. Everybody will come in, a sticky spot for Brandon McCarthy here. I suspect they intentionally walk Hosmer to create a force everywhere for Mike Aviles. That’s what I’d do at least.

8:23PM CDT: Speedster Jarrod Dyson pinch-runs for Billy Butler who gets a single. This guy is fast, and he is 8-for-8 on steals.

8:22PM CDT: With only 95 pitches thrown Brandon McCarthy is out for the ninth to face Kansas City’s 4-5-6 hitters.

8:19PM CDT: Joakim Soria K’s Ryan Sweeney so it goes to the bottom of the ninth still tied at three. Soria is a great pitcher. A pleasure to watch under neutral circumstances but not a guy you want to see on the hill when you’re trying to win a ballgame. Strikes out two in the frame, don’t know if he can go more than one.

8:09PM CDT: DEJESUS SAVES (a sure triple off the bat of Chris Getz)! Great play at the wall.

8:08 PM CDT: So I guessed right on the defensive alignment. Would’ve liked some creativity by putting Conor Jackson at third.

8:05PM CDT: Josh Willingham takes strike three – his 36th of the year – and didn’t like the call, throws the helmet, bumps the ump and gets rung from the ballgame. I’m guessing this means Sweeney will stay in and play left? With Ellis coming to play second? Looking at the Pitch f/x care of Willingham had a legitimate beef.

8:01PM CDT: Though I am not a fan of the pitch that Daric Barton just swung at and bounced a chopper to Crow on, the underrated play by Crisp at second should not go unnoticed. Crisp danced off of second, Crow went to look him back and Coco caused enough hesitation in Crow that he a) nearly threw it away and b) nearly allowed Barton to get to first safe. Good work from Crisp on that play, little things you don’t see in a box score or advanced stats.

7:59PM CDT: Coco Crisp nearly hits another over the fence, same area as Pennington but it hits the wall and he gets into second safe with a double and representing the tying run. Tim Collins is now up throwing in the pen as Crow doesn’t look to have his A-game tonight.

7:58PM CDT: Crow has now given up an “undefined” number of runs more than he ever has before in the majors as Cliff Pennington takes him deep to right field for a three-run game tying blast! Two of those runs are the responsibility of Aaron Crow with one being the responsibility of starter Luke Hochevar. Great hit. 3-3 now – a whole new ballgame.

7:56PM CDT: LaRoche was aggressive going first to third on the Sweeney base-hit. But heads-up baserunning from Sweeney lands him on second. So A’s are in business with nobody out.

7:53PM CDT: Andy LaRoche with a base-hit. Looks like Geren is going to pinch-hit Kouzmanoff with the hot-hitting Ryan Sweeney. That may have prompted Ned Yost to make a move as Luke Hochevar is being pulled after seven+ innings of shutout work in favor of Aaron Crow. Crow is another one of these exciting relievers Kansas City has, he has yet to allow a run yet this season earned or unearned in fifteen and a third innings of work during which he has struck out fifteen and walked three. He was originally drafted by the Washington Nationals, but decided to go back to the University of Missouri Tigers before being picked up again by the Royals the next year.

7:41PM CDT: Hideki Matsui with his second two-bagger on the night. Hopefully he is starting to warm up this year. He is an important bat in the middle of the lineup and speaking of Fangraphs’ value numbers he is not earning his paycheck with his production worth -$200K so far. I just still find it astounding that all the guys who have earned their contracts already are all backups. On one level it makes sense intuitively as those guys are paid less, etc but still… none of the regulars come anywhere close.

7:31PM CDT: Sacrifice fly by Billy Butler scores Cabrera. Umps missed a call at second. It wasn’t a very obvious move – I missed it though Fosse picked it up instantly and instant replay supported his call – but Gordon stepped just past second and then turned around and returned to first missing the bag. He hadn’t yet made a move towards third, just one step, but he didn’t restep on second as required. Geren argued, the ump pointed basically claiming he watched – he quite clearly did not – A’s get screwed. Royals lead 3-0.

7:27PM CDT: The Kansas City hit parade continues, Alex Gordon now singles in Escobar. Royals take a 2-0 lead. So after 5 innings with one hit, McCarthy allows four hits in a third of an inning.

7:26PM CDT: Ball gets by Cliff Pennington (as a hit not an error) and a run scores on the Melky Cabrera hit. Pennington then threw the ball away but fortunately a second run didn’t score. Royals 1, A’s 0.

7:24PM CDT: Matt Treanor and Alcides Escobar single, and then Chris Getz sacrifices them over to the left side of the diamond. A bit of trouble for McCarthy to work out of now, with just the one out and men on second and third.

7:19PM CDT: Going into the bottom of the sixth, A’s still not doing anything offensively. Kurt Suzuki ($3.5M), Ryan Sweeney ($2.1M), Landon Powell ($1.4M) and Andy LaRoche ($900K) are the only position players who have thus far “earned” their salaries when using Fangraphs’ measure of the value of contracts by WAR and assigning a dollar value to their performance. Interestingly, every member of the starting rotation has already been worth more than their salary for 2011 with the exception of Dallas Braden.

7:08PM CDT: Eric Hosmer gets his first MLB hit (and another standing ovation) and that breaks up Brandon McCarthy‘s perfect game and no-hit bids after four and two-thirds.

7:03PM CDT: The weird start time (6:05 Central) had me duped, I thought the game started around now. So joining the game in progress, we have Luke Hochevar pitching for the Royals and looking good so far with five innings pitched, allowing two hits and striking out two on 55 pitches. Brandon McCarthy meanwhile has thrown four as we start the bottom half of the fifth inning and has been perfect twelve up/twelve down. Bob Geren finally has sat Mark Ellis with Andy LaRoche getting the start at second. As I turned this game on, Hideki Matsui got thrown out by Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar at home. He then ran back to third in a very low intensity “run-down”. Didn’t look like a great play and judging by Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse‘s conversation they weren’t particularly enamored of it either. So here we go in the midst of a pitching battle, 0-0 bottom of the fifth.

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