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Live Blogging: A’s @ Angels Game 50

May 25, 2011

9:43PM PDT: A’s drop another one. With a similar recipe for disaster – no offense makes minor leads for others teams overwhelming ones for los Atleticos. Trevor Cahill turned in a far from stellar performance 4.50 ERA with a 8.40 FIP while Ervin Santana continued his mastery over the A’s with a 1.50 ERA, 1.90 FIP performance striking out six in his six innings of work. Three pitchers each pitched a perfect inning each for the Angels in relief but for the A’s a very strong two inning performance from David Purcey – I like what I’ve seen out of him this year, good pick up especially given that Danny Farquhar doesn’t really seem to bring as much to the table and was a small price to pay to acquire the superior Purcey. A’s bats need to get going but that is a refrain you’ve heard all year long. A’s fall to 23-27, one and a half games behind the third place M’s and three games out of first place Texas in a underperforming and tight American League West.

9:40PM PDT: Jordan Walden is in to close things out. He has been tough this year though the A’s have gotten to him. Three run deficit though so I am not optimistic.

9:35PM PDT: Pennington really has an arm. A decently hit ball by Bourjos up the middle to get to it and get him out is impressive – he didn’t by much mind you. I just don’t get how Bourjos’ batting average is so low. With guys like him you have a higher BABIP because they outrun grounders etc, and with that play Bourjos’ is .342 yet his batting average is just .243 now mostly due to his 31.8% K rate. As I said earlier and will say again you’d think Scoiscia would bunt more. If I had a guy like Bourjos on my squad, I’d just bunt bunt bunt, until the guys were always playing him in then try to see if he could get it in the holes and if they moved the fielders back bunt again. It takes a heck of a play to get this guy out – but it was a play Pennington made right there (though on a grounder not a bunt for hit attempt).

9:24PM PDT: Purcey gets a 1-2-3 inning and for the top of the eighth a new Angels pitcher: Scott Downs. Daric Barton flies out off of him, and it just doesn’t seem like he is really hitting the ball well at all – well he isn’t the results prove that – but his swing seems lackadaisical. There was a comment in a FanPost on Athletics Nation which I thought was sadly accurate about Barton this season (and everyone should know I am a big fan of his who is souring on his hitting in the #2 spot until he starts working things out – even earlier in this game Vince Cotroneo commented that he isn’t even moving guys over or doing that stuff you don’t see in the box score for a #2 hitter) when they wrote how is seems like Barton is,

“in a contest to see who can take the closest pitch and get it called a ball”

9:17PM PDT: Fianlly David Purcey is summoned from the bullpen. I don’t think he was throwing this whole time but they had him beginning to warm in the fifth and I was sure we’d have seen him an inning ago. Now that we are in the seventh it seems an odd time to use Purcey who I thought was going to be more of a long relief guy given his past experience as a starter.

9:08PM PDT: Two replacements come in Fernando Rodney to replace Ervin Santana and Conor Jackson hitting for Andy LaRoche. The A’s really need to try and get something done against Rodney who comes into the game five meltdowns. You never kn0w what you’re going to get from him, sometimes he just does his thing and gets through it others he is an absolute train wreck. I presume CoJax will stay in and play third, like seeing him get more time there, with Adam Rosales likely returning the lineup in the near future his time with the A’s may be through, I wonder if he could clear waivers?

9:03PM PDT: Erick Aybar does what I advocated Bourjos do – a bunt single. Don’t get why Cahill is still in there to start the sixth. He has thrown 100 pitches but he’s just not been great, he has at best been middling. Get Purcey in there for an inning or two, then put in Craig Breslow or something. Don’t think Cahill gives the A’s the best chance to win right now, those pitches he left over the plate are the mark of a pitcher who is just not with it tonight.

9:00PM PDT: Wow. Another big strikeout for Santana as he gets Ellis swinging. A one run lead seemed big, but being down by three seems like it’d take moving a mountain. Offense is just top to bottom slumping. No one puts together consistent at bats or anything remotely close to a hot streak, never seen such across the board struggles like this before.

8:58 PM PDT: Ervin Santana‘s fifth strikeout of the game is a key one as he downs Landon Powell, leaving it up to  Mark Ellis to cash in a few of these runners. Ellis has been hitting better as of late but still is having a year that is nothing to write home about – he just looks lost up there, as do several hitters on this club. The A’s have however done a great job working pitches so Santana’s likely through after this inning regardless of what Ellis does having thrown 112 pitches.

8:55PM PDT: Ryan Sweeney hits a ball off the wall in right field just above the glove of Torii Hunter. He is really hitting well this year. I wonder if the A’s plan on giving him a shot in 2012? They may have no other choice with the entire outfield being free-agents and none of them looking particularly signworthy right now. So one out, men on second (Sweeney) and third (DeJesus) need to cut into the Angels lead…

8:44PM PDT: Reggie Willits with an RBI double to score Mark Trumbo. Willits’ first hit after sixteen hitless plate appearances to start off his 2011 campaign. Today seems to be “get your first hit in a really long time” night for the Angels. David Purcey (who if we’re assigning roles appears to be the long man of the pen right now) is throwing in the pen. Very messy inning for Cahill after the A’s fought back to tie this one. Los Angeles has 4, Oakland has 1 which so far this year is an insurmountable lead.

8:37PM PDT: Make it two. Another fastball down the middle and another Halo hitter takes advantage with Alberto Callaspo hitting it out over the head of David DeJesus. Angels 3, Athletics 1.

8:35PM PDT: Cahill has tip-toed around this entire lineup and gotten away with it, but a bad pitch right down the middle was tattooed by Torii Hunter, who made up for all those other lucky breaks by blasting one out beyond left field. After tying it up the A’s quickly relinquish the lead and trail 2-1.

8:29PM PDT: Coco Crisp doubles to right center field! The hit scores Andy LaRoche but Cliff Pennington is gunned out at home by a great relay from Alexi Amarista and good tag by Hank Conger. Pennington really needed to blast through there but he didn’t, he wasn’t running 100%. So A’s fail to get the lead but do tie it up at 1.

8:28PM PDT: Pennington bloops a single in front of Bourjos. Bourjos doesn’t get to a ball? Crazy. A’s in business, one out men on the corners. Need to at least sac fly him in, inexcusable that a one run deficit feels like you’re down by ten night after night.

8:21PM PDT: Aybar grounds out. Crisis averted. A’s still trail by one in a game that ought to be far messier than it is. Cahill has a 5.41 FIP for the game.

8:20PM PDT: Trevor Cahill chooses a good time to get his first strikeout, K’ing Bourjos in a big spot there. He now has four walks to the one strikeout. Not Cahill’s sharpest outing to date, pitch count is at 67 with 37 being strikes which is 55.2% strikes, coming into today’s game he was at 60.7%.

8:17PM PDT: Bourjos comes up with men on second and third and one out following the Reggie Willits sacrifice bunt. I don’t get why he doesn’t try and bunt for a base hit more often. He is so damn fast. Even now it seems like it’d be tough to get a force or even get him at first. I hate the sac bunt but love the bunt for hit as a strategy. Bourjos is just such an interesting player to watch, his speed gives him a dynamic that others lack.

7:54PM PDT: Barton strikes out for a second time tonight. He is so out of sorts. I believe he still has options which would be a drastic move but he is just hitting terribly.

7:43PM PDT: Great attempt by Cliff Pennington but the throw draws Daric Barton off the bag so Bourjos is safe and Conger scores. Angels take a 1-0 lead.

7:41PM PDT: Trevor Cahill 10 pitches, 8 strikes so far in the second so the control is sort of back, but now the Halos are hitting him with hits from Hank Conger and Alexi Amarista breaking 0-for-14 and 0-for-17 streaks respectively.

7:30PM PDT: Josh Willingham steals second – speed demon. A few weeks ago I was confused as to why the Angels were carrying three catchers, Ray Fosse just brought it up and apparently Bobby Wilson is out of options. It still seems sort of silly to carry three catchers, especially when one of them is Jeff Mathis is who arguably the worst hitter in the last ten years (among those with 1000 PA or more, he has the lowest wRC+ at 43, and lowest wOBA at .253).

7:21PM PDT: Torii Hunter draws a walk, Cahill’s second of the game already (Erick Aybar being the other to receive a free pass). So far control is an issue with 17 pitches but only 6 for strikes.

7:14PM PDT: Peter Bourjos is out meaning the A’s have broken their streak of allowing the leadoff hitter of the ballgame get on base. Good streak to end.

7:02PM PDT: Third game of a four game set in Anaheim and it is Ervin Santana vs. Trevor Cahill. Cahill of course is the A’s best pitcher, but Santana has pitched the A’s tough in his career owning great back of the baseball card stats (12-3, 1.99 ERA) despite somewhat weak peripherals (6.7 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9). He has however held A’s hitters at bay as they own a .224/.290/.322 slash line against Santana. Lineupwise the A’s are yet again without Hideki Matsui who appears to only be in the lineup 3-4 games a week. In a good podcast (they’re all good though) on Athletics After Dark guest Vince Cotroneo had a lot to say about his displeasure with Matsui’s frequent absence from the batting order. Josh Willingham serves as DH today which gets Ryan Sweeney into the lineup in left field. Also with the night game followed by a day game, Landon Powell gets duties behind the plate.

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