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Live Blogging: A’s @ Angels Game 51

May 26, 2011

3:18PM PDT: First pitch swinging and instead of being a hero on his first pitch out he is the goat as he shows off his warning track power, taking Coco Crisp all the way to the wall in the deepest part of center field because it calmly settles into Coco’s glove. Game over. A’s salvage a split and improve to 24-27. Good outing for Brett Anderson, shaky outing for the “closer” but a win all the same. Next up for the A’s are the .500 Orioles at the Coliseum. Can’t say I’d expected to be behind Baltimore in the standings at this point in the season…

3:17PM PDT: The newest Angel comes to the plate. Russell Branyan was signed by the Angels today and he comes in sporting a .210/.290/.339 line which earned him a release from the Diamondbacks over the weekend. Clearly the poor labor market didn’t effect Branyan as he quickly found new work despite losing his job for poor performance. Howie Kendrick was placed on the 15-day DL opening a spot that Branyan filled. It is assumed he will platoon with Trumbo.

3:16PM PDT:

“He’s hit seven home runs against somebody” – Ray Fosse on Mark Trumbo, after Glen Kuiper commented he was 2-for-25 against the A’s.

Next pitch: Home run to deep left field. A’s 4, Angels 3.

3:13PM PDT: So with two outs following two straight Angels strikeouts, Erick Aybar gets to second on defensive indifference. I’ve never understood the point of that call. Give them a stolen base for it. If it was truly indifference, the guy could walk down there and advance – but he didn’t he ran and Kurt Suzuki strategically decides it isn’t worth throwing. If there wasn’t that decision made, then why not just award second to anyone who gets on first with second open late in a game like this one? Never liked that for stats.

3:03PM PDT: Grant Balfour is coming in. Geren manages like every game could be his last (which I suppose is a reasonable assumption) but in a game like this, let Anderson go out and get the shutout. The problem with managing every game like it is your last, is that you don’t think ahead to the ramifications of any given move in the future. So here we have Balfour throwing (in a non-save situation – not that that really matters) but why? What if the next three games are tight and we want him to close it out? Then he might not be available for one. What was wrong with letting Anderson go out and continue? While it is good to manage every game to win, there is overmanaging like this that has negative long-term effects. Can’t say I support the move despite my faith in Balfour. It is a needless move.

2:58PM PDT: Hisanori Takahashi is in for the Halos. He has not allowed a run, and just one hit this year. In the crazy 14-0 A’s win over the Angels in the last game played between the two in Oakland, Takahashi was the only Angels pitcher not to allow a run. Grant Balfour is throwing in the pen, and the CSNCalifornia broadcast is showing Geren “communicating” with Anderson. Hopefully he is communicating that he will be out to toss the ninth.

2:53PM PDT: In an article on Jane Lee found out who Bob Geren would go to should the A’s require a position player to pitch: Ryan Sweeney. No sign of him warming up in the pen just yet. Joey Devine was throwing earlier, but through eight innings Brett Anderson has thrown just 105 pitches, I’d love to see Geren leave him in there and get the shutout. If he does it would be his first shutout since July 6th, 2009 when he shutout the Red Sox at Fenway. That outing required 111 pitches, though he entered the ninth having thrown only 102 pitches and with a six run lead.

2:36PM PDT: As I wrote earlier about Anderson’s splits, while this isn’t a particularly high leverage situation when he gets Mark Trumbo to ground into a double play (2.05 LI), it does seem to me (and this is purely anecdotal) that Anderson gets himself out of jams very frequently. With men on base and men in scoring position his K/BB ratio goes to 5.0 from 2.3 with the bases empty but that might be just a reflection of having to go after guys with fewer places to put them as opposed to anything about battening down or something.

2:30PM PDT: Thompson earns his paycheck K’ing Conor Jackson and Josh Willingham. The K’s just keep piling up for Willingham that being number 54 on the year – as is his 35.3% K rate, over 10% higher than normal for him.

2:25PM PDT: So its a day for Joel Pineiro. He leaves two baserunners for Rich Thompson and ends his day having pitched six and a third, surrendering eleven hits, along with those four earned runs and three K’s. Thompson is a tough pitcher but the A’s have done OK against him this year, hitting just 2-for-10 but squeezing through a run against him in this two and two-thirds innings.

2:15PM PDT: Brett Anderson works through the trouble. In tough situations Anderson has very strange splits. In high leverage situations his K/9 drop dramatically and his opponents batting average rises, yet his FIP drops. Very weird.

Low Leverage 8.0 .243 3.18
Medium Leverage 7.4 .248 3.18
High Leverage 4.5 .290 2.65

2:12PM PDT: Sure enough I miss most of this game, and I miss the part where everything is clicking on all six cylinders. Maicer Izturis doubles to left but Reggie Willits is held up at third, so second and third with one out.

2:09PM PDT: Coming to this game very late. Bottom of the sixth. The A’s have a 4-0 lead and Brett Anderson still is on the hill. 65 pitches -47 for strikes through 5 1/3 allowing just one hit, walking one and striking out a mere two. So he is dealing, good outing thus far. Joel Pineiro who is the Angels starter has not matched him – obviously there are the four runs he has allowed all of them earned, with no walks and three strikeouts. Offensively for the A’s, they have four runs, with Andy LaRoche delivering the big hit, a two run double in the top of the fourth. So that is where we stand entering this one.

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