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Live Blogging: A’s @ Orioles Game 61

June 6, 2011

9:28PM EDT: Strike three. Game over. Seventh straight loss – at least not much time was wasted watching this one as it is over in less than two and a half hours. Despite being a 4-2 game it really never felt remotely close.  The Rangers currently trail the Detroit Tigers 8-2 in the top of the fourth inning in Arlington so safe to say the A’s at least likely stay seven games out as this season quickly gets away from the A’s care of poor pitching, poor hitting, poor defense and the American League East.

9:26PM EDT: Rosie represents the A’s final hope…

9:21PM EDT: Grant Balfour sets the O’s down in order meaning the A’s have three outs to score two runs and tie this ballgame. They will need to do it off of Oriole closer Kevin Gregg who looks to be a guy you would not want closing out games this year as he has 7.3 BB/9 to match his 7.3 K/9. Somehow he strands 85.2% of runners which helps explain his tidy 3.22 ERA despite a high 4.91 FIP and ugly -0.2 WAR. It is up to Suzuki, Sizemore and Rosales…

9:12PM EDT: That was cool seeing Kurt Suzuki talking to Gio and picking him up there like that. We need leadership on this team, something Bob Geren doesn’t provide and if Zuk can fire guys up – all the better.

9:08PM EDT: A’s need to try an get something going against new O’s pitcher Koji Uehara. A’s got to him when they faced him in Oakland as Mark Ellis belted a home run off of him – of course Ellis is out of the game now.

9:02PM EDT: Gio Gonzalez starts off the bottom of the seventh having retired eight straight and having thrown 92 pitches with 59 for strikes. Also, Mark Ellis left the game with a right hamstring sprain… realistically I don’t think if he is out of lineup we lose anything at this point. That being said, I truly like Ellis and wish him a speedy recovery but from a baseball standpoint its sort of a big shrug.

8:46PM EDT: In Baltimore Matusz is being replaced by Jim Johnson. And in Secaucus, the A’s just made their selection in the draft with their 18th overall selection choosing Sonny Gray a RHP out of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Here is what the MLB scouting report says about the newest Oakland Athletic:

“Gray was a pretty good prospect coming out of high school. Now, after three years at Vanderbilt, he’s emerged as one of the better pitching prospects in the game.

He’s not the biggest guy in the world, though most teams will look past the standard “undersized righty” bias because of his very good raw stuff. Gray will throw his fastball up to 94 mph with some pretty good run and sink to it. His breaking ball — a slider that looks kind of like a hard, power curve — gets swings and misses and can be a strikeout pitch in the future. His changeup is a touch behind, but still has good fade and is a very good third option.

His biggest problem has been with his command because of some mechanical/delivery issues and that could hurt his stock a little, but not too much. He’s got the stuff to pitch at or near the top of a rotation, and if he can show better control/command, he’s still someone who should warrant consideration in the top half of the first round.”

8:43PM EDT: Scott Sizemore is making his Oakland debut stepping in for Ellis. Not sure why exactly (if there is something precluding Ellis from playing?) he is in here. But with a single up the middle off Brian Matusz the new additions are looking good tonight. A’s have a chance to do some damage with Rosales coming up, men on first and second, and just the lone out in the inning.

8:17PM EDT: Wow. Welcome back Adam Rosales! Nearly beats out Mark Ellis around the bases. You gotta love the way the guy races around the bases. So we have a ballgame again. O’s 4, A’s 2.

8:11PM EDT: Another shaky inning for Gio Gonzalez, his line on the day so far is a very not-so-hot three innings pitched, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits, with one walk and no strikeouts. Can’t keep that up and expect to win. Strangely despite very different results he and Matusz have comparable pitch counts with Gio at 57 and Matusz at 54.

7:50PM EDT: J.J. Hardy scores on the Nick Markakis opposite field hit. O’s up 4-0. Gio is having a meltdown…

7:46PM EDT: With the bases loaded Nolan Reimold take it deep to right center field, but not deep enough for the grand slam – well deep enough to score Matt Wieters from third on the sacrifice, and to allow J.J. Hardy to get to third. A’s still in a world of trouble, with men on the corners and just one out and the O’s now holders of a 3-0 lead. Gio doesn’t look good – none of the A’s starters have this past week.

7:40PM EDT: Matt Wieters makes the A’s pay for the stolen base faux pas with a hit just under the glove of Ryan Sweeney in right to score Lee. O’s up 2-0.

7:39PM EDT: Terrible throw from Kurt Suzuki attempting to get Derrek Lee stealing second. You don’t think of Lee as much of a base stealer but in his career he now has 104 steals (52nd among active players). However that being said he has a terrible success rate (68.9%).

7:23PM EDT: Gio can’t tiptoe out of trouble as a Vladimir Guerrero single (out trying to stretch it to a double) scores Robert Andino and the O’s get off to an early 1-0 lead.

7:10PM EDT: In the two spot, Barton plunks one into center field. Maybe that move in the lineup can jump start the year?

7:06PM EDT: A’s look to break their now six game losing streak with the last team they were successful against, the Baltimore Orioles who they beat last Sunday at the Coliseum. Gio Gonzalez will face Brian Matusz who is making his second start of the year. The A’s have Josh Willingham back in the lineup at DH, with Ryan Sweeney playing in right field and Conor Jackson in left. I like the idea of both Jackson and Sweeney seeing more action, and David DeJesus is getting the day off against the southpaw Matusz. Adam Rosales is the only other interesting lineup note – with Kevin Kouzmanoff optioned to Sacramento, he gets the start at third. Daric Barton is hitting second again, not a move I am crazy about given the success he had in the six spot – let’s see how he looks today. Also today is the MLB amateur draft, there won’t be too much action from the A’s who only have one first round pick coming in the 18th spot.

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