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Live Blogging: A’s @ Mets Game 75

June 22, 2011


12:15PM PDT: HBP to end the game? That was anti-climactic. Winning streak is over. Bobby Parnell who pitches a perfect top half gets the win. Looks like Turner turned into the pitch, but that’s that I guess. Mets win 3-2. A’s can’t take advantage of Houston beating Texas. If anyone was curious, my question selected for the CSNCalifornia poll final results are: Bob Melvin – 45%, Jemile Weeks – 44%, Brian Fuentes – 6% and Hideki Matsui – 3%.

12:14PM PDT: Intentional walk to Jose Reyes to face Justin Turner the guy who gave New York the lead.

12:11PM PDT: Ziggy is living dangerously. Back-to-back singles to Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy makes it one out and men on first and second in the bottom of inning thirteen.

12:02PM EDT: “Mr. Met is on a bridge back to Jersey” – Glen Kuiper. Awesome.

11:57PM EDT: Scary play there a slow chopper down the third base line to Sizemore, but a great throw across the diamond gets Pridie and this game goes on to the thirteenth inning.

11:55PM EDT: Well here is a mess to deal with. Thole walks on five pitches. Jason Pridie goes up with the bases loaded and two out.

11:52PM EDT: A’s intentionally walk Carlos Beltran to force Collins to use their final bench player, backup catcher Josh Thole. What amazing strategy this whole hitting the pitcher crap brings… (so irritating)…

11:47PM EDT: Brad Ziegler in as the new Athletics pitcher – still no exciting strategic double switches as Ziegler will hit ninth for Rosales. Ziggy can go more than one inning. Only two relievers are left, Grant Balfour and Andrew Bailey. Ziegler has been amazing this year – a possible candidate for the A’s All-Star representative in Phoenix. He has a 1.93 ERA to match a great 1.97 FIP. He has 7.3 K/9 to a mere 1.9 BB/9. He has been a solid groundball pitcher (68.1%) and has maintained a low ERA despite a pretty abysmal 66.7% strand rate.

11:41PM EDT: Adam Rosales in to hit for Wuertz and he strikes out. Making it fifteen strikeouts by A’s hitters tonight. Mets hitters have fared a little bit better – they have struck out just twelve times.

11:35PM EDT: Matsui saves Michael Wuertz there with his glove. Goes down and gets it off his shoetops. If that ball got by him the game was likely over. Nice play. I was a little surprised that DeJesus wasn’t put in as a defensive replacement last night, but he is holding his own out there in left so no need it’d seem.

11:26PM EDT: So much for Beato’ing anyone. Jackson strikes out, Sweeney grounds out, we go to the bottom of the eleventh in Flushing.

11:19PM EDT: So it looks like the Mets’ lefty (Tim Byrdak) can’t match the A’s lefty (Fuentes), facing three hitters and getting Pennington out, allowing a hit to Crisp and walking Matsui. Terry Collins is out to make a double switch (these are so exciting!! And so strategic!!) so Jason Bay leaves the game, Jason Pridie takes over in LF and the new pitcher is Pedro Beato. Beato has very weird numbers: 5.2 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 just 0.3 HR/9. A very low .253 BABIP but a terrible 52.2% strand rate. Somehow this all sort of evens out his ERA of 3.68 isn’t that distant from his 3.37 ERA. Strange. Unfortunately it is pronounced Bee-ah-toe, because if it were Bea-toe, I’d say let’s have the A’s Beato the Mets. There, I said it anyway.

10:57PM EDT: DeJesus steals second and Paulino throws it into center field (a trend amongst catchers tonight) and DeJesus advances to third. Go-ahead on third. Two strikes to Weeks…

10:55PM EDT: PH David DeJesus gets a base hit here in his (sort of) hometown (he is from Brooklyn) with two outs. Brings up Jemile Weeks, I wonder if they bother with the double switch? I doubt it given it looks like Brian Fuentes will go out for the bottom of the tenth and he won’t go more than an inning.

10:50PM EDT: Former Athletic closer Jason Isringhausen is in for the Mets. His numbers look good 1-0 with a 3.09 ERA but the sabermetrics tell a different tale, as a high home run rate (1.5 HR/9 – how do you do that at Citi Field?) and unsustainable 83.3% strand rate add up to a not-so-hot 4.76 FIP and -0.3 WAR. So if you’re going to try and steal one here in the late innings, he is a good candidate to do it against.

10:48PM EDT: Not the prettiest inning from Breslow but the K to get Pagan ensures the inning is as pretty as it needs to be: a zero on the board. We have free baseball from Citi Field! (I keep wanting to say Shea Stadium…) Extra innings. A’s are 5-8 in extras, the Mets with far less experience are 2-4.

10:39PM EDT: Willie Harris, who has been playing since the beginning of time it seems, pinch-hitting for K-Rod gets a lead off base hit off of Craig Breslow. Breslow looks to continue his good play and send this game to extra innings.

10:32PM EDT: Ronny Paulino and Francisco Rodriguez let Coco Crisp take third. Down the the A’s final strike, Conor Jackson makes them pay! Base hit to right field. Coco trots home. Tied at two!

10:29PM EDT: So K-Rod started by getting Pennington to K, now he gets Matsui to K. Down to the final out. Can’t be easy going from a knuckleballer in R.A. Dickey to a flame-thrower like Rodriguez.

10:26PM EDT: Coco Crisp with a double to the corner in right. So, the tying run is at second with the 4-5-6 hitters due up and one away…

10:23PM EDT: K-Rod, Francisco Rodriguez is in to get the save. Should he complete this game, it will be his 28th game finished meaning it looks like he is close to on track to hit the magical 55 games finished he needs to have his $17.5M option for 2012 vest. When not busy punching his girlfriend’s father in the face, he has been putting up some decent numbers with 17 shutdowns to just 4 meltdowns in 2011. K-Rod is appropriate, because while is below his career average 11.3 K/9, no one will complain about his current 10.3 K/9 rate.

10:19PM EDT: Devine gets Beltran on your typical strike ’em out, throw the ball into center field to allow the steal and runner to advance to third. Not quite the same ring to it.

10:16PM EDT: Justin Turner drives Reyes in with a single. Reyes claps some more. Mets take a 2-1 late lead in the bottom of the eighth.

10:14PM EDT: Heck of a hit by Jose Reyes. Sweeney nearly steals it, but Reyes gets all the way to third off new A’s hurler Joey Devine. Don’t like his clapping for himself garbage at third once he got there – not cool. You’re on a sub .500 team, you didn’t even tie or get the lead, you got yourself a triple. Also you just loafed it around the bases and could’ve made had an inside the park home run if you didn’t assume the HR. Not cool.

10:07PM EDT: Gio Gonzalez‘ night is through with Mark Ellis coming in to pinch hit. I like the use of Ellis (would’ve preferred to see David DeJesus though due to the element of speed should he get on) because as a guy struggling at the plate, a knuckleballer can help him out.

10:02PM EDT: With Angel Pagan on deck, it almost seems as if Ruben Tejada gets on somehow it will be a better deal than having R.A. Dickey come back out to pitch another inning.

9:47PM EDT: Three up, three down via the strikeout from Gio Gonzalez in the sixth bringing his total to seven as he gets Justin Turner, Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay. Nice.

9:39PM EDT: Wow, that knuckleball is tough. Problem with these guys is they can go forever. Pitch counts don’t matter in the least. Only thing that’d kick him out of the ballgame at this point I think would be his spot coming up in the lineup. Gets Cliff Pennington – K #8.

9:22PM EDT: Kurt Suzuki has been terrible as of late. In June he is hitting .146/.281/.188 with a .042 ISO and 48 wRC+. When you get an out of sync hitter and put him in against a pitch that gets guys out of sync, you manage synchronicity. Zuk’s HR to left field is the end result and we have a 1-1 tie game! R.A. Dickey had been baffling the A’s before that with just one hit (the one to Sweeney – which shouldn’t really count) and six K’s.

9:18PM EDT: Matsui isn’t nearly as bad in the field as I think anyone expected. I think it was said in yesterday’s broadcast that Matsui had even played center field sometimes when with the Yankees. Perhaps however he is the beneficiary of low expectations because he has never, ever, even once, had a positive UZR/150 at any position in any given season. His best year being 2005 in left field when he had a -7.8 in 977 1/3 innings.

8:52PM EDT: Love the strategy there watching Gio Gonzalez sacrifice Sizemore to second. Really demonstrated a ton of baseball intellect all around. Fascinating, difficult, pure baseball. (Gag me – pitchers hitting is beyond boring)

8:44PM EDT: Lucas Duda, helps Hairston make good by scoring him on a single to right. Mets lead it 1-0.

8:39PM EDT: Hairston semi-makes up for it with a double. Narrowly misses the HR.

8:31PM EDT: Some stellar defense from Scott Hairston there – Ryan Sweeney gets a hit on that. Again, call this my ignorance of all things scoring but that seems like it should be an error (if not by the rules, in principle). Routine fly ball but Hairston loses it, and it drops. Good for Sweeney whose average inches closer to .300 (.297). Chicks dig the ball lost in the lights that falls for a single.

8:17PM EDT: Jemile Weeks had no chance – probably the first time he’s even seen a knuckleballer. Gets Coco Crisp too. The knuckleball is dancing.

8:03PM EDT: So we will have baseball! But thanks to @CSNAthletics for choosing my poll question for the pregame!

Here is who I would vote for: Brian Fuentes. Realistically without Fuentes, Bob Melvin never even happens. Hideki Matsui‘s resurgence is the result of Melvin playing him. Ultimately you can make much stronger case for Weeks who independent of the other changes really energized this club. If you voted purely on what’s happened since the A’s have done well its a different question, but I think there’s some cause and effect there, so I vote Fuentes for starting the whole process.

7:03PM EDT: Rain delay…

6:51PM EDT: A’s and Mets continue their series. A’s should be wearing their gold jerseys yet again, as they look to stretch their six game win streak to seven. The A’s lineup will be facing R.A. Dickey, a knuckleballer. After a very solid campaign in 2010, he hasn’t really had the same level of play in 2011, featuring a weak 5.8 K/9 and an OK 3.0 BB/9. His ERA is an even 4.00 and his FIP a relatively similar 4.18. He has been worth 0.6 WAR this year. The lineup facing him will feature the new usual suspects, Jemile Weeks at second leading off, Conor Jackson at first hitting fifth, Ryan Sweeney in right and hitting sixth, and Scott Sizemore at third hitting eighth. The pitcher for the A’s is Gio Gonzalez who had a great outing his last time up versus Kansas City and looks to continue his success at Citi Field against the Mets. Still a big disparity between his ERA (2.69) and FIP (3.63) which is likely due to his very high walk rate (4.3 K/9) and still high strand rate (80.3%). While Dickey with all his years in Texas has a lot of experience facing Oakland, this will mark Gio’s first appearance versus the New York Mets.

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