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Live Blogging: Mariners @ A’s Game 87

July 5, 2011

9:55PM PDT: There you have it. Ryan Sweeney strikes out. Wright earns career save number one. Proving forever the uselessness of W-L records for pitchers Brandon League earns the win. Regardless the A’s fall to the M’s 4-2 and their record slips to 38-49. Which percentage wise is the third worst in the American League (.437) but gives them the second most losses in the junior circuit (only Kansas City with 51 has more). Pretty pathetic stuff dropping two straight to the Mariners (a team they have struggled mightily against as of late) at the O.com Coliseum.

9:51PM PDT: Jamey Wright is in for the save for the M’s – this is his 500th MLB game, yet he has never had a save in all those games though about half of those (246) are starts. He has ten shutdowns to six meltdowns this year. For the A’s it comes down to DeJesus, Suzuki and Swingles.

9:47PM PDT: Adam Kennedy with a double to left, scores Ryan. M’s tack on their insurance lead 4-2. Here is a screenshot of that out of the baseline play. Looks pretty clear cut to me.

9:45PM PDT: Whoa! Interference! A double play ball hit by Brendan Ryan, Ichiro slides so far out of the baseline that he is aiming for second base in Sacramento and Cliff Pennington throws the ball wide of Conor Jackson at first scoring Gutierrez. They’ve ruled it E6 but that was clear interference. Ichiro was way off the bag and couldn’t have grabbed it if he lunged for it on that play. Wow. Bad call. Mariners 3, A’s 2. Ryan also advances to second so the M’s with two outs have another runner in scoring position.

9:42PM PDT: Franklin Gutierrez steals second partially because the M’s run the bases better than the A’s and partially because Olivo is a better catcher than Suzuki. This will prompt an IBB for Ichiro Suzuki. So two on, one out.

9:37PM PDT: With the save situation non-existent for the A’s now, Andrew Bailey is in to pitch the top of the tenth inning.

9:32PM PDT: Crisp was running, Olivo gets him cleanly. Heck of a toss from Olivo, unlike those past two caught stealings which were in the case of Weeks, Weeks’ fault, and in the case of Suzuki a broken hit and run, this one was all Olivo.

9:31PM PDT: Shallow pop up to left and Peguero drops the ball, Weeks scores from third! Tie ballgame! A’s get to League (finally)!

9:30PM PDT: A’s are playing for the tie as Scott Sizemore bunts Weeks to third. One out. Coco Crisp and Hideki Matsui need to get him home one way or the other.

9:29PM PDT: Jemile Weeks leads off with a double to the left field corner! That’s the way to do it.

9:26PM PDT: Devine gets Peguero to swing and miss and keeps the insurance run stranded at second base. Top of the order is up for the A’s to face All-Star Brandon League in the bottom half of the ninth inning. Brandon League comes in with fifteen shutdowns and just six meltdowns. A’s have managed just two hits in 4 1/3 innings against League this year, who has three of those shutdowns coming against the A’s.

9:17PM PDT: Well that was quick. Breslow allows a single to Justin Smoak and Melvin is pulling him in favor of Joey Devine. Interesting, good to see Melvin is playing for the win. In the past I felt that with us trailing we just sort of gave up and left whoever was out there to face whomever was up (see: April 15th versus the Tigers and Brian Fuentes being left out there hung out to dry).

9:16PM PDT: Craig Breslow now in for the A’s. Melvin is giving him a lot of work – deservedly so. Strikes out the first hitter he sees in Adam Kennedy.

9:06PM PDT: Kurt Suzuki takes Felix Hernandez over the fence in left onto the stairs. Cuts the lead in half. Mariners 2, Athletics 1. I, like Ray Fosse, thought it was a much more clear shot than it turned out to be. Nice swing from Zuk.

8:54PM PDT: The A’s can’t hit Hernandez – granted the A’s can’t hit period. So through seven now: two hits but nine K’s. This is a fast train to nowhere. Meanwhile the A’s are replacing Trevor Cahill with Brad Ziegler. So a good outing really by Cahill as he stands to be the sore-luck loser, with the one earned run allowed (the HR to Ackley), over seven on five hits, one walk and four strikeouts.

8:40PM PDT: First pitch changeup right down the middle and Dustin Ackley hits it straight out to center field just to the left of the 400 sign. Ouch. That ball took a ride and the M’s take a 2-0 lead and Hernandez shows no signs of letting up.

8:19PM PDT: So through five it is a heck of a pitching battle going on which was to be expected.  However the one unearned run separates the two:

  ER H BB K Pitches Strikes
Cahill 0 3 0 3 65 41
Hernandez 0 2 0 7 69 47

8:17PM PDT: The A’s finally steal a base! Leave it to David DeJesus who gets plunked by a Hernandez fast ball on his left knee (yes it hit his back knee, I know my lefts from rights) to do it. Clearly that was a fast recuperation.

7:48PM PDT: Earlier I said, that the A’s “can’t afford to lose runners against Hernandez.” I stand by that as Sweeney swings through the hit and run and Zuk gets caught stealing second. The pitch that Swingles waved at was very clearly ball four.

7:29PM PDT: Carlos Peguero with a sac fly to left field that scores Ackley. Great set up and throw by Sweeney just a bit off line so Kurt Suzuki couldn’t apply the tag. The throw into center field on the stolen base by Ackley really comes back to haunt the A’s. M’s 1, A’s 0. Can the A’s score anything off King Felix – the M’s might just have this one sewn up.

7:18PM PDT: While I like Jemile Weeks, he needs someone to teach him how to slide. He continually does this and scouts will tell second basemen to hold the tag and they will continue to get him time and time again if he continues to slide like this. So it is a caught stealing (still a scoring rule I don’t think is entirely accurate) Miguel Olivo to Dustin Ackley. Lead runner is gone. Can’t afford to lose runners against Hernandez. Not smart baseball.

6:59PM PDT: The two worst offenses in the American League square off again against one very good pitcher and one pretty decent one in Felix Hernandez and Trevor Cahill. Cahill has been a model of inconsistency so that despite him having some decent looking overall numbers (3.28 ERA, 3.85 FIP) he has fluctuated between near unhittable to very much so hittable with few so-so outings mixed in between. Going up against Hernandez it’ll be important to see the unhittable Trevor Cahill tonight and with the M’s offense that shouldn’t be too tall an order. On the year Cahill has improved at striking out guys with his K/9 up to 6.7 from a career high 5.4 last year. Problematic however is that his BB/9 has climbed along with it to an unacceptable 3.9 BB/9 up a full walk from last year. His BABIP is a more normal .279 this season which helps explain why his ERA is higher than it was last year despite improved HR/9 and K/9 numbers. His FIP it should be noted is down (4.19 in 2011 to 3.85 in 2011) and he has been worth 1.4 WAR. King Felix meanwhile is an All Star again this year and actually FIP-wise is better than he was last year (2.82 this year, 3.04 last) despite his ERA being up over a run (3.35 ERA this year, 2.27 last) and has been worth 3.3 WAR. For the A’s the lineup is similar to what we’ve seen the past few days, American League Rookie of the Month of June (I never knew they did this as a monthly thing too – who knew?) Jemile Weeks is leading off. Otherwise notable is the fact that Conor Jackson is at first base hitting 5th, Ryan Sweeney meanwhile is hitting eighth and playing left – not sure I follow the logic there with CoJax having to face a very tough right-handed pitcher despite the fact he is hitting .215/.285/.285 against the “northpaws” whereas Sweeney hits them to the tune of a .305/.378/.359 slash line – so we’ll see if Bob Melvin knows something I don’t.

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