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Live Blogging: A’s @ Rangers Game 89

July 7, 2011

9:40PM CDT: Well that didn’t matter. Fly out game over. Shutout in tact. Tenth time the A’s have been blanked. A’s fall to nine back. There is always next year!

9:39PM CDT: A little bit more interesting as now Holland has loaded the bases with Willingham singling and Sizemore walking. Weeks is at third, pinch-runner Adam Rosales at second (not sure why you bother with a pinch-runner here?) and Sizemore at first…

9:33PM CDT: Jemile Weeks becomes the first-non-Kurt Suzuki Athletic to get a hit off of Derek Holland tonight. If you need to score six runs, better have the first guy get on right?

9:31PM CDT: Fuentes doesn’t blow this game wide(r) open. So the A’s need to score at least six (we’ll screw the road team plays for the win theory for this one) runs and they have top of the order to get it all started. They are a combined 0-for-8 with a walk, which tonight is better than most trios of A’s hitters.

9:26PM CDT: Brian Fuentes is in now to face Napoli (R), Chavez (L) and Kinsler (R). Do not like this strategy. He is a LOOGY, Melvin is making the same misuse mistake that Bob Geren did.

9:13PM CDT: Michael Wuertz is coming in the game. Feels like forever since we last saw him but it was only July 3rd against Arizona. But he has been used sparingly lately, after being used back-to-back nights in New York (June 22nd and 23rd) against the Mets, he has only pitched twice the 29th and July 3rd. This is a guy I’d be showcasing. A righty-reliever might not be worth too much but you never know.

9:09PM CDT: Apparently this guy who fell has two broken arms? Not entirely clear. Wild, he fell a long way though, that’s high and he fell head first. The Rangers have had people falling before at that stadium. Is this a Rangers fan problem or a stadium problem? Probably a bit of both. Crazy stuff. Hope he is OK and gets a baseball at least.

9:04PM CDT: Josh Hamilton with a sac fly to Willingham scores Chavez. Hamilton has already sac fly’d in Chavez once today. This time it makes the Rangers lead 6-0. This game isn’t worth the time or electricity bill to watch.

8:54PM CDT: A little bit wild De Los Santos is. Eight pitches, three strikes – not the team to do this against really.

8:51PM CDT: Fautino De Los Santos comes into the game for the A’s. Love this guy. Exciting to watch. Comes in with the crazy peripherals still, 17.4 K/9 to just 1.9 BB/9 giving him a really cool -0.26 FIP. Yes, still has the negative FIP. Despite this being just his fifth appearance already has 0.2 WAR. Love this guy.

8:39PM CDT: Michael Young rides the jet stream to right-center field. Home run. Rangers 5, Athletics 0. Harden needs to be pulled. Nothing to be gained from leaving him in. Unfortunately today we sent down our long man, this would’ve been a good game to get Godfrey into. Not sure why Bob Melvin hasn’t yet summoned a reliever.

8:35PM CDT: A hit! Kurt Suzuki got a hit! Now if only someone else on the A’s could too.

8:27PM CDT: Hamilton sac fly scores Endy Chavez from third. The insurmountable lead grows to 4-0 Rangers. While the game this is making up greatly helps out Gio Gonzalez‘ All-Star case, aside from that, this just seems cruel to be given such a nice chance at a do-over and just to repeat the same crap a second time. If anything good comes of the A’s laying an egg this series it is that all hope will officially be lost for next year that we can start making the moves necessary to compete in 2012.

8:26PM CDT: Always get the easy out. Always. Harden didn’t. Threw to second to try and get Kinsler – doesn’t. Now we get Josh Hamilton with nowhere to put him. Not good. Is this game really any better than the one it replaced? I think not.

8:25PM CDT: 78 pitches for Rich Harden now as he gives up another hit to Ian Kinsler making it men on the corners with just one out and the 2-3-4 hitters coming up. Harden is not looking sharp tonight. He is getting hit around pretty hard.

8:20PM CDT: Mitch Moreland double followed by a Mike Napoli single and the A’s find themselves down 3-0, or in other words too far behind to have any hope of winning.

8:15PM CDT: Wow, the A’s offense is just reaching for new lows today. With Scott Sizemore ending the fourth swinging on a K, through four innings Derek Holland has now struck out six A’s hitters. Derek Holland averages just 0.7 more strikeouts per nine innings, he should hit that point sometime in the fifth. But realize this whole offense is worth 3.6 wins above replacement. So if you replaced all these guys with the River Cats we’d be three or more games further behind. Pretty alarming.

8:11PM CDT: Nelson Cruz takes it for a ride to right-center field, Coco Crisp jumps up grabs it hits the wall. I don’t think he needed to jump there. Seemed like a reach would’ve sufficed and avoided that awkward looking landing after bouncing off the wall. For a guy with that sort of injury history that play made me nervous.

8:04PM CDT: Stolen base pays off. Hamilton hits it under a diving Chris Carter at first and the Rangers lead grows to 2-0.

8:03PM CDT: Elvis Andrus steals second to put him in scoring position for Hamilton. Even though Holland hasn’t been great, A’s can’t afford to get too far behind.

7:34PM CDT: Some guy just fell out of the bleachers into a space between the wall and the bullpen. What an idiot. It is a baseball. Buy one. Or whatever he was leaning for.

7:27PM CDT: Josh Hamilton grounds out, it scores Kinsler from third. Rangers up 1-0. Hamilton’s 43rd RBI on the year. While RBI don’t mean much of anything, you can’t say someone is good or bad based upon them, they do give a good idea of how many runs a team is scoring, especially when you think that Hamilton is playing in his 51st game of the year due to missing time with injury – yet that 43rd RBI if on Oakland would’ve just put him one ahead of Josh Willingham for the team lead. Willingham who has played in fourteen games more than Hamilton. For what it is worth Hamilton is fourth on the Rangers in RBI anyhow. Lot of runs.

7:23PM CDT: Harden’s game is off to a less than ideal start as he surrenders a leadoff double to Ian Kinsler. Harden got by against the D-backs with just fastball/changeup and some people will argue that’s all you need, but these Rangers are professional hitters.

7:04PM CDT: A’s take on the Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington sitting eight games behind the AL West leading Rangers entering tonight’s game. On the mound for the A’s is Rich Harden making his second start of the season against the club he played for last year in Texas – he looked good against Arizona at the Coliseum last Friday. He has a big challenge in a Rangers lineup that is good – the Rangers are third in MLB in runs (434), wOBA (.341) and wRC+ (112). The Rangers put up Derek Holland who has looked anything but good – with a 5.10 ERA and a 4.45 FIP. The 0.9 WAR pitcher, has 6.7 K/9 in 17 starts, with 3.5 BB/9. Some roster news for the A’s today, Guillermo Moscoso who I wrote about earlier today was “optioned” to Sacramento along with Graham Godfrey. I put optioned in quotes, because while he is off the 25-man roster, and may make a start for the River Cats, his next start for the A’s isn’t until after the All-Star break so, he is being taken off the roster to give the A’s some extra Chris Carter time (he starts at first today), because the A’s activated Grant Balfour and Josh Willingham (starting in left hitting fourth) off the disabled list today. Moscoso is still in the rotation and scheduled to make his next scheduled start on July 19th and also will stay with the team here in Arlington and work with Ron Romanick as he usually would between starts. It is an interesting move, one I didn’t see coming, though I think quite a few people didn’t see Willingham being activated prior to the All-Star break and here he is. The Godfrey move was not surprising to anyone, he had not made one relief appearance since becoming the A’s long man in the pen. This game is a makeup for this game that the A’s would have surely lost, so this is the baseball equivalent of getting a mulligan.

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