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Live Blogging: A’s @ Rangers Game 91

July 9, 2011


9:52PM CDT: That is why you don’t want to pitch to Josh Hamilton. Home run right field. Walk off winner. A’s lose 7-6. This one hurts. Third meltdown on the year for Bailey. A’s drop to 39-52 and fall eleven games behind the first place Rangers. Some people thought that these three back-to-back-to-back series’ against AL West teams would define the season, dropping two of three to Seattle and three straight to Texas? I’d have to agree they are very definitive of this year.

9:49PM CDT: Bad throw by Weeks, Jackson has to reach. Andrus bowls over him. I assume it’ll be an error on Weeks’ throw – could be a hit since it was a slow bouncer sort of into no-mans land between first and second. Annoying because the second pitch in that sequence from Bailey should’ve been a strike, which would’ve made it strike three. Now Bailey has to contend with Josh Hamilton. Look at where that pitch #2 called a ball was from

9:48PM CDT: Two quick outs on four pitches (all strikes) and it all comes down to Andrus.

9:46PM CDT: Grant Balfour pitched a perfect eighth and now we have Andrew Bailey in which is how it is all supposed to work. It is great having Balfour back as it really does shorten the length of the game. He is to face Chavez, Kinsler and Elvis Andrus.

9:26PM CDT: To even further build upon the point made a comment ago: Jackson get9s a double.

9:24PM CDT: The LHP Darren Oliver came in to face the LH-hitting David DeJesus. The switch of Conor Jackson to replace Carter at first shows it negative ramification because here would’ve been a nice place to have DeJesus not hit. This at bat makes it -28 wRC+ versus LHPs for DeJesus compared to his 122 vs. RHPs. Before we ask why Bob Melvin didn’t give Ryan Sweeney a shot, he is at -44 wRC+ against the southpaw hurlers.

9:17PM CDT: Wow, great play by Pennington deep in the hole  and a good stretch from Weeks to save Joey Devine who got himself into a bit of a jam in the seventh. A’s hang on to the eighth we go.

9:00PM CDT: A’s retake the lead. Coco Crisp homers to right field of new Rangers pitcher Tommy Hunter. A’s lead 6-5.

8:40PM CDT: Chris Carter really was made to be a designated hitter wasn’t he? Weeks has to call Carter off there. Nelson Cruz now gets a second shot at McCarthy. I really like McCarthy sucks to see him get the short end of the stick so often like that. Especially on plays that really ought to be made but aren’t so they aren’t errors and then he gets screwed on his ERA too.

8:36PM CDT: Game is knotted up. Adrian Beltre takes McCarthy deep. 5-5. Ugh.

8:35PM CDT: The tenor of this game has changed as Hamilton grounds out with allows Kinsler to score and tighten things up at Oakland 5, Texas 4.

8:34PM CDT: DeJesus on a sliding catch in right, if not for the slide Chavez probably doesn’t score. But he slides, Chavez scores, and Kinsler too tags to third. Rangers still trail but now by a tighter 5-3. Josh Hamilton due up represents the tying run.

8:32PM CDT: RBI double into left field for Ian Kinsler. Rangers cut the lead to 5-2. Strike zone today just is all over the place going side-to-side tonight. McCarthy left that ball over the middle but you have to think it was because of how much he has been getting pinched. Lewis too in fairness got pinched in that 39-pitch second inning.

8:30PM CDT: Strange play there. Chris Carter just looks lost at first as the hit from Endy Chavez gets past him then bounces off the bag. Jemile Weeks backs up the play, bobbles the ball trying to get it into his throwing heand. Heads up baserunning by Torrealba who gets from second to third on the play. So the top of the order is no up with men on the corners and nobody out. McCarthy just can’t buy a break – first hit of the inning tips off his glove, second bounces of the bag at first.

8:24PM CDT: Interesting play there by Nelson Cruz in right. He had the glove up like he would catch it, which fooled Josh Willingham running from first to second, so it is a 9-6 fielder’s choice as Cruz gets Willingham at second. Scott Sizemore gets the RBI and despite a single almost any other day gets an 0-fer on that at bat. A’s lead 5-1. You can excuse Matsui for potentially being fooled but you’d think Willingham so close to the play should’ve had the decoy figured out.

8:13PM CDT: That was a really great play by Landon Powell to get Michael Young out at first. Not an easy play on a spinning ball down the first base line. All winter long I was not a fan of Powell’s wanting for the A’s to drop him as their backup catcher, but I really have turned on Powell. He’s a backup catcher so you shouldn’t expect him to make a huge impact, but he is a valuable ballplayer to this club and I really – especially in light of Kurt Suzuki‘s inability to hit this year – would like to see more of him. How opinions can be changed.

7:58PM CDT: Chris Carter just fanned at that pitch. Like it looked like a little kid taking a swing at a batting cage where their lower body barely moves. You see the prodigious power from him, but you also just see this total lack of plate discipline and I just don’t feel that Gerald Perry is the guy to get him to reach his potential – let’s look at the job he has done with the rest of these hitters right? Career worst years for DeJesus, Mark Ellis, Matsui and Willingham among other veterans.

7:50PM CDT: Torrealba picks up his team for his mistake with a long double to center field and Mitch Moreland scores from first. All with two out so another poor luck inning for McCarthy – I think Coco Crisp really played that ball poorly. Not sure he could’ve got to it, but he was way to the right of that ball turned around. Didn’t look like he had a good beat on it at all. Rangers cut the lead to 4-1.

7:45PM CDT: Willingham grounds out to end the inning but it is a 39 pitch affair for Lewis – that can’t keep him in a game where it is so hot like this for long. As with any big and long inning you need to be concerned about Brandon McCarthy coming back, so it’d be great to see him get out of the chute with a 1-2-3 inning.

7:42PM CDT: Wow, weird play. Yorvit Torrealba is called for catchers interference so what looked like a inning ending easy pop up to Kinsler instead scores Pennington, is scored an E2 with no at bat for Matsui. Good stuff by Matsui to instantly highlight the interference, good job by the umps to call it too. Weird how close Torrealba was, you don’t see that often. A’s 4, Rangers 0.

7:41PM CDT: A’s bat around here in the seventh on a four pitch walk to Coco Crisp. 35 pitches for Colby Lewis – in the second inning alone. It’d be great to see Godzilla get #500 here with the bases full…

7:39PM CDT: Powell getting to third was important as Jemile Weeks singles and he can just trot home, also as Ray Fosse mentioned it opened up a nice hole for Weeks to hit in as Mitch Moreland had to hold Pennington on at third. Good inning for the A’s as they look send Lewis to the showers early, he has been laboring this inning, and a lot with the two outs. A’s lead 3-0.

7:36PM CDT: Nice hit by Cliff Pennington past a diving Ian Kinsler. DeJesus is able to score from score, Powell goes to third (first time all year 1st to 3rd for Powell on a single?) and the A’s build the lead to 2-0. Important to get ahead early.

7:25PM CDT: That was a quick start to the second inning. First pitch and Josh Willingham takes it to that left field section where all the Rangers were hitting it yesterday. Home run! A’s lead one to nothing as the only A’s hitter with double digits home runs adds another to his tally to get him to 11. As we said Lewis has given up a lot of home runs, that was the 23rd that he surrendered – in 1986, Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven with the Twins allowed 50 home runs in one year the American League record, Lewis is off the pace for that, but in the bandbox he plays in it is conceivable he could challenge the record. Having a schedule with lots of games against Oakland and Seattle could save him.

7:19PM CDT: Deep shot to left-center from Josh Hamilton, fortunately it bangs into the fence, first play really all year where Hideki Matsui has really looked bad playing a ball in the outfield as it caromed off the wall in a sort of strange place and had him fooled.

7:02PM CDT: Following yesterday’s very poor performance from Gio Gonzalez the A’s top pitcher in WAR is once again Brandon McCarthy at 2.0 WAR and he takes the mound tonight against his former teammates on the Texas Rangers. McCarthy has been a very sore luck loser this year with a 1-5 record and 3.33 ERA (which is good but not amazing) masking what has really been a great comeback year for him. His 2.64 FIP and 1.5 BB/9 really stand out and are indicative of the much more gifted pitcher McCarthy has become. He goes against Colby Lewis, who has struggled this year to a 4.29 ERA and even higher 4.98 FIP. He has a good strikeout (7.3 K/9) and walk (2.5 BB/9) rate but surrenders an awful lot of home runs (1.9 HR/9). He has been worth just 0.4 WAR this year for the defending American League champions. The bottom of the A’s lineup looks a little different tonight, David DeJesus hits 6th and is in right, Chris Carter is at first and hits 7th followed by Landon Powell behind the plate and Cliff Pennington back at short at the bottom of the order. The A’s and Rangers will play under a much cooler sky tonight as the game time temp at 99° is much lower (though still far from cool) than yesterday’s game time record high for Texas at 105°. Scary to think the highest temp ever at first pitch at a Rangers ballgame somehow happened during a night game.

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