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Live Blogging: Angels @ A’s Game 95

July 16, 2011

8:11PM PDT: Sizemore hits it into the gap in right-center. Game over as Pennington scores the winning run. A’s win 4-3! A’s split the doubleheader and improve their extra innings record to 6-10 on their 1-1 Saturday. Great outing from Rich Harden, good to see the A’s come out and win it in the end.

8:06PM PDT: Landon Powell takes a 3-2 pitch from Thompson that was close. BrooksBaseball.net shows it was in fact a ball, I am surprised he took that. Happy, but surprised.

7:55PM PDT: Josh Willingham draws a four pitch walk to start the bottom of the tenth as the A’s look to improve on their MLB-worst 5-10 record in extra innings from new Angels pitcher Rich Thompson. Thompson is a strikeout machine (10.3K/9) but unlike a lot of these guys doesn’t have terrible control (3.5 BB/9). Good for the A’s though is his lukewarm six shutdowns to five meltdowns ratio. Cliff Pennington will run for Willingham, he best not steal with his terrible steal success rate. A’s need to score here, they will be without their most threatening bat for the rest of this contest with Willingham out.

7:51PM PDT: That was a good play by Trout. You can tell he is going to be a good ballplayer how he doesn’t even hesitate and races for second to make that a double. Has a ton of speed, but good instincts. Brad Ziegler, the A’s new pitcher, now has to contend with having a runner in scoring position.

7:46PM PDT: Ball hung up there, looked like it’d be a bloop game winning hit for Sweeney and the A’s but alas it was not. 1-for-20 for A’s hitters against Hasanori in 2011. Unbelievable. He really isn’t that good.

7:45PM PDT: Coco Crisp gets a steal so he is back over the all important 75% threshold for stolen base success rate. Puts him in scoring position for Swingles with two out.

7:36PM PDT: One-two-three inning from Andrew Bailey as the A’s hope to win it in the bottom of the ninth. I’m getting a suspicion just because of the chatter about him that Bailey could be moved. I think that makes a lot of sense as I wrote earlier today, because to me closers are not needed at all on teams out of contention and are easily replaceable as the A’s demonstrated in the first half of the last decade. It’ll be interesting with two weeks left before the non-waiver trade deadline to see if he sticks around or if Billy Beane makes a play to get something out of a commodity that has zero value for the 2011 edition of the A’s at this point.

7:27PM PDT: Hisanori Takahashi has looked good. A’s have struggled against him 1-for-17 this year, though the only K’s he’s had versus Oakland are the five he got today. He has a bit of a deceptive motion (he sort of pauses and almost double clutches in his windup) but no real reason for him to be so tough for the A’s to hit aside from the A’s just not being capable batters.

7:19PM PDT: Good inning from Grant Balfour. Two strikeouts (Izturis and Hunter) and a weak infield pop to Abreu. Balfour is a big game pitcher. I know there has been talk of him being dealt, and I know I am sort of talking out of both sides of my mouth here, but I want the A’s to keep him. I don’t advocate expensive relievers being valuable and worth holding onto to teams that are out of contention because they aren’t. But I feel the A’s can compete next year and despite Balfour’s value as a trade piece, I think his past experience with playoff contending teams makes him have a value that other pitchers don’t have, especially on a young club.

7:10PM PDT: Takahashi strikes out DeJesus too to get out of the jam. Pretty pathetic. A’s should’ve been able to retake the lead somehow there, missed opportunities, makes you really question if there is any value to trying to sacrifice with Coco? He is one of the better bats, let him swing maybe even though at that point it was first and second? You can always Monday morning quarterback it.

7:07PM PDT: I love my boy Swingles but wow. You can’t take that pitch for strike three with a man on third and less than two outs. Unacceptable. BrooksBaseball.net shows a very hittable ball. Pitch four, the pitch in question was an 89 mph four-seamer.

7:03PM PDT: Crisp bunts over Sogard and Weeks. So second and third one out and Ervin Santana‘s day is through. Hisanori Takahashi will take the hill for Los Angeles and try and keep this game locked up for the Halos facing the A’s 3-4-5 hitters.

7:01PM PDT: Wow. Really strange play there. Interesting move by the Angels. Ball is grounded out to shortstop Erick Aybar playing very close to second, Sogard was leaning off second and Aybar went to tag him going back to the base. Aybar without skipping a beat threw it on to first, where Weeks then beat the throw. Interesting play but it ends up with it being a single for Weeks. I respect the smart defensive attempt by Aybar to get him leaning. It was a risk, but an interesting play.

7:00PM PDT: Eric Sogard with a double over the head of Wells in left field so a good way to start off the inning and try and get Harden a win.

6:56PM PDT: After a lead off walk Harden strikes out three straight, the aforementioned K of Trumbo, then Hank Conger followed by Trout to end the seventh. Great outing from Harden with nine K’s, but at 110 pitches I have to assume we’ve seen all we will see from him tonight. Hopefully the A’s can score now in the bottom half and he can earn himself a victory in the process.

6:52PM PDT: Trumbo K’s so Harden now has seven on the day. That is a season high (granted only three starts) but for what it is worth he had six in his two starts in Sacramento so its his best in five starts.

6:43PM PDT: Landon Powell walks. Santana’s pitch count is getting up there despite that being just the second walk he has allowed. He has now thrown 94 pitches with 53 going for strikes in only five and a third innings.

6:34PM PDT: There goes that short-lived lead. Vernon Wells takes it second deck down the left-field line (two games in a row hitting second deck out there – don’t see that very often). Game is tied again, now at three apiece.

6:25PM PDT: Good job of hitting from Coco Crisp, hitting it to the right side allowing Sogard to score and giving the A’s the lead 3-2. On the play Weeks (who stole second) gets to third, so still a good run scoring opportunity for Oakland to add on.

6:21PM PDT: Nice bunt from Jemile Weeks. I assume he meant to do a sacrifice but his speed got him that hit. The misthrow by Ervin Santana (perhaps as a result of the speed) means Eric Sogard gets to third. A’s need to capitalize on this. Like in football how you need to score on turnovers, in baseball you need to turn errors into runs.

6:06PM PDT: Landon Powell plunks one down in the right field corner. Very strange play, given that Torii Hunter is playing right field, I’d have assumed that Hunter could get under that, but it almost seemed like he gave up on it. No complaints from me. Game is tied.

6:02PM PDT: David DeJesus base hit, scores Sweeney from third and halves the Angels lead. It is now 2-1.

6:01PM PDT: Josh Willingham smacks it right back up the middle. Ryan Sweeney can’t score from second, I agree with the move to not send him. Mike Trout got to the ball quick, is playing shallow, but I wonder if third base coaches get gun shy when a guy is thrown out by so much like Sweeney was in the first following Gallego’s direction.

5:55PM PDT: Two more K’s from Harden in the fourth (Vernon Wells and Mark Trumbo). Maybe I am wrong and he can just blow it by guys? Last pitch to Trumbo was a 95 mile an hour fastball.

5:43PM PDT: I am a huge fan of the bunt single. Scott Sizemore breaks an 0-for-18 with that single off Santana.

5:39PM PDT: Harden settling in a bit as he K’s two in the top of the third (Hunter and Bobby Abreu). Harden however is throwing altogether too many fastballs. I realize he is a two-trick pony (fastball/change) but the Angels can’t just be blasted away and today he is throwing the change with more velocity than he ought to. Not enough speed difference and the Halos can just wait out the fastball the opposite of what the Rangers did in Harden’s last start.

5:20PM PDT: Mark Trumbo with his eighteenth home run of the year, and it scores Alberto Callaspo. No movement on that change up from Rich Harden, so that was basically a BP pitch that Trumbo took to deep left-center field. Angels take a 2-0 lead.

5:12PM PDT: Terrible running from Ryan Sweeney takes a two-out double by Ryan Sweeney and turns it into an easy out with him trying to leg it out for a triple. Good toss from Torii Hunter and relay from Maicer Izturis to make the out. No chance at all, Mike Gallego should’ve held him.

5:05PM PDT: Quick three up, three down first for Harden. I am sure both clubs are going to want to get out of here quickly. Can’t find a statistic on this anywhere but I feel like more often than not doubleheaders end up split, which bodes well for the A’s.

4:49PM PDT: Didn’t get to see game one of the doubleheader because it was the Fox Game of the Week and I don’t live in Oakland A’s or Los Angeles Angels television territory, so I got to watch the Red Sox-Rays instead and it wasn’t a particularly interesting game and nor is it ever pleasant having Tim McCarver call the game and do things like explain how you get a save – isn’t there a set knowledge level we need to assume? You don’t explain, now that the batter has two strikes one more and he is out. I feel at this point explaining how one gets a save, outside of those strange times when you can get it by pitching the final three innings or if the bases are loaded and you have a 5-0 lead or something, is unnecessary and takes away from the broadcast. Anyhow back to the A’s, they lost the first game of the twinbill 4-2. The A’s had a normal lineup in there, so we have a bit more of an unconventional lineup in the second of the two games with Ryan Sweeney hitting third and playing left, Landon Powell behind the plate and Eric Sogard playing shortstop. Trevor Cahill threw seven innings which was useful, and threw 119 pitches I assume to aid the bullpen in getting some tiny bit of rest and Michael Wuertz is the only pitcher who pitched today that pitched yesterday. My guess is we won’t see Wuertz in game two. The second game pits Ervin Santana (3.89 ERA, 3.97 FIP) against Rich Harden making his third start of 2011. Harden’s first start against Arizona went well, his second in Texas decidedly less so, so he is the owner of an ugly 5.73 ERA though his FIP is a still bad but more respectable 4.41. His control has been good at 1.6 BB/9 the problem is he is letting up long balls at the same rate. Game two starts at around 5pm. This is the A’s first scheduled doubleheader since August 10th, 1997 against the Milwaukee Brewers – so long ago it was when the Brewers were still in the American League. The A’s are now on a ten game doubleheader game losing streak with the loss in game one, a streak dating back to May 26, 2011.

In roster news after the first game of the two game doubleheader Adam Rosales was optioned to Sacramento and Jerry Blevins was recalled. It wasn’t surprising to see that the A’s after yesterday’s heavy bullpen usage would need to make a move but I figured if any position player were to be optioned it would’ve been Sogard. Though he had a brief return to Oakland mixed in his numbers in Sacramento this year are far more inspiring than his pathetic numbers from his time in Oakland, as he has 10.7 K/9 to 2.3 BB/9 and though he has a brutal 5.12 ERA it doesn’t tell the whole story (a 55.0% strand rate is likely a culprit) as his FIP is a tidy 3.10.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dangerous Dean permalink
    July 17, 2011 1:15 am

    I am rejoicing with you. Honestly, I am surprised that Anaheim has stayed this hot, what with their lack of offense. But thanks for taking two…so far. Here is hoping you can make it 3 of 4 tomorrow!

    I saw your post about Davis for Bailey, btw. I know a lot of Ranger fans are down on Davis, but I really hope they hold on to him. I think he is a late-bloomer like Nellie Cruz was and I have a gut feeling that Davis will be able to shorten his swing enough to be a very productive major league hitter within a year or two. I think we can find a Bailey type a lot easier than we can find another Davis.

  2. July 18, 2011 11:12 am

    Los Angeles’ offense is a lot different than ours. While both aren’t performing up to snuff they still have the guys who can get some runs all by themselves (Trumbo, Wells, Hunter, Abreu, Kendrick) we don’t. Makes a big difference.

    Yeah I wonder about Davis too. I liken him to a Jayson Werth (hopefully not this year’s edition if we got him) but Nelson Cruz seems a reasonable comp too. I’d love a better walk rate, but being able to add legitimate power to a corner infield position, or realistically ANYWHERE for this team is such a crucial piece.

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