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Live Blogging: Rays @ A’s Game 102

July 25, 2011

10:43PM PDT: Strike out of Joyce. Come from behind win from the A’s. Who’d a thunk it?

10:39PM PDT: And the plot thickens… Evan Longoria walks which means the tying run comes up to the plate in the form of Matt Joyce.

10:36PM PDT: There goes a 1-2-3 ninth as Ben Zobrist doubles into the corner. He is a good ballplayer as that moves his slash line to .276/.369/.491. Good hitter, good fielder, underrated talent.

10:32PM PDT: Andrew Bailey in to close this thing out. He has twelve shutdowns, to three meltdowns as he tries to earn his 13th save. (That is why I like the shutdown and meltdown stats, they are analogous to saves and blown saves but a bit more reasonable, Bailey has two blown saves, so they’re familiar to you as numbers but still new.)

10:27PM PDT: They give him a double. Go figure.

10:26PM PDT: Coco Crisp hits it way out to left field, looked like Jennings had it tracked down but the ball just popped out of his glove. Coco gets to second, I think it should be a two run error, kicked off the heel of his glove, but let’s see what the official scorers think. Could be a double because Jennings had a long way to go. Regardless, Pennington comes all the way around to score the insurance run and make it 7-5 in favor of Oakland.

10:22PM PDT: The new Rays pitcher is Cesar Ramos and he enters the game and promptly walks Pennington on four pitches. At 4.9 BB/9 control isn’t exactly Ramos’ strong suit.

10:12PM PDT: Grant Balfour takes the hill against his former teammates in Tampa Bay for the first time. With the lead Melvin goes to the Balfour to Andrew Bailey plan which makes good sense. Really like the back end of our bullpen, even if I want to blow it up by trading Bailey.

10:06PM PDT: Conor Jackson takes Peralta nearly out of the yard. The double scores Willingham and DeJesus and in the process gives the Athletics the lead. A’s lead 6-5. Pitcher of record is J.P. Howell for Tampa Bay, Brian Fuentes for Oakland.

9:59PM PDT: This game tightens up with DeJesus getting a long single to right field that scores Matsui and gets Willingham to third. Rays 5, A’s 4. Howell is being removed (so much for no more pitching changes huh? Already two in the twenty minutes and like inning or so since I said that) and in will come Joel Peralta. Peralta is a future closer for Tampa Bay as there have been rumors saying that they might deal Kyle Farnsworth their current closer and Peralta would assume the role. He has been alright so far, 7.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 with a 3.77 ERA, 3.62 FIP.

9:57PM PDT: Howell allows a single to Matsui and then walks Willingham. Fifth walk from Rays pitchers but none have as of yet come around to score reports the CSNCalifornia crew. Good opportunity for the A’s against a pitcher who struggles with their control to get back some runs.

9:49PM PDT: I thought we were seeing an unintentional intentional walk, but nope, Fuentes is pitching to Upton. Not a big fan of this move, I hope should he get behind they just pitch around him to get to Kotchman. At 5-3, the game should not be a lost cause.

9:43PM PDT: Wuertz allows a double, strikes out Longria and is now coming out of the game as Melvin goes to the pen to retrieve our favorite: Brian Fuentes. Fuentes, is being used to get out LH-hitter Matt Joyce. His being used properly is probably the most exciting aspect of this pitching change. Upton (R) follows him, then it is back to a lefty in Casey Kotchman it’ll be interesting to see if he pitches to Upton, of course that all is dependent upon him getting Joyce, far from automatic.

9:37PM PDT: Weeks grounds out off of the new Rays pitcher J.P. Howell to end the inning. Howell is one of the few guys who has stuck around in the Rays bullpen with three of their big bullpen arms leaving in the offseason including Oakland’s Grant Balfour. Howell strikes out even more (8.5 K/9) and walks even more (6.4 BB/9) than Gomes. Uglier results, 7.94 ERA and a 5.86 FIP for -0.4 WAR. This game is slow – stop changing pitches please Bob Mevlin and Joe Maddon.

9:29PM PDT: Sizemore sacrifice fly scores DeJesus. A’s cut the lead to 5-3.

9:25PM PDT: David DeJesus records career double #200. He becomes the 961st member of the 200 doubles club, joining Coco who entered this illustrious group yesterday in New York. Chases Hellickson from the game new pitcher is Brandon Gomes. Gomes a 0.0 WAR pitcher strikes out a good deal of hitters (7.0 K/9) and walks a good deal (5.4 BB/9), a nothing special reliever.

9:19PM PDT: Good toss by Kurt Suzuki to get Desmond Jennings at third base and making up for the initial steal of second. A’s already are down by a seemingly insurmountable amount, key play there.

9:12PM PDT: I said this in the first inning, I stand by it with a slight alteration: Moscoso came in still giving up lots of fly balls (only 24.9% GB%), he also came in only having a HR/FB rate of 6.9%. The first number is problematic, the second is unsustainable. The second number being unsustainable is what makes the first problematic. Kelly Shoppach demonstrates how that all works by homering to left field. Rays 5, A’s 2. Guillermo Moscoso‘s night is over, Bob Melvin is going to the pen and bringing out Michael Wuertz. Moscoso leaves giving the A’s -.359 WPA, and with a 10.58 FIP for the game. Yikes.

9:08PM PDT: This game has a terrible pace to it. Hellickson has been very unimpressive. Moscoso has started to pitch like he should. Just a miserable game though. Hellickson now is up to 100 pitches with that ball making it a 1-1 count to Josh Willingham. Going to be  a battle of the bullpens, games that aren’t ever particularly fascinating.

8:50PM PDT: Upton is making sure the scouts took note of that. Triple over the head of Coco Crisp (who has a nasty collision with the fence) scores Joyce. Rays 4, Athletics 2.

8:46PM PDT: Guillermo Moscoso though he had another double play to save him, but Jemile Weeks threw an ill-advised throw to Conor Jackson at first and he threw it well wide. Damon scores, Rays lead 3-2.

8:45PM PDT: Moscoso loses Longoria. He has issued four walks, three to Longoria alone. How many 3-2 counts has it been now? Pitch f/x data not working and I don’t want to do a count. But seems high. 85 pitches only 48 for strikes through four and a third. Not pretty.

8:40PM PDT: I think Hideki Matsui on trying to sell the trap, allowed Johnny Damon to get the double. That little pause to raise it was the difference – still worthwhile to try and sell it. Why not? But might have had Damon on a very close play at second.

8:29PM PDT: Moscoso is skating by still. Lot of pitches up to 72 now in four innings (not that Hellickson is a model there, he has only pitched three innings and is at 70) with only 41 being strikes. Three walks, no K’s and a HR allowed. I want Moscoso to succeed but the numbers have kept saying he shouldn’t be an we’re starting to see that come to fruition though he still just keeps lucking out. Such bizarre stats on this kid.

8:05PM PDT: Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. Moscoso miraculously gets out of that mess without any damage. Matt Joyce hits it to right field but Jennings elected not to run on his arm. Gets out of it. Unreal.

8:01 PM PDT: Guillermo Moscoso walks the bases full with back to back walks to Zobrist and Evan Longoria. He needs all the luck he can get with the mess he created for himself.

7:55PM PDT: Desmond Jennings hits one in the air off of Moscoso (does anyone not?) and it hits the ground well out in left for a double. Sean Rodriguez scores and we are quickly tied 2-2.

7:53PM PDT: For all the eyeballers out there, I’m going to say it. Sonny Gray looks like a ballplayer.

7:47PM PDT: Pennington gets the A’s the lead back. Home run to right-field extends his hitting streak to nine games and makes the game 2-1 in favor of Oakland!

7:32PM PDT: Nice (but strange) play by Cliff Pennington. Ball deflected off of Scott Sizemore at third pretty much straight to Cliff Pennington who tosses out B.J. Upton at first. Wild. 5-6-3 ground out.

7:27PM PDT: Jeremy Hellickson walks two after getting the first two outs. David DeJesus needs to come through here, he has been better since the break, needs to up his trade value with a big hit and scouts in the seats.

7:12PM PDT: Moscoso came in still giving up lots of fly balls (only 24.9% GB%), he also came in only having a HR/FB rate of 6.9%. The first number is problematic, the second is unsustainable. The second number being unsustainable is what makes the first problematic. Ben Zobrist demonstrates how that all works by homering to right field. Tampa Bay 1, Oakland 0.

7:01PM PDT: The A’s have played 101 games this year and none of them have been against their fellow American Leaguers in the Tampa Bay Rays. I hate this stupid unbalanced and out of whack schedule. It is mind-boggling to think these clubs have yet to play this year. When I was a kid we had nice somewhat symmetrical balanced schedules. Every AL opponent came to town on a weekend and every AL opponent came  to town once during the week. It was nice, it was simple. Oh well those days are over. Tonight Guillermo Moscoso takes the hill for the A’s. In his last start in Detroit he started to show his true colors as the unsustainable numbers began to come home to roost in his worst outing as an Oakland Athletic. Despite that he still has out of whack numbers: 2.96 ERA, 4.64 FIP, 5.14 xFIP and an even higher still 5.26 SIERA. I worry that we will see more Moscoso coming down to earth today against a decent Rays lineup. The Rays put Jeremy Hellickson on the mound, who like Moscoso has a rather wide split between ERA (3.17) and FIP (4.29). He has thrown 6.1 K/9 to only 3.3 BB/9 while benefiting from an incredible .224 BABIP. The A’s put a pretty standard as of late lineup in there, with American League Player of the Week Hideki Matsui hitting third.

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