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Live Blogging: Rays @ A’s Game 105

July 28, 2011

3:38PM PDT: Cliff Pennington strikes out this game is over. What a huge disappointment. The A’s really lost this game needlessly because of the poor play of Craig Breslow, Brad Ziegler and (needlessly poor play really has been this guy’s m.o. this year) Brian Fuentes. Wade Davis actually manages to secure a win in this affair as the seven-run seventh inning came right after he left the game. Rich Harden gets a great start wasted. What a disappointing game when the A’s were in a position to get a big four game sweep of a very good Tampa Bay Rays team.

3:31PM PDT: Scott Sizemore hits one straight up the middle. Sweeney scores from second and the A’s cut the lead to 10-8 with two outs left to try for two more runs.

3:26PM PDT: Ryan Sweeney has a leadoff double off of Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth who comes in with 15 shutdowns to seven meltdowns. As per usual Farnsworth is racking up K’s (7.1 K/9) but unlike the past he is mixing it with good control (1.8 BB/9) so he owns a fantastic 1.99 ERA and good 2.71 FIP.

3:18PM PDT: Michael Wuertz out for the A’s to pitch the top of the ninth. I really would like to see Oakland trade him – not sure if he has any true value anymore at this point as he has been inconsistent this year. If you look at his numbers they are very underwhelming with him being worth -0.1 WAR care of a terrible 5.8 BB/9, and a 4.26 FIP.

3:13PM PDT: DeJesus grounds it to Zobrist and he hits it slowly enough to keep out of the double play. Matsui lumbers in from third. Rays 10, A’s 7 – so we now may see Farnsworth who is warming on in the save situation. Messy inning for McGee and like how last night’s game’s pace was great until it just nose-dived and ground to a halt practically, the same is at play here in this one today.

3:11PM PDT: Josh Willingham singles and Matsui goes to third and with one out the A’s are looking at cutting into the Rays lead.

3:04PM PDT: Jake McGee takes the hill for the Rays now. The left-handed pitcher comes in with an unimpressive 4.07 FIP care of some middling peripherals, the 0.0 WAR pitcher will face the 2-3-4 hitters in the A’s lineup as they look to claw their way back into this thing. I can’t find anywhere talking about who the Rays set up man is but Closer News says that Peralta is their #2 option for a closer so who knows. For what it is worth for the A’s it has Fuentes as their #2 closer and he is not the A’s setup guy so who knows. There has been a ton of turnover in the Rays pen this year, so it might just be there aren’t many set roles outside of Kyle Farnsworth.

2:54PM PDT: B.J. Upton homers to left-center. Magnuson gives the run right back to Tampa Bay. Not the way to stick around in the bigs, kid. Rays lead 10-6 and what was a sort-of well-pitched game (Wade Davis was sharp save for the first inning, and Rich Harden was solid throughout his one mistake the home run to Desmond Jennings) has degraded into a sloppy offense driven game.

2:53PM PDT: Magnuson is out to pitch the eighth inning. The game leverage at 0.21 is indicative of the type of situation he has been used in this year.

2:46PM PDT: Kurt Suzuki home run! He hits it basically to the same place where Longoria hit his just a little closer to the line. Tags Peralta who hasn’t been allowing an inordinate amount of home runs. It is Suzuki’s eighth on the year which is quietly third best on the club and just one behind Matsui. A’s make it a save situation as they narrow the Rays new lead to 9-6.

2:43PM PDT: Joel Peralta, the Rays set-up man comes out even though this game currently does not set up to be a save situation come the ninth inning with the Rays holding a four run lead and even though it is the seventh inning. I think Peralta is their set-up man at least?

2:39PM PDT: Two minutes ago I wrote:

“Longoria is due up he is a right-handed hitter so no guarantees Fuentes can get him out.”

Evan Longoria can however guarantee that he can take Brian Fuentes out and does so deep to left field. The solo blast makes it 9-5 in favor of the Rays. Seven run inning as it is a group effort with the bullpen in snatching defeat from the grips of victory.

2:37PM PDT: Damon lines it out to right field, scores Jennings to help pad the Rays lead. Fuentes does earn an out though as Damon figuring DeJesus would be going home is thrown out at second by a mile. 8-5 now for Tampa Bay. Longoria is due up he is a right-handed hitter so no guarantees Fuentes can get him out. And in the ultimate white-flag sign newly-recalled Trystan Magnuson is up in the pen.

2:36PM PDT: First pitch from Melvin-is-waving-the-white-flag-Fuentes is a wild pitch. Rodriguez scores from third and it is 7-5 Rays.

2:33PM PDT: Desmond Jennings gives the Rays a lead getting it through the right side to score Joyce and Fuld. The Rays turn their deficit into a 6-5 lead. Bob Melvin is replacing Ziegler who is being booed coming off the mound and deservedly so. The book gets closed on Breslow following that single also so Breslow goes a third of an inning, surrendering two hits, three runs (all earned) with a walk. Ziegler is still responsible for Rodriguez on third and Jennings at first and without recording an out walks two before allowing the one hit. New pitcher is Brian Fuentes to face the left-handed Johnny Damon.

2:32PM PDT: Ziegler misses on four straight – they missed by a lot too – walks home Casey Kotchman. This game is now a one-run ballgame with Tampa Bay trailing 5-4.

2:31PM PDT: Ziggy loses Fuld and walks him. Bases loaded for Rodriguez who is thankfully right-handed.

2:30PM PDT: New pitcher is Brad Ziegler. Joe Maddon decides to pinch-hit with the left-handed Sam Fuld. Ziegler who is apparently on the trade market, is a “ROOGY” in many respects, and comes in with a sparkling 1.70 ERA, 2.44 FIP backed by strong peripherals (6.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9).

2:26PM PDT: Matt Joyce gets a strange bloop single into right field. DeJesus misplays it, the Tampa Bay television crew on SunTV speculate that perhaps it was Joyce’s big swing, but ultimately poor contact with the end of the bat that caused DeJesus to cut back before in on the ball. Regardless, it plunks right in front of him scoring Zobrist. Breslow will be taken out of the game now after just a third of an inning during which he allows two hits and a walk.

2:21PM PDT: Craig Breslow is into this game. Rich Harden with a solid outing but his pitch count (105 pitches in six innings) got the best of him. I wonder if Breslow is being showcased since he pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief yesterday, or perhaps it is simply a case of he is now the seventh inning guy with Joey Devine optioned?

2:09PM PDT: About six or seven rows deep, Jennings deposits his first ever MLB home run into the left field bleachers. Sean Rodriguez on base with a single for the HR scores the lead is cut to Oakland 5, Tampa Bay 2. With the way Wade Davis has been pitching, it doesn’t look like he is about to give up a whole bunch more runs, so this significantly alters the narrative on this game, though it still is looking good for Oakland to add it to the win column.

1:52PM PDT: Kurt Suzuki looking great behind the plate. Strike him out throw him out double play getting Zobrist at second and earlier Zuk tossed out Desmond Jennings trying to swipe second as well.

1:50PM PDT: Ben Zobrist singles for the Rays. Did I jinx something? (Oops)

1:46PM PDT: A big if, but if you exclude the first inning of work, Wade Davis has looked very good. He has retired the last eleven A’s to come up to the plate. Of course that five run first inning can’t be ignored. Amazing how pitchers can completely settle in though after looking so lost for an inning.

1:41PM PDT: Harden is putting on a clinic so far. K’s Evan Longoria and midway through four has yet to allow a hit while walking just one and striking out four.

1:15PM PDT: Sweeney with a great play going back on a ball hit right at him. Tough play. Robs Upton of a hit and also gives him a good lesson on how to go back on a ball. What a play. I am completely comfortable with Sweeney being Oakland’s everyday center fielder in 2012. I know there are concerns about his power, but as a center fielder are those concerns really that great anymore? He is a good fielder with good range, is a solid hitter albeit without power. I think he’d be good in that role.

1:02PM PDT: Conor Jackson with a two run home to left field! Here we go again! A five run first inning. Oakland 5, Tampa Bay 0.

12:58PM PDT: David DeJesus triples down the right field line scoring two! Where was this offense all year? A’s 3, Rays 0.

12:56PM PDT: Josh Willingham smacks one off the wall into left center field for a double. It scores Pennington, early 1-0 lead for the A’s. B.J. Upton is playing a shallow center field and Willingham pokes it well over his head. The Rays in general seem to be real shallow but we’ve seen this from other teams against Oakland too.

12:54PM PDT: Pennington and Hideki Matsui keep up their hot hitting with both singling back to back in the first. It’d be nice to have the A’s jump all over Davis today like they did off James Shields yesterday.

12:34PM PDT: Wade Davis and Rich Harden will tangle today in a matchup under sunny skies at the O.Com Coliseum. Davis got a big extension early this year he hasn’t been particularly good this year with a 4.46 ERA and even worse 4.92 FIP backed by poor peripherals like a 4.1 K/9 rate. Cliff Pennington‘s hot hitting has got him a boost in lineup position with him batting second, Ryan Sweeney also gets to stick in the lineup after a great night last night, getting the start in center field today. While there hasn’t been much in the way of trade movement for Oakland, unlike what I think we anticipated seeing, this could be the last time Rich Harden starts for the A’s as the Red Sox have been mentioned as potential suitors, and this game figures to be heavily scouted. A’s look for the four-game sweep!

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