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Live Blogging: A’s @ Blue Jays Game 117

August 11, 2011

4:00PM EDT: Game over. No plunking of Lawrie. A’s win. Toronto featured horrendous pitching in this one. Let’s put it in perspective. The Jays put out six pitchers, who threw a combined 225 pitches (an average of 25 an inning!) and walked nine. Ouch. Good job by the A’s in the batter’s box. Guillermo Moscoso continues to confuse, he will lower his BABIP as today his BABIP was .188, yet even within today’s game the ERA, FIP, xFIP differential existed with him posting a 1.50 ERA, 2.01 FIP and 3.81 xFIP. Very strange numbers indeed – if it keeps going one has to start wondering is there something he is doing that makes these numbers somehow make sense? No matter what A’s win.

3:56PM EDT: Craig Breslow comes into the game for the bottom of the ninth hoping to hold a seven run Athletics lead. The drama could come in this inning as the Jays need someone to get on to have Breslow face Brett Lawrie.

3:54PM EDT: Josh Willingham walks again to load the bases in the ninth. Ninth walk for Jays pitchers. Yikes.

3:51PM EDT: Heck of a day for Hideki Matsui as he singles to make it four hits on the day. Assuming he does not come up again, and given this game that may be a bold assumption, he is so far at least 4-for-6 with two RBI. Interestingly, in a game where the A’s have walked eight times and have been hit by pitches twice, Matsui with a good eye has not walked, nor has Scott Sizemore (very good OBP and good walk rate) while every other Oakland hitter has managed at least one.

3:46PM EDT: I stand by my ground rule double in Toronto hypothesis. Scott Sizemore just got the third ground rule double of the day off Francisco.

3:43PM EDT: Frank Francisco is now due in. Whomever you consider to be the Blue Jays closer it looks like we’re seeing them today regardless.

3:40PM EDT: Former Athletic farmhand Mark Teahen is in to pinch-hit. With the sign stealing story from yesterday apparently depicting an incident with the Chicago White Sox, Teahen who the Jays acquired from Chicago in that three team deal with St. Louis had a funny quote in a story in today’s Toronto Sun saying,

“when are they going to tell me which guy to look at?”

3:36PM EDT: Brian Fuentes is in, this is too big a lead for even him to mess up I suppose. Still if you are just getting guys work why not Trystan Magnuson or Jordan Norberto?

3:27PM EDT: The Jays must just want a guy in who can get outs. I am still not entirely clear as to who Toronto’s closer is CloserNews indicates that is Jon Rauch though it seems like it could be Frank Francisco too? Regardless, Rauch is into this ballgame despite it not being a save situation or even a hold a big lead situation. This is just a our pitchers have been terrible and someone who can get somebody out needs to be pitching situation.

3:18PM EDT: No catcher has hit more home runs than J.P. Arencibia and he adds to that total now with his 19th home run. Blue Jays still trail but it is now 10-3.

3:16PM EDT: Indeed, Guillermo Moscoso‘s afternoon is over as Fautino De Los Santos and his 11.7 K/9 come into the game. Moscoso leaves having allowed a lone earned run, two runs total, on just three hits, while walking two and striking out six.

3:01PM EDT: Farrell can’t be happy with the play of Rasmus today as he strikes out to end the sixth and the Blue Jays fail to score. With Moscoso at 97 pitches, my guess is this is it for him. If so, he leaves the game having set down six Blue Jay hitters.

2:52PM EDT: Lind ground rule double now saves Moscoso a run as it keeps Eric Thames on third. I’m telling you, if there is a park factor for ground rule doubles, Toronto has to lead it. Maybe those short walls in Anaheim or Dodger Stadium may help those parks out too but Toronto will be up there, I guarantee it.

2:42PM EDT: Two base error by Perez. Two runs score. A’s up 10-2! What awful play all around from Jays pitchers today – that hit from Sweeney (that I think is being ruled a single with an error) came on Toronto pitching’s 150th pitch of the day. Wow.

2:37PM EDT: Sac fly Conor Jackson and the A’s lead swells to 8-2.

2:33PM EDT: Rough start to the inning for new Jays pitcher Luis Perez who has Sizemore get on board via and error, walks Pennington and then has Godzilla drive Sizemore home with a single – and he advances to second on the throw home, making the Oakland lead 7-2.

2:12PM EDT: After getting behind Ryan Sweeney 3-0, J.P. Arencibia elects to have Camp put him on. Surprisingly this is the second time Sweeney has received an intentional walk this year. Only two guys have received more free passes, not surprisingly, Hideki Matsui and shockingly, Daric Barton both with three.

2:10PM EDT: Suzuki gets a ground rule double. I think Toronto favors ground rule doubles, overall the park factor is 1.272 for doubles at Rogers Centre (third in baseball) behind only Fenway Park and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, yet you see a lot of ball bounce over these pretty tall fences at Rogers Centre, on account of the AstroTurf I have to think. The ball going over the fence saves Camp a run as DeJesus has to go back to third, he had easily scored otherwise.

2:08PM EDT: DeJesus is hit by an errant Shawn Camp throw. No tension or drama from it…

2:02PM EDT: Infield hit for Edwin Encarnacion. Run scores 6-2. Ironically right now Guillermo Moscoso is getting the ground balls he so desperately needs to get yet first the Pennington error and now this bunt/infield single/barely beat it out thing results in the second free pass scoring. 6-2 in favor of Oakland.

2:01PM EDT: Pennington makes an error – again. It was a surefire 6-4-3 double play from the bat of Adam Lind, but with the error, the runners (both on via a free pass) advance, with Escobar scoring and Bautista going to third. A’s 6, Jays 1.

1:55PM EDT: Moscoso loses it to Escobar. Perfection is gone.

1:44PM EDT: Brad Mills‘ three innings is all Farrell is giving him. What a mess: three innings, six runs (all earned), on five hits, two walks, yet he did strike out five. New pitcher is Shawn Camp – on Camp Day at Rogers Centre no less, but it is a summer camp day not a Shawn Camp day.

1:42PM EDT: Lawrie comes up and Moscoso elects to let him be and strikes him out. It has been nine up and nine down for him, so perhaps that plays into that decision? Because with a 6-0 lead I wouldn’t have been so concerned about a lone runner on base with two outs.

1:29PM EDT: Mills with a wild pitch. CoJax scores. 6-0 A’s, still no outs.

1:27PM EDT: Conor Jackson triples. Thames doesn’t get it up against the wall and Rasmus is nowhere to be seen. Wow. He is loafing it. Matsui scores, Willingham is right behind him (literally). A’s lead 5-0. That is not a triple if Rasmus shows up to backup Thames, plain and simple. This kid is going to wear out his welcome in Toronto (a forgiving environment if there ever was one  – largely due to a lack of interest) if he just goes thru the motions like this.

1:24PM EDT: Josh Willingham is hit by a pitch and sort of barks out to Brad Mills. In this situation I don’t think Mills is trying to hit him, he is struggling, but it is 3-0 with no one out, he wants to solve this problem not worsen it. That all said, given the showing up from yesterday of Brett Lawrie and then the subsequent drama following a Jordan Norberto pitch that hit Yunel Escobar, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a pitch hit someone today. But if that pitch happens, I expect it to be later in the game, or when the score is wide open, neither of which apply here.

1:23PM EDT: Colby Rasmus was not particularly aggressive on that ball to center field which I think should’ve been catchable. There are complaints about Rasmus’ play in center in St. Louis that likely contributed to the issues he had with Tony LaRussa that ultimately resulted in his being exiled from the Cardinals, and this play would certainly be a point of contention if I were John Farrell. Hit drops in though which is fortunate for the A’s the Hideki Matsui single scores a run and expands the Oakland lead to 3-0.

1:21PM EDT: And they do! Pennington doubles it past Eric Thames into left-center field and the A’s lead it 2-0.

1:19PM EDT: Sizemore with a two-bagger, Rosales on-base with a leadoff walk goes to third. Good scoring opportunity for Oakland now with the men on second and with no one out. It is really important for Oakland to make Mills pay for the leadoff walk.

1:14PM EDT: Another 1-2-3 inning for Moscoso but it was a lot different than the last one. Three fly ball outs – this is where you worry about that 6.9% HR/FB rate normalizing.

1:02PM EDT: David DeJesus doubles, making him 9-for-23 in the last six games. It’d be nice to see him finish this season strong. Such an aberration 2011 has been if you ask me.

12:56PM EDT: 1-2-3 first inning for Moscoso. The A’s need him to keep balls on the ground and really significantly alter this bizarre statistical profile of his to ensure he can be successful, so this inning of two ground ball outs with a strikeout of Jose Bautista is exactly what we need more of. This haphazard way he’s been doing this is unsustainable, though I have said that now all along and this is his thirteenth start and he has given the A’s a chance to win in most of them (the 4-6 record is not terrible).

12:37PM EDT: The A’s finish up their series with the Blue Jays this afternoon at the Rogers Centre. Guillermo Moscoso and his strange peripherals are put to the test again. Moscoso has put up 0.1 WAR, while managing a 3.69 ERA, 4.87 FIP and 5.42 xFIP. He still has a pathetic K/9 rate (4.5), high BB/9 rate (3.4) and unimpressive HR/9 rate  (1.2). He has an amazingly low BABIP that’s persisted at .238, with only 26.6% of contact resulting in groundballs, his saving grace being a 6.9% HR/FB. I’ve said for weeks there is no way these numbers can hold up, yet continually they somehow sort of do. The left-handed Brad Mills – who is not the manager of the Astros – takes the hill for Toronto, having split time between Canada and Las Vegas this year. He has only two starts in Toronto, but in 20 starts in Las Vegas he posted a 3.99 ERA, with a 3.84 FIP, managing 7.9 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 with 1.0 HR/9. Lineup wise the A’s have Scott Sizemore leading off today with Jemile Weeks sitting to get a day off. I like the move of putting Sizemore and his high OBP (.346) at the top of the order, especially versus a lefty (.462). I’ve advocated him as a possible number two hitter, yet Bob Melvin insists on keeping Cliff Pennington in that spot and does so again this afternoon. I am a bit surprised to see Kurt Suzuki in there for the day game after the night game, and the only other note is in place of Weeks is Adam Rosales.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. elmaquino permalink
    August 12, 2011 9:03 pm

    What do you think: should ERA be based on every 6 innings instead of every 9? After all, nobody goes 9 innings anymore.

    Or, should it be based on that pitcher’s average outing length?

    • August 12, 2011 10:04 pm

      I think there are numerous statistics far better than ERA in terms of getting at what you want to get to which is a measure of one pitchers’ worth over another.

  2. elmaquino permalink
    August 13, 2011 12:53 am

    I knew you’d say that.


    • August 13, 2011 12:57 am

      No. Because six is arbitrary. Nine is a standard that is easily applied to anyone, has a resonance being the length of 99% of games.

  3. elmaquino permalink
    August 13, 2011 1:00 am

    Not trying to sound condescending, but how do you keep watching (and WRITING about) a bad team all season?

    • August 13, 2011 1:10 am

      Its easy. In many ways when everything is going wrong its easier to write I find. It’s easy to pick apart things and propose changes than it is to just write “keep doing what you’re doing!”. It sounds corny and whats the point to be a cheering chorus non-stop, conflict breeds better writing I think, so when you disagree with something I find it easier to talk about than agreeing so in that sense the writing especially is easy. The watching a team falter? Enh, its annoying, but in the end I love the game of baseball. I can turn on a Nats-Padres game and watch it to see something I haven’t seen before, so watching the A’s is no different, though I am a clear partisan in those games. While lots of games are painful to sit through (take tonight’s against the Rangers), you still will see things you’ve never seen before, and you never know when your mediocre team can pull off something stunning (Dallas Braden’s perfect game comes to mind). Ultimately, baseball is a game of failure, your premium hitters fail 2/3s of the time. Not winning every game is expected, winning 60% makes you great. I’m well versed in winning and losing, and while winning is more fun, watching baseball brings me 90% of the pleasure, the winning is maybe the extra 10%.

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