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Live Blogging: Mariners @ A’s Game 140

September 4, 2011

4:13PM EDT: After allowing a double to Mike Carp, Bailey K’s Smoak and Olivo to end it. A’s sweep the Mariners – it is indeed good to be home! They have a series with Kansas City on tap next which ought to prove interesting since I assume some of their minor league talent may be getting some glimpses in the show. A’s improve to 64-76 while the M’s fall to 58-81. With the A’s 5 1/2 games up on Seattle for third and trailing the Angels by 12 for second, it seems more and more like third place is where they will end up in all likelihood.

4:06PM EDT: Andrew Bailey comes in to close out the win – now a save situation. He owns 17 shutdowns to four meltdowns. He needs to retire the 3-4-5 hitters, who are Ackley, Carp and Smoak.

3:54PM PDT: Kennedy goes down swinging on three or six pitches.

3:52PM PDT: Balfour gets Franklin Gutierrez swinging for strike two and he is down – his oblique? He had a wild swing there and he really hobbled off the field. He represented the tying run, but now Adam Kennedy will pinch-hit with a 1-2 count and still represents the tying run of course. I wonder how this is scored for pitches per plate appearance? It isn’t a plate appearance for Gutierrez, does that mean that Kennedy begins having “already seen” three pitches? Not a common occurrence – not sure how it is scored.

3:45PM PDT: Luis Rodriguez gets a single that plates two (a Smoak single got him on and a Robinson double made it second and third). The save opportunity again exists. Why oh why did we use Balfour here? It always seems like in these situations where you take a high leverage pitcher and put him into a low leverage situation it results in some calamity like this. While I do say that, looking it up at Fangraphs reality disagrees with me (though it is very interesting the inverse relationship with BABIP):

Leverage FIP BABIP
Low 2.84 .304
Medium 2.77 .220
High 5.21 .107

3:38PM PDT: Balfour is out to pitch. I assume Melvin couldn’t get someone else warm by the time the A’s added on? Not crazy about it having him in there. Want to use him when a game is on the line, not when its pretty much sewn up.

3:33PM PDT: Another wild pitch gets past Olivo and this one allows Sweeney to score from third. A’s 8, M’s 3. Wonder if this means we see someone other than Grant Balfour in the eighth? He had been up and warming, seems unnecessary to have him come in now.

3:32PM PDT: They got Allen swinging after walking DeJesus – why not just go for the K of DeJesus to begin with? You don’t walk guys and give up outs – not smart baseball. The A’s make them pay as Ryan Sweeney hits it under the glove of Robinson in left it gets by him for a triple that clears the bases and makes it 7-3 Oakland.

3:30PM PDT: Miguel Olivo with a ball past him, a wild pitch for Lueke. They walked DeJesus presumably to set up the double play. Do they now do that with Allen too?

3:29PM PDT: Wedge is having Josh Lueke intentionally walk David DeJesus to face Brandon Allen. I wouldn’t do this move if I were Wedge. First time DeJesus has gotten the IBB this year.

3:28PM PDT: Willingham with a nice pop out to Trayvon Robinson in left. Deep enough that Penny can score from third and get back some of the lead 5-3.

3:24PM PDT: Probably a home run most days, but Matsui hits a double off the top of the fence in right-field (Bob Melvin is however calling for a home run review) his third double of the day. Cliff Pennington only gets to third, a little surprising, I would’ve thought he could make it all the way around. It was obviously not going to be caught that was for sure.

3:18PM PDT: Well that didn’t really work out as planned. Fuentes puts it on the tee and Dustin Ackley tees it up. Home run to deep right field. A’s 4, M’s 3. This really was the right move regardless of the outcome – sometimes of course, things just don’t work as planned.

3:15PM PDT: We really are taking advantage of this expanded roster thing! FDLS comes in and strikes out Luis Rodriguez, gets Ichiro to ground before surrendering a single to Gutierrez. The result? He is pulled in favor of Brian Fuentes to face Ackley (L) and possibly Mike Carp (L). At least Fuentes is being used correctly.

3:09PM PDT: When it is time for a change… and right now you can argue it really isn’t but it appears that the A’s are going with the piecemeal approach as Fautino De Los Santos (12.3 K/9!) comes in to pitch. I think he will be a big part of the bullpen next year. I wonder if the A’s tender a contract to Craig Breslow, it’ll be interesting to see.

3:01PM PDT: Eric Wedge is going to go with a new pitcher as well as Blake Beavan is replaced by Josh Lueke. Cosmetically, Lueke’s numbers look as terrible as his rap sheet, (7.04 ERA) but unfortunately, unlike his rap sheet, this is mostly due to bad luck – .351 BABIP, 56.8% strand rate. His 3.71 FIP while not of an All-Star caliber is solid.

2:54PM PDT: Josh Outman is going to come in and pitch for Trevor Cahill. Doesn’t seem as if Cahill is injured – or at least there is no indication of it. I think this move is of the “we have a ton of guys on the roster, let’s use them” variety as Cahill was running into some trouble in the fifth and Outman specifically is someone who could figure in the rotation for 2012. Outman enters this contest with a 3.29 ERA and 3.65 FIP (a much higher 4.64 xFIP it should be noted) in 52 innings spread across ten appearances, eight of them starts. He has managed 5.7 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 which is a solid number given his control struggles at Sacramento (5.4 BB/9).

2:48PM PDT: Brandon Allen hits a double to right. DeJesus (who smartly advanced to second on the throw home by Robinson) scores. A’s 4, M’s 1.

2:45PM PDT: And he does it poking it to left field! Mike Gallego waves Matsui home and Robinson throws a great throw to Miguel Olivo at home. Olivo drops the ball and Matsui scores. If Olivo catches it, Matsui is out. A’s catch a break there and add to their lead, 3-1.

2:44PM PDT: Another double from Matsui and DeJesus gets another shot with two outs and a runner on second. It’d be nice to see him come through. I really like him, he has been terrible this year but I’d completely be open to signing him to an extension. He is a no-brainer to offer arbitration to.

2:34PM PDT: Dustin Ackley walks on four pitches. Cahill has sort of hit a bump here and Ron Romanick is out to talk to him and Josh Outman is up in the pen warming up now.

2:30PM PDT: Ichiro steals second. Tying run is in scoring position…

2:28PM PDT: Ichiro Suzuki singles home Trayvon Robinson to cut the lead to 2-1. Robinson came over to the Mariners as a part of a three-team trade between the M’s, Red Sox and Dodgers that sent Erik Bedard to Boston. The Dodgers – who knows what they were thinking – sent Robinson up I-5 to Seattle. I think he is going to be a special ballplayer. He hasn’t been much special since joining Seattle (.250/.299/.403 with a .307 wOBA, 95 wRC+ and 0.1 WAR) but he tore up the PCL (yes, fine he isn’t the first to do that) and I like what he’s done in the field so far (though advanced metrics have him as a negative fielder it is an awfully small sample size).

2:22PM PDT: Blake Beavan records his first 1-2-3 inning coming in the bottom of the fourth. Nine pitch inning really helped him out as it looked like he might run into pitch count problems earlier. Hasn’t been a stellar outing for Beavan with the three walks to one strikeout, and two runs in four innings. Thus far through four Cahill has bested him with no walks and four K’s, while keeping the M’s at bay with only 63 pitches.

2:08PM PDT: And he does just that, hitting it to deep left center where Gutierrez tracks it down and Matsui trots home. Oakland 2, Seattle 0.

2:06PM PDT: David DeJesus with a chance to redeem himself as Hideki Matsui doubles and Josh Willingham singles to make it the corners with no one out. He needs to just drive the ball and at least get Matsui in from third.

1:53PM PDT: Kurt Suzuki with a nice solid hit to left field gets Allen home from third. A’s take a 1-0 lead!

1:49PM PDT: Leadoff double by Brandon Allen! After a stellar start he has slowed down a bit, but love the aggressiveness. He was looking at third base there for a triple, not just content to get a double. It ends up being a double but I love that hustle – good to see.

1:46PM PDT: Cahill gets out of the jam. Can’t say I feel any degree of confidence with him on the mound though, need to score some runs!

1:43PM PDT: Nice toss from Ryan Sweeney, keeps Justin Smoak from scoring from third (he bluffed but would’ve been out) and keeps the M’s from scoring. I really like the idea of Sweeney as the everyday starter in center next year, Coco is one guy I am not enamored of resigning despite his very clear value (he is the tops position player for the A’s with 2.1 WAR).

1:39PM PDT: Second inning strikes again? Bases loaded, one out, as Cahill loses a fastball and hits Casper Wells on the funny bone area it seems. Ouch. Second inning still the roughest for Cahill: 7.14 ERA, hitters tagging him for a .325/.387/.408 slash line.

1:29PM PDT: David DeJesus pops out leaving two men on. He has been terrible this year and lots of people are using the “we know what he can do, let’s see what Taylor can do argument”. Two things: first off, this whole year is not “what DeJesus can do”. He is having a bad year. But it is an outlier thus far in his career – he is far better than this. Secondly, the Type-B is too valuable to lose just to give a look see to a guy like Taylor. It sucks, would love to see more of Taylor and see what he can do but that is a high price to pay – not worth it.

1:11PM PDT: Franklin Gutierrez gets to Cahill as the second hitter of the game with a double to right center field. The pitch was up. That is sort of the story of Cahill these days…

12:58PM PDT: I am back from vacation the live blog returns! I also missed recapping yesterday afternoon’s game, but simply put it was a gem from Brandon McCarthy. Who notched a complete game (his fourth of the year – yet his first complete game victory) while K’ing ten Mariners walking none earning a WPA for the game of .405 his highest on the season with a 91 game score. For today’s game Trevor Cahill who has been nothing short of awful lately is on the hill for the A’s. Surely you will hear the numerous comments about a new month and a new chance for Cahill – hey if that psychological crap works for him I say great, but I am not anticipating much. If you are going to get out of a funk as a pitcher though the Mariners are a good team to do it against. The M’s put up Blake Beavan (3.4 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, 1.4 HR/9 and a 4.83 FIP) to face him. The A’s lineup is without Michael Taylor and Coco Crisp (he fouled a ball off his foot and is getting some recuperation time). Manager Bob Melvin had said he would get the start today. Joe Stiglich in the Inside the A’s had this to say about the situation,

“You’ll notice no Michael Taylor in the lineup for the A’s. Manager Bob Melvin mentioned Friday that Taylor would start in right field today, but said this morning he had a change of heart. ‘I put my foot in my mouth on that one,’ Melvin said with a smile. “’’ll ease him in against left-handers. He’ll get to play some. I jumped the gun on that one. There’s a chance he could get in there (Monday). He’s not here to sit, that’s for sure.’ Melvin added that it’s not a situation where the right-handed hitting Taylor will play ONLY against lefties.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Melvin handles Taylor’s playing time through the end of the season. In my book, if you bring a guy like that up in early September, he should be playing regularly. This guy is a big-time prospect, and the A’s need to find out what they have in him. But there’s logic to choosing the spots for a young guy, playing him when you think he’s got the best chance to succeed and build his confidence. Then again, the A’s know what they have in David DeJesus at this point. They’re less certain about Taylor, which is why I think he needs to play – often.”

DeJesus – who is in the lineup today – needs to keep his Type-B status and so long as he does that, play Taylor all you want.

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