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Live Blogging: Mariners @ A’s Game 3

April 6, 2012

A’s take on the Mariners as baseball resumes for the green and gold in Oakland. It is a rematch of sorts of the opener with Brandon McCarthy getting his second start of the season in only the A’s third game. Jason Vargas meanwhile takes the hill for Seattle as Felix Hernandez is swapped in the rotation so that King Felix can pitch the Mariners home opener (again against the A’s). Vargas held Oakland in check in Tokyo and the lineup to face him is a bit different with Yoenis Cespedes jumping to the five spot inching his way towards the heart of the order. Coco Crisp hits second, I prefer Cliff Pennington in that role, with Josh Reddick hitting third for the first time in his MLB career. Jonny Gomes hits cleanup – another move I don’t like – and Kila Ka’aihue gets the start at first hitting eighth.

  • 7:10PM PDT – Top of 1st, 1 out – McCarthy gets Chone Figgins looking. Not entirely sure I think that call was correct but I will take the strikeout.
  • 7:14PM PDT – Top of 1st, 2 out – McCarthy with a nice two-seamer to catch the inside corner and K Ichiro Suzuki looking now. Great start for McCarthy, despite the hit allowed to Dustin Ackley.
  • 7:20PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 2 out – Jemile Weeks lead off single spoiled by a 6-4-3 double play hit into by Coco. Don’t like him in the #2 spot but I can’t honestly say it was a concern over GIDPs.
  • 7:23PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 3 out – Gomes chases a pitch way high and outside by Vargas. Not a good at bat at all.
  • 7:33PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 2 out – Third strikeout for McCarthy, first swinging as he gets Miguel Olivo to chase.
  • 7:41PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 3 out – Both pitchers look good again tonight so we have a typical Mariners – A’s game on our hands. 26 pitches (18 strikes) for Vargas, McCarthy a little less efficient at 33 pitches (24 strikes). Both pitchers have yet to walk a hitter and have allowed two hits but McCarthy has three K’s to Vargas’ one.
  • 7:45PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 0 out – After eight straight batters started off with a strike McCarthy goes 3-0 to Brendan Ryan before he smacks a double to left center. Bad location there for McCarthy.  I wonder if Eric Wedge will play all conservative for one run. It’ll be an interesting statement regarding his thought of McCarthy and this A’s team.
  • 7:46PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 0 out – Wedge does bunt. Josh Donaldson throws to first offline and the ball hits Figgins in the back and Weeks reaching has Figgins run straight into him. Ryan scores from second. Figgins is safe at first now. M’s 1, A’s 0.
  • 7:49PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 0 out – Figgins tests Reddick’s arm gets in safe on a single by Ackley to right field. I think his arm will change the way teams play the A’s and really benefit our pitcher. I know I had read he had a plus arm but wow – impressive.
  • 7:51PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 0 out – Bases are loaded now as McCarthy loses Ichiro and gives him a free pass to first. Not the time for it with the 4-5-6 hitters up.
  • 7:54PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 1 out – Nice play. I like that. Coco was going for it in left center and Cespedes called him off and Figgins decides not to test it. Love that. Great play. Even though Figgins would’ve been safe as Cespedes dropped the ball going to throw.
  • 7:55PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – Not a nice play. Jesus Montero hits it out to right field and Reddick gets it and that’s an arm you don’t want to test and Reddick now drops it in the same way Reddick does. Figgins scores easily. Ackley moves to third on the play. M’s 2, A’s 0.
  • 7:57PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out- Kyle Seager gets a single that scores both Ackley and Ichiro (who advanced to second on the steal – another nice piece of aggressive baserunning by the M’s that pays off). Makes a mess of things for the A’s. 4-0 Mariners. Just one of these four runs is earned, but that is of little consolation.
  • 8:06PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 3 out – A’s got screwed there. Weeks strikes out, but a bad call is what had Weeks still at the plate. Ump said that a ball Weeks hit, hit his foot thereby making it a foul ball. Ball didn’t hit his foot – he raced to first, not like someone who just fouled a pitch off their instep. Weeks should’ve ended up on first, well third really because Seager’s throw was offline the ball ended up into that massive foul ground and Weeks motored to third. Instead it is a K for Vargas and a 1-2-3 inning for him. Interestingly Susan Slusser and Joe Stiglich are both tweeting that they think the ball did not hit Weeks’ foot… it seems to me he rolled his foot and avoided contact.
  • 8:11PM PDT – Top of 4th, 0 out – The CSNCalifornia crew agrees with me which is nice. Michael Saunders hits it into center field and Cespedes takes a very interesting route to the ball and it was pretty apparent from the route that he wouldn’t get it. He has a strange jump it goes over his head, double for Saunders. Seemed a catchable ball with a better route to it, but by no means an easy or routine play.
  • 8:16PM PDT – Top of 4th, 1 out – Wheels are beginning to come off. Figgins singles, scores Saunders. M’s 5, A’s 0. Jordan Norberto now is beginning to warm in the pen. Not a good night for McCarthy.
  • 8:20PM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Figgins steals second. M’s are really aggressive running. McCarthy really isn’t adept at holding runners.
  • 8:27PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 2 out – Gomes draws a walk. First off of Vargas tonight. A’s offense looks to be running on all six cylinders as per usual – feel free to sense the sarcasm there.
  • 8:29PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 2 out – Wow. Home run for Cespedes. That was a long way away. Hit the facing above the seating out there in left center. No doubter. He kinda watched it too. If I’m Vargas I’m not too thrilled with that. A’s cut into the M’s lead, 5-2.
  • 8:35PM PDT – Top of 5th, 0 out – Leadoff walk to Justin Smoak. Not a good start. McCarthy just doesn’t look right today and the results sort of show that.
  • 8:43PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 1 out – Ka’aihue with a base hit to left field. Really would be nice to see someone outright win this first base job. Pretty unsettled at both corners with some big question marks – not a good place to have question marks.
  • 8:51PM PDT – Top of 6th, 0 out – Norberto is into this game. It’ll be interesting to see how the control is, that is his big knock but he seemed to do better in the spring with it. McCarthy’s line today: 5.0 IP, 5 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K. 95 pitches with only 58 for strikes.
  • 8:54PM PDT – Top of 6th, 1 out – Messy play there. Ka’aihue does a Daric Barton and takes a ball destined for the second baseman. Saunders runs it out. Infield single.
  • 8:57PM PDT – Top of 6th, 1 out – Aggressive on the bases. Saunders goes first to third on a Ryan base hit to left field. I kind of like how they run like this. Really puts pressure on the pitching and defense.
  • 8:58PM PDT – Top of 6th, 1 out – Safety squeeze put on by Figgins but everyone is safe. Saunders’ first to third is a big play as it nets the M’s another run. They lead 6-2. That poor play by Ka’aihue is what allows Saunders to even be on base, but of course mental errors aren’t errors so Norberto is charged with an earned run though an undeserved one for sure.
  • 8:59PM PDT – Top of 6th, 1 out – Inning continues with an Ackley opposite field hit to left. Bases now loaded for Ichiro. Big chance for Seattle to break this wide open. A’s need a double play.
  • 9:03PM PDT – Top of 6th, 2 out – Cespedes really can do it all. Great throw by Cespedes to nearly get Ryan out at the plate. Slide by Ryan was the difference. Suzuki sacrifice fly means it is now a formidable 7-2 Mariners lead.
  • 9:10PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 0 out – Reddick pretty much hit into a double play but Vargas fields it and throws it into center field. Two on now with no one out. Big deficit still but this is how it starts. Steve Delabar is throwing in the bullpen for the M’s if Vargas’ trouble continues. Though at 85 pitches, I can’t imagine the leash is that short – Wedge did remove him quite early over in Tokyo much to the M’s detriment.
  • 9:14PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 1 out – 91 pitches but Vargas is coming out with Cespedes coming up. Just 5 1/3 innings pitched for Vargas, allowing two earned runs on five hits including the Cespedes moonshot, with a walk and three strikeouts.
  • 9:18PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – Delabar neutralizes Cespedes with a swinging strikeout. Really great pitch, 95 mph fastball. Really effective coming off the 84 mph change.
  • 9:22PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – Andrew Carignan is the new Athletics pitcher. His last regular season outing he earned the loss in Tokyo on Opening Day.
  • 9:24PM PDT – Top of 7th, 1 out – Weird. Montero check swing, walk all the way to first practically before the check swing is appealing to first and he is called out. Strange stuff.
  • 9:37PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 3 out – Quick 1-2-3 inning. Delabar has looked sharp tonight. Five up, five down. Just 19 pitches, 14 have crossed the plate as strikes.
  • 9:42PM PDT – Top of 8th, 0 out – Lead off walk to Ryan, then Figgins plunks one into left field right in front of Coco. Carignan finds himself in early trouble. He seems too hittable. He throws hard but there’s no movement. MLB hitters can hit fast fastballs. I still think Carignan is the first cut when Tyson Ross gets called back up on the 17th when the A’s need a fifth starter.
  • 9:48PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Weeks comes in and gets a base hit to begin the inning against new Mariners pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen. Wilhelmsen looked very good against the A’s in Tokyo.
  • 9:50PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 1 out – Reddick shows off some warning track power to right center field. Marine Layer 1, Reddick 0. Really shows the throttle behind Cespedes blast to see Reddick’s very well hit ball just die.
  • 9:53PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 1 out – Seth Smith with a solid base hit to right field. Incredible how well he does as a pinch hitter entering today with a .336/.430/.599 mark.  The hit scores Weeks and tightens up the M’s lead to 7-3.
  • 9:54PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 2 out – Cespedes is K’d by Wilhelmsen. I find it interesting that they kept going to the fastball with him when he had fits with Wilhelmsen’s breaking stuff in Tokyo. Big strike out there though. Just sneaks by that inside corner there.
  • 10:00PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 3 out – Good at bat for Kurt Suzuki with a seven pitch at bat, ultimately though the A’s left two men on making it a bad 1-for-7 with RISP for the club today as he too is struck out by Wilhelmsen.
  • 10:03PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Fautino De Los Santos comes in for his 2012 debut. Carignan wasn’t always pretty but he had the only scoreless outing for any A’s pitchers just yet going two innings, allowing just a hit, K’ing two but walking two as well. He tossed 30 pitches but only 17 of them for strikes.
  • 10:08PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 0 out – A hit and a strike out for FDLS in the top half. Donaldson, Ka’aihue and Pennington are due up to try and keep this game from moving to the loss column for Oakland in the bottom half. They will face despite it not being a save situation, M’s closer Brandon League.
  • 10:13PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Base hit for Ka’aihue. Public address announcer Dick Callahan pronounced it oddly and differently than I pronounce it, than the broadcast crew has pronounced it, and different than the A’s media guide says to pronounce it. Maybe that chip on the shoulder is what gave Kila that hit. If so, let’s never learn how to say his name.
  • 10:16PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 3 out – Bad outing for McCarthy. Bad defense. Bad situational hitting for the A’s. And surprise, surprise it all equals a loss. A’s drop to 1-2, lose yet another home opener (or in this case a home opener at home).
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Drew W permalink
    April 7, 2012 8:03 pm

    When I see Carignan pitch I think how did he make the team and why does Melvin keep running him out there? Two games and 2 1/3 innings–more than any other reliever! Carignan has the feel of a Rule 5 guy the A’s would like to keep but can’t send down. He must be behind Cook and De Los Santos on the depth chart, right? Well, maybe he will figure it out and settle down. You are probably right–once Ross comes up, Carignan goes down.

    • April 10, 2012 3:49 am

      Yeah, I am not enthused at all by Carignan. Not sure there are better alternatives out there and as was pointed out to me the A’s having a seven man pen and sticking with Carignan is more likely than not once Ross is activated. Someone will need to differentiate themselves at Sacramento or hopefully, Carignan himself starts playing better.

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