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Live Blogging: Royals @ A’s Game 6

April 10, 2012

The A’s and Royals will not start on time as there is soggy weather in Oakland tonight. Danny Duffy, who got his first major league win last year in Oakland, takes on Graham Godfrey making his first start as the A’s fourth starter. The A’s lineup is quite a bit different than what we are used to from Bob Melvin‘s A’s. Yoenis Cespedes has now moved all the way up to number three in the lineup. Jonny Gomes is hitting cleanup with Josh Donaldson hitting fifth. Collin Cowgill gets the start in right field, he hits sixth and Anthony Recker makes his debut behind the plate in 2012 and hits eighth. Not entirely the order I’d put guys in but let’s see how it plays out whenever the A’s finally take the field. In A’s news today though, aside from the weather there are some gray clouds care of the fact that Joey Devine is visiting Dr. James Andrews to get season ending Tommy John surgery.

  • 7:48PM PDT – Top of 1st, 0 out – Game is starting despite the fact it appears to still be raining, this one has to be a doozy for fans.
  • 7:49PM PDT – Top of 1st, 0 out – Alex Gordon draws a walk to begin this contest. What a mess it looks like out there. I wonder if the running game that has been so active against the A’s will be existent today with the slick conditions. I will guess no, but I wonder who the advantage really goes to? Runners have poor footing, but catchers may be forced to quickly throw slick balls. One thing that is true about these weather conditions is you need to play for runs quickly and keep a lead throughout in case it is called early.
  • 7:58PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Great play by Eric Hosmer to get Jemile Weeks on the foul out. Hosmer calls off Humberto Quintero and slides and on his back catches the thing. Really impressive play especially looking up into the rain. I really like Eric Hosmer, he is one guy I really enjoy watching.
  • 8:02PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 2 out – Cespedes takes the walk. Nice to see him not swinging on those offspeed pitches that seemed to fool him so bad yesterday and take a walk.
  • 8:04PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 3 out – Terrible K from Gomes, second of the inning for Duffy and he gets out of the first.
  • 8:08PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 0 out – Jeff Francoeur gets on base with a hit up the middle. The ball had this giant trail of water coming off the spin. The field is soaked. Must be sloppy and got to be careful out there.
  • 8:17PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 3 out – Great running catch from Cowgill in right field to rob Chris Getz of a possible double on a very wet track. Easily saves two runs. Score remains tied.
  • 8:27PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 3 out – Wow. Lorenzo Cain makes a great play in center field to rob Daric Barton of a double now. Cowgill had rounded second, could not get back and was doubled off. Great play by Cain, far more of a robbery than was Cowgill’s catch on Getz.
  • 8:32PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – Alcides Escobar tries to get on via the bunt but that nice fielding play by Godfrey gets him at first. Good defensive play from the pitcher.
  • 8:37PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 1 out – Stand up double into the gap for Cliff Pennington. First time the A’s have a guy in scoring position in this one.
  • 8:38PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 2 out – Pretty pathetic baserunning there. Pennington was out by a mile on the pickoff. Pennington was frozen, Duffy turns throws gets Getz. And there goes that aforementioned runner in scoring position. Seems that he slid a little and was planning on stealing and the Royals guessed right, but can’t give away baserunners like that.
  • 8:43PM PDT – Top of 4th, 0 out – Billy Butler doubles into the left field puddle filled corner. As per CSNCalifornia he has 141 doubles since 2009 which leads Major League Baseball in that time. Not sure if this makes it 142 or not. Does it really matter? I thinketh not.
  • 8:45PM PDT – Top of 4th, 0 out – Francoeur plunks one in front of Cowgill in right and Butler advances to third. With no one out, it’ll be tough for Godfrey to work out of this mess he has created.
  • 8:46PM PDT – Top of 4th, 0 out – Mike Moustakas hits it to deep dead center field. Cespedes gets turned around (again) and took a weird route that resulted in the ball bouncing off his glove. Butler of course scores, surprisingly Francoeur does not but regardless it gives the Royals a 1-0 lead. I wonder how long Cespedes stays in center with Coco Crisp over there in left field ready to make all these plays? I know I’ve had complaints about Coco’s arm in center but one has to wonder if the fielding troubles for Cespedes translates into trouble elsewhere, as I suspect has been the case with Chris Carter.
  • 8:48PM PDT – Top of 4th, 0 out – Cain is out of the game. Mitch Maier is in pinch-hitting. The TV crew is speculating that he may have hurt himself on the great catch he made that slammed him into the wall. He apparently limped and winced off the field but is still in the dugout. He looks to be sitting next to the trainer on the bench, but I wonder if this is Ned Yost playing for a called game through five and trying to push a run across getting the lefty/righty matchup against Godfrey? I probably am overthinking things.
  • 8:51PM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Quintero flies out to right field. Cowgill with an exceptional on target, but it was just hit too deep and Francoeur gets in just before the throw. Royals on top 2-0.
  • 9:00PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 3 out – And Gomes strikes out again. Now he is up to a 60.0% K% on the young season.
  • 9:18PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Recker walks, Cowgill walked earlier in the inning. Two on, two out. Duffy not looking so hot, good time to strike. Pennington with another extra base hit (his other was the A’s lone hit to this point, all the other baserunners are via the four walks) could tie this.
  • 9:19PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 3 out – Those four walks go along with six strikeouts for Duffy, the sixth coming right there on a breaking ball that Pennington swings through on a breaking pitch thrown by the Kansas City starter. A’s still down.
  • 9:27PM PDT – Top of 6th, 2 out – Butler has three stolen bases in his 696 game MLB career. He now has three caught stealings to go along with them as the strike him (Francoeur) out, throw him out double play comes to fruition for Godfrey, Recker and the A’s. Great throw by Recker, wonder if the A’s spent a lot of time on this in the spring as he’s looking good too.
  • 9:34PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – Another strikeout for Duffy. Aside from the walks, Duffy is having a heck of a game: seven strikeouts on 95 pitches and just the one hit that double to Pennington.
  • 9:36PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – Duffy almost paid the price for a poorly located pitch as Cespedes hooks it foul but deep enough down the left field line…
  • 9:37PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 3 out – Make it eight strikeouts. Cespedes finally sees the breaking ball and it fooled him down on his shoetops.
  • 9:40PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – Jerry Blevins comes into the game and on just his second pitch gives up a solo shot to the lefty Maier. Royals lead swells to 3-0, or pretty much out of range of the A’s to make a comeback. No relief in the relief pitching so far.
  • 9:42PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – Quintero now draws a walk. Blevins’ numbers last year ended up good with a 2.86 ERA, though his advanced stats didn’t agree with that assertion with a 3.70 FIP and a high 4.5 BB/9, but I never felt confident in him and for whatever reason I still don’t and this is not doing anything to help matters.
  • 9:45PM PDT – Top of 7th, 1 out – Getz grounds into what should’ve been a somewhat easy dive and get the guy out at second sort of play. But Weeks slips on the messy muddy infield dirt and can’t get a grip on the ball and rolls it to Pennington at second to nab Quintero. Smart play. Like that sort of thing.
  • 9:51PM PDT – Top of 7th, 3 out – Getz now is picked off by Blevins so all out disaster is avoided as he K’s Gordon then later picks off Getz to get out of the inning without any further damage.
  • 9:54PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 0 out – Aaron Crow comes into the game to help sew up the win for Duffy. Crow is a very good younger pitcher and with the right hander in Seth Smith will pinch hit. He has a very funny early season line: 18.0 K/9, 4.5 BB/9 and 0.0 HR/9 in two innings. Despite that he has a 13.50 ERA, yet he only has a 0.19 FIP, even the xFIP is generous to him at 0.96.
  • 9:55PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 1 out – Crow promptly strikes out Smith on a nasty curveball.
  • 9:56PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 2 out – Ten strikeouts for Royals pitching. Nasty pitch to get Donaldson another curve looks like.
  • 9:59PM PDT – Top of 8th, 0 out – Andrew Carignan is into the game for Oakland. Don’t get why he is getting as much playing time as he is – the rain is really coming down now too. Carignan also has a weird line as he has 7.71 K/9, 7.71 BB/9 and a 7.71 ERA in two and a third innings of work.
  • 10:01PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – After Hosmer loses his bat while swinging, umps call for the tarps. Rain delay.
  • 11:08 PM PDT – Game is over. Called in the top of the 8th with 2 outs. A’s fall 3-0 to Kansas City.
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