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Live Blogging: A’s @ Mariners Game 10

April 15, 2012

Today is confusion day as everyone wears #42 to honor Jackie Robinson. Today is also my birthday so here is hoping the A’s get me a win for my 31st. On the mound for the A’s is Graham Godfrey and for the M’s Blake Beavan. Both pitchers are 0-1 on the year but given their respective team’s offenses that doesn’t really say much – well frankly given it is a bad stat it doesn’t say much – as Godfrey enters with with a 3.00 ERA and 3.06 FIP, while Beavan enters with a 1.42 ERA and 2.89 FIP. The A’s lineup is a little bit different, as to bottom of the order reflect people getting days off as Kila Ka’aihue hits seventh and plays first, Anthony Recker hits eighth and plays catcher and Eric Sogard mans third base hitting ninth.

  • 1:22PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Back-to-back hits from Dustin Ackley and Ichiro Suzuki, give the M’s an early opportunity to score. The CSNCalifornia broadcast crew commented on how these two teams have seen each other so much that they can wait on pitches, but of course they haven’t yet seen Godfrey whose only start came versus Kansas City.
  • 1:24PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 2 out – Good strikeout there to get Justin Smoak. Key play. He needs to use that as his method of getting out of this inning unharmed.
  • 1:30PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 1 out – Yoenis Cespedes goes up 3-0, then takes two straight down the middle pitches before swinging and missing on a slider. Don’t get why he took so many of those pitches down the middle.
  • 1:36PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, o out – Leadoff double by Kyle Seager. Though it didn’t get him going to second. The throw from Josh Reddick was incredible. How he can in one motion pick up and fire such a missile is pretty incredible. Really liking Reddick early, when they said he had a good arm, I didn’t realize it was this good. What a pleasant surprise.
  • 1:48PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 2 out – I lost count of how many pitches Brendan Ryan fouled off with two strikes, but it was a lot. Despite being one pitch away from getting out of the inning that many times, Ryan homers to right field to make it 2-0 Mariners.
  • 1:58PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – Jemile Weeks with a base hit. Moving Ka’aihue who led off with a single to second. A’s need to start piecing together rallies. This is getting old.
  • 2:00PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 3 out – Can always count on Coco Crisp to end a rally can’t you? Today had a rumor today that the A’s could deal Crisp to the Red Sox who need a center fielder with the injury to Jacoby Ellsbury. I have to think that Crisp’s contract is kind of high and long for a temporary replacement but I’d love to see him go. I really want to see Seth Smith in left more and when Manny Ramirez comes back with Crisp in left, Jonny Gomes and Smith sharing DH, what a mess this could be with the very person we need getting more at bats (Smith) getting squeezed.
  • 2:07PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 2 out – Again just a strike away from ending the inning and again Godfrey surrenders a home run this time to Smoak who hits it three, four rows deep to right field. M’s take a 3-0 lead on two mistake pitches.
  • 2:17PM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Nice leaping catch by Ackley to rob Reddick of a single, but very astute baserunning by Cespedes on board with a single to not get doubled off and by running smartly.
  • 2:30PM PDT – Top of 5th, 0 out – Another single for Ka’aihue. I’m starting to feel more confident that the front office made the right decision sticking with him. Worth giving him a look as in minimal time he hasn’t been all that bad.
  • 2:31PM PDT – Top of 5th, o out- Beavan hits Recker with a pitch. Two men on no one out. Good opportunity for the A’s with Sogard then the top of the order up.
  • 2:33PM PDT – Top of 5th, 0 out – Who’d a thunk it? Sogard with a home run to right field, ties it up 3-3. He wasn’t cheated either, he had it quite a few rows deep.
  • 2:43PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 1 out – Weeks made an ill-advised throw there. With Chone Figgins on first via the walk, Ackley bounces it to second, Weeks charges and instead tries a flip/shovel sort of throw to Cliff Pennington at the bag at second. He throws it way wide. Tough play to make and as the TV crew correctly states, it would have been better for him to toss it to first for the sure out.
  • 2:46PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 1 out- Well that tie was short-lived. Ichiro Suzuki rips a double into right field. Figgins scores and the M’s regain the lead 4-3. Jordan Norberto is up and working in the pen.
  • 2:47PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Ball hit back to the pitcher and Godfrey bobbles it making his only play at first. Ackley scores and now the M’s pad the lead and make it 5-3. Despite this play, I really feel that Godfrey fields his position well. We have seen very limited action from him the past two seasons but that is something I have noticed. Looking at his range factor for last year at 2.52 RF/9 it topped the RF/9 league average which was 1.58 so perhaps the stats (though I don’t heavily rely upon defensive metrics) support my eyes there.
  • 2:59PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 0 out – Norberto takes the mound. Book on Godfrey is: five innings, six hits (including two HRs), five runs, three earned, one walk and three K’s. The home runs give him a very messy 7.49 FIP on the game.
  • 3:03PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 3 out – 1-2-3 inning for Norberto with a strikeout of Miguel Olivo to end it. Amazing transformation we have seen with him. Yes, I know, still very early, but he has three and two thirds innings and has yet to walk a guy. Amazing given the guy was walking over a batter an inning prior.
  • 3:20PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 3 out – Another 1-2-3 inning from Norberto, so of course that means still no walks. I am as impressed as I ever will be with the change of a pitcher in four and two-thirds innings. Let’s hope this keeps up.
  • 3:23PM PDT – Top of 8th, 0 out – Tom Wilhelmsen is in the ball game for the M’s. This is his sixth appearance of the  year. It seems Oakland has seen him practically in all six of them and that isn’t too far off as it is five of the six coming against the Athletics. He has been very good in the early going with a 1.35 ERA and 1.24 FIP. Only Felix Hernandez has more WAR among M’s pitcher than Wilhelmsen, of course he also has pitched more innings. If Wilhelmsen kept the pace up he would have a full 1.0 WAR at Felix’ inning count – a 9.5 K/9 coupled with a 1.4 BB/9 won’t ever hurt anyone.
  • 3:27PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – Cespedes strikes out to Wilhelmsen on a 97 mph fastball. He entered the game leading the league in K’s and I assume he still does and four of them come against Wilhelmsen. In fact, he is 0-for-4 with four strikeouts against him.
  • 3:31PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Brian Fuentes in to pitch for the A’s to face Ichiro (L), Smoak (S) and Jesus Montero (R). Not the situation I’d use him for here.
  • 3:33PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 1 out – Ichiro lines it into Fuentes who recovers and throws him out. Let’s hope he isn’t hurt, but wow to have the wherewithal to get to that and throw it to first against a fast runner.
  • 3:39PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Brandon League comes out to lock this one down for the Mariners. He has three shutdowns to zero meltdowns and has yet to give up a run (let alone the two the A’s need) this season. For the A’s it is the bottom of the order, Ka’aihue, Recker and Sogard, of course with Sogard’s three-run home run with Ka’aihue and Recker on board this might not be the worst trio to have up there.
  • 3:40PM PDT – Top of 9th, 1 out – League now does his best Fuentes impression as Pennington lines it off of League who does just what Fuentes did a half inning earlier.
  • 3:42PM PDT – Top of 9th, 1 out – Ka’aihue with his third single of the day and it won’t be Recker as Daric Barton steps in as a pinch hitter representing the tying run.
  • 3:46PM PDT – Top of 9th, 3 out – Line drive from Sogard into the glove of Ackley and the game is over. A’s drop the series and fall to 4-6 on the year, still ahead of the Angels who play in New York tonight at 3-5, though I think we all don’t expect that to last too much longer.
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