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Live Blogging: Indians @ A’s Game 17

April 22, 2012

Tyson Ross takes the hill today on his 25th birthday for the A’s in his second start of the year. He is countered by Justin Masterson of the Indians. Masterson is having a rough start to his season with a 6.48 ERA in 16 2/3 innings, while his FIP is better at 4.21 it isn’t anywhere near good. Home runs have been the problem for the sinkerballer as he has allowed 1.1 HR/9 far higher than his 0.7 HR/9 career mark, but the biggest responsibility for that ERA lies with a ridiculously low 47.2% strand rate that I imagine will be remedied sooner rather than later, the A’s hitting .168/.292/.299 with RISP and just .178/.272/.303 with men on can aid him in that but hopefully will not. A’s lineup is pretty much what would be expected. Seth Smith is in left and Kila Ka’aihue mans the designated hitter role today as Coco Crisp still is out with flu-like symptoms. With Eric Sogard starting at third base it doesn’t seem like Josh Donaldson will get one final opportunity to save his roster spot before the A’s put Luke Hughes on the 25-man roster.

  • 1:13PM PDT – Top of 1st, 2 out – Shin-Soo Choo with a double off the wall in center. Yoenis Cespedes leaped and didn’t get it but he didn’t make as big a mess of it as Josh Reddick did yesterday.
  • 1:14PM PDT – Top of 1st, 2 out – Double from Travis Hafner to right-center gives the Tribe an early lead to work with as Choo scores. 1-0 Indians.
  • 1:21PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 3 out – Incredible, that what seemed like a very fast half inning from Masterson at 16 pitches (11 for strikes) was actually less efficient than Ross’ 13 pitch, 10 strike first.
  • 1:29PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 1 out – Aaron Cunningham ground out caroms off of Sogard’s glove straight to Cliff Pennington who tosses it to Jemile Weeks wide of second. Everyone safe. Great. How many extra outs are A’s pitchers expected to be able to get? One thing I did like on that play is as Jack Hannahan slid into second, despite missing him, Weeks held the tag as he got up.
  • 1:32PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 2 out – Hannahan is picked off between second and third. Cunningham gets to second on the play which is a smart play by him. But at least the A’s get one out back for Ross.
  • 1:35PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 0 out – Love how Cespedes really is a five-tool player. The speed he has for someone with all that power is great. Legs out an infield hit up the middle. Impressive.
  • 1:38PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 1 out – Five tools! Stolen base for Cespedes. Love seeing the A’s run. Need way more of that. Put pressure on defenses, pitchers, everyone.
  • 1:41PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 3 out – Kurt Suzuki is K’d on a mean slider on the inside corner. Don’t get how he can watch that go by. You’d think if anything catchers more than most would have the best sense of the strike zone and would watch fewer strike threes go by.
  • 1:48PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 3 out – Two strikeouts in the inning for Ross who is settling in and looking good. Eleven pitch third inning for him hitting 94 with the fastball. Good stuff from the birthday boy
  • 1:55PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 2 out – A two-out walk from Weeks seemed as if it wouldn’t pay any dividends. But Pennington took a straight down the middle pitch and drove it to right-center to tie this game up at one on the double.
  • 1:57PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 2 out – In his 63rd plate appearance of the year, Reddick draws a walk from Masterson. Here’s to his  1.6% BB%!
  • 1:59PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 3 out – Love the aggressiveness with the double steal by Pennington and Reddick. Didn’t love Cespedes popping out. A part of me really thought that the Indians might intentionally walk him to try their luck with Ka’aihue.
  • 2:06PM PDT – Top of 4th, 1 out – Hannahan with another hit. Man, he is just killing us. 1-for-1 with a walk on the day today.
  • 2:14PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 0 out – Hopefully that can get him out of his slump! Home run for Smith! With Ka’aihue on via the walk, the A’s now take a 3-1 lead. Way to turn on the belt high pitch.
  • 2:15PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 1 out – Impressive play by Masterson as he catches it, it pops out as Lou Marson runs into him and he stays with it to get it again. I like seeing pitchers field the pop outs like that. They should. They have a glove. Suzuki with another bad at bat though with him hitting a straight up the chute pop up.
  • 2:20PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 1 out – Another walk for Masterson as has back-to-back walks to Daric Barton and Sogard. Total of 77 pitches for him, 43 for strikes.
  • 2:29PM PDT – Top of 5th, 0 out – Four pitch walk to start the fifth. Not the way to do it, even if it is your birthday and you can do whatever you want.
  • 2:33PM PDT – Top of 5th, 2 out – Great play by Weeks there on the line drive by Michael Brantley to double off Marson off first. Happy birthday Tyson, XOXO, Jemile!
  • 2:34PM PDT – Top of 5th, 2 out – Double by Jason Kipnis. Weeks’ play likely saved a run. Again on the throw in another great toss from Reddick. He just seems to catch/pick up and throw with one motion with such speed and such accuracy.
  • 2:41PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Ka’aihue hits it into the shift, Kipnis gets it in the outfield grass but throws wide of first. They rule it a hit. Ray Fosse is adamantly insisting it should be a hit given where Kipnis fielded it, but I think it was a relatively routine where he was and should be ruled a throwing error. Regardless, good to have him on first.
  • 2:43PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Another walk. Six on the day. Smith to first.
  • 2:44PM PDT – Bottom of 5th 2 out – Suzuki with a hit up the right side. Kila comes around to score from second testing the arm of Choo who throws it up the line. A’s lead 4-1.
  • 2:46PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – A’s two out rally continues. Barton with an infield hit as Jason Donald was running back up the middle. Bases are loaded for Sogard, good chance to break this wide open.
  • 2:52PM PDT – Top of 6th, 0 out – Another lead off walk this one to Hafner. Fourth lead off walk issued by Ross, Hannahan in the 2nd got one, Hafner got one in the fifth and then last inning Marson walked. Shockingly, none of these runners have come around to score. Lucky.
  • 2:54PM PDT – Top of 6th, 3 out – Another double play. That is how you keep walks from hurting you. Dangerous way to live though.
  • 2:56PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 0 out – Masterson’s day is over. Final line is pretty messy: five innings, four earned runs on six hits including the Smith home run, with six walks to just two strikeouts. 110 pitches for Masterson. He is replaced by Rafael Perez, who hasn’t been good at all in limited time. Across his four and two-thirds innings he has just 1.9 K/9, matched by allowing 1.9 HR/9 and has tossed 3.9 BB/9 for an ugly 6.59 FIP to go with his 5.79 ERA.
  • 3:08PM PDT – Top of 7th, 2 out – Another walk for Ross as Marson trots down to first care of four straight misses, his fifth on the day and Bob Melvin is going to relieve him of his responsibilities on the mound. Don’t know if I agree with Glen Kuiper’s “he pitched extremely well”, it seems he got extremely lucky.
  • 3:11PM PDT – Top of 7th, 3 out – Jordan Norberto comes in and before we can even talk about him, one pitch and a ground out to second base to get out of the inning. Nice work.
  • 3:15PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 1 out – Cespedes is K’d by Perez. He is looking less and less fooled on pitches, that pitch was just a great pitch by Perez that blew past him.
  • 3:17PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 1 out – Opposite field double off the left field wall for Ka’aihue. He is really hitting well this year. Not ideal to have two left-handed first basemen but I think he is a good piece to this team.
  • 3:21PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 3 out – Suzuki ends another inning with a strike out. This one a poor swing, maybe that is an improvement over watching one right over the heart of the plate? Ryan Cook looks set to come in. Really pleased with Ryan Cook so far. Six and a third innings, just 2.8 K/9 go figure with his electric stuff, but an incredible 0.59 BABIP and important for a reliever 100.0% strand rate. Of course, the BABIP and strand rate won’t stay anywhere near those figures and he could look very unimpressive if those change substantially without movement on the K/9 rate.
  • 3:25PM PDT – Top of 8th, 0 out – How many lead off walks can you have without being burned? So far five on the game. Really playing with fire. Kipnis is on first now.
  • 3:28PM PDT – Top of 8th, 3 out – A weird 5-6-3 double play care of the shift applied to Hafner. A’s get out of the leadoff walk yet again. Third double play turned by the A’s in this game.
  • 3:30PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Nick Hagadone comes in to pitch for the Indians. Just two outings for him so far and he has yet to allow a run but has struck out four of the nine hitters he has faced.
  • 3:36PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 2 out – Love it Sogard steals second. Then Pennington seemingly ground out. Donald throws it over to first where Jose Lopez has trouble digging it out (though it was an infield hit) and Sogard doesn’t stop and rounds third and scores. Great running. A’s expand the lead to 5-1. Grant Balfour, warming in the pen has now lost an opportunity for a save, it’ll be interesting to see if Melvin gives him some work.
  • 3:41PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Balfour it is, despite the save being off the table. He has a 1.00 ERA so far on the year, with a 3.95 FIP in nine innings. This is his ninth appearance on the year and like Cook he owns a ridiculously low BABIP (.087) and 100.0% strand rate.
  • 3:45PM PDT – Top of 9th, 2 out – Nice play by Cespedes in center. Hit straight at him, had to go back, made a nice play making it routine. You see this kid improve, day after day, really exciting stuff. Also that retires A’s killer Hannahan.
  • 3:46PM PDT – Top of 9th, 3 out – Swing and miss and Donald and the Indians are set down. A’s win one for birthday boy Ross! A’s win 5-1. Good stuff.
7 Comments leave one →
  1. Hungary4A'sNews permalink
    April 22, 2012 6:56 pm

    again thanks for blog
    Saw mlb clip of SOGARD in th 8th . I understand he was running on contact as there were 2 outs…but come on! to score on that!..PROOF that the Melvin-led team and Beane Brass must be rethinking things…maybe your AN complaints last week were read by “?”
    Or finally I just got my preferred A’s style back in fashion.

    • April 22, 2012 7:00 pm

      I don’t mind the stolen base if you can do it well (and we can). I do hate the sacrifice bunt though. Maybe they do read me? That’d be nice. Haha.

  2. Hungary4A'sNews permalink
    April 22, 2012 7:02 pm

    well not complaints..I meant that you pointed out the PLAY the strength arguments in the AN piece….i really need Blog training courses.

    • April 22, 2012 7:05 pm

      Haha. No worries dude. Yeah, I just think that you need to run until they can prove they stop you. They can’t do that, why stop right?

    • April 22, 2012 7:06 pm

      Ultimately, it is the same philosophy as taking pitches. Take them until they prove they can throw strikes and miss bats. Otherwise just let them give you free passes.

  3. Hungary4A'sNews permalink
    April 22, 2012 7:23 pm

    Yes, Baseball is a realistic precentage and financial beast. But I think that there is also the factor that may have the “plus value” that is hard to always quantify..The Entertainment factor! No one wants to go to the park and watch static baseball that is why the basepaths offer a legitimate added entertainment involving strategy, risk, controversy, pressure on your opponent (Rangers squeeze today), and dirty white home uni’s. You have done well to argue that, and I have tried to explain that to me a gameplan like this makes for more excitement Even when wins are scarce! Plus my ADHD nephew needs baseball to have a bit more energy, and strategy than the old walk, K, or homer method!

    • April 23, 2012 11:11 pm

      I don’t know. When I go to games where I have no rooting interest, I want a good, fast, well-pitched close game. When I go to watch the A’s, I just want them to win. If its ugly its ugly and I’m fine with it. I’m happy watching walk after walk. I just want the win.

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