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Live Blogging: White Sox @ A’s Game 20

April 25, 2012

The A’s look to win the series today with Jarrod Parker on the mound in what should be an interesting pitching matchup between him and White Sox youngster Chris Sale. Parker, who wore #74 in spring training, and briefly #21, is wearing #11. Always weird to see pitchers with low numbers like that. Eric Sogard is in at third, Jonny Gomes is in left, Kila Ka’aihue is in at first. Strangely, Daric Barton hits ninth.
  • 12:41PM PDT – Top of 1st, 3 out – Parker goes 1-2-3. He had a great MLB debut last year with the Dbacks who were looking to clinch home field advantage against the Dodgers late in the season in Phoenix. In that game he pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings.
  • 12:48PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 3 out – Sale matches the 1-2-3 of Parker. This entire series has been very well pitched, quick innings.
  • 12:52PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 0 out – Single up the middle for Paul Konerko and the perfect game for his first start for the A’s is over.
  • 12:53PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 1 out – Stupid play by Konerko or whomever was instructing him to run there. He has a bad foot which is why he has DH’d this entire series, the wild pitch didn’t squib too far away from Kurt Suzuki, yet he tries to go and is thrown out by a great toss from Zuk. I’ll take it, stupid decision.
  • 12:56PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 1 out – Eleven pitch at bat for A.J. Pierzynski and he singles to right. Konerko’s decision now looks doubly poor.
  • 12:58PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 1 out – Alex Rios doubles but a good throw from Yoenis Cespedes to hit the cut off man keeps Pierzynski stopped at third. Konerko’s baserunning mistake pays the A’s dividends.
  • 1:00PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 3 out – Big strikeout of Brent Morel. White Sox threat over.
  • 1:07PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 2 out – A’s need someone to teach these guys how to not overslide the bases. Cespedes slides through second so though he beat the throw that goes down as a caught stealing. I don’t like the way that is scored, as it does sort of mask the fact that Cespedes basically executed everything save the slide correctly and should have been safe. It makes it look like Pierzynski did something he didn’t do. That was all second baseman Eduardo Escobar holding the tag.
  • 1:12PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 3 out – Parker sets down his fifth straight. Good Oakland debut. Really excited about what he has to offer.
  • 1:20PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 3 out -Pitchers duel yet again between these two clubs. Sale with just the one hit allowed and two K’s 33 pitches, 25 for strikes. Parker has allowed three hits, but struck out three as well on 48 pitches, 32 for strikes.
  • 1:24PM PDT – Top of 4th, 3 out – Konerko on board with another hit and Pierzynski grounds into the 3-6-1 double play. Nice play by Cliff Pennington turn Daric Barton‘s poor throw. Big play.
  • 1:32PM PDT – Top of 5th, 1 out – Strikeout of Rios makes it five on the day for Parker. Really excited about him. Really, really, really.
  • 1:35PM PDT – Top of 5th, 2 out – Morel walks. First walk by a starter on either club.
  • 1:44PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Suzuki with just the second A’s hit on the day. A’s desperately need some offense, this is beyond absurd at this point. A’s enter today hitting .202/.275/.318 which is a joke. Worst in baseball, despite the fact the A’s have nine “real” hitters.
  • 1:45PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Ka’aihue with a base hit that advances Suzuki to third. Here we go. It is a start.
  • 1:47PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 3 out – Having broadcast connection problems, but Pennington blew it. Still remains 0-0.
  • 1:51PM PDT – Top of 6th, 0 out – Double by Alejandro De Aza. Dangerous situation for Parker and the A’s.
  • 1:54PM PDT – Top of 6th, 2 out – Alexei Ramirez sac’d De Aza over, which just shows how much Robin Ventura must respect Parker here, or have no faith in his hitters. Or of course it just be poor strategy. But anyhow, it was foiled by Adam Dunn popping out to short.
  • 1:56PM PDT – Top of 6th, 3 out – Crisis averted. Konerko lines it to Gomes, inning over. 91 pitches with 57 strikes for Parker through six with five hits and one walk to go along with his five strikeouts. I wonder if they put Parker out for the seventh with his pitch count nearing 100.
  • 2:06PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – Josh Reddick comes through! Double that scores Jemile Weeks and puts the A’s on top 1-0.
  • 2:07PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – Cespedes singles, scores Reddick and the A’s up the lead to 2-0. Nice as this will give Parker an opportunity to earn a much deserved win.
  • 2:10PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – Parker will come out. I imagine his leash will be relatively short.
  • 2:12PM PDT – Top of 7th, 1 out – Rios with a base hit. Parker hasn’t had many clean innings (just two) but a great outing, one more jam to work out of here. Dual action in the bullpen as both Brian Fuentes and Ryan Cook are throwing.
  • 2:14PM PDT – Top of 7th, 1 out – Seems like Bob Melvin left Parker in too long. Kosuke Fukudome drives it to deep center field, Cespedes can’t come down with it. Throws a bullet to the cut off man Pennington who screws this up. Turns around not realizing that Rios is rounding third, fires and misses him at the plate by inches. If Pennington didn’t wander around when catching the ball he has Rios at the plate. Bad play by Penny. White Sox cut the lead in half to 2-1. Parker is coming out of the game. On the throw home, Fukudome advanced to third so the White Sox with an opportunity to tie it on a sac fly with the mere one out.
  • 2:17PM PDT – Top of 7th, 1 out – Cook is the new pitcher. He has been luckier than good, but I like him and his fearlessness despite creating problems for himself with a 2.5 K/9 to 4.9 BB/9 in seven and a third innings.
  • 2:18PM PDT – Top of 7th, 2 out – A’s catch a huge break. Suicide squeeze is on. Morel pulls the bat back, so Fukudome is caught stealing home. Big break. Huge break. Game defining moment. That closes the book on Parker.
  • 2:39PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Great top of half for Cook recovering from a leadoff walk. Bottom half now and Sale is still on the mound. Just at 88 pitches.
  • 2:44PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 3 out – Good outing for Sale, but even better outing for Parker/Cook and he looks to be on the hook for a loss. His only hope is for Konerko, Pierzynski and Rios to make something happen against A’s closer Grant Balfour. Five shutdowns for Balfour this year with no meltdowns.
  • 2:48PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – One pitch for Balfour and Konerko launches home run #400 in his career to left field. The game is tied at two. Balfour earns his first meltdown. Parker does not earn his first MLB win, and Sale is off the hook for the loss.
  • 2:54PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 0 out – Addison Reed comes in for the White Sox. He has racked up the K”s to begin the year in his six and a third innings, 11.4 K/9 but he has control too at just 1.4 BB/9. Something true of him as an MiLB guy where he had 12.9 K/9 with an amazing 7.75 K/BB ratio. He faces the 3-4-5 hitters for Oakland.
  • 2:59PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Cespedes walks. Nice fighting back from down 0-2.
  • 3:02PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 2 out – Gomes strikes out… again…
  • 3:03PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 2 out – Balking Bob Davidson moves Cespedes, who was breaking for second, to second base as Reed steps off and the balk is called.
  • 3:04PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 3 out – Little surprise as last night’s hero Suzuki strikes out to throw the game into extra innings. Cespedes was breaking for third there, they are confident with his speed. He could be a future 40/40 guy. A’s look to improve their 1-1 record in extra inning affairs.
  • 3:07PM PDT – Top of 10th, 0 out – Fuentes comes into the game. He will face Morel (R), Escobar (S), De Aza (L). So far this year he has a reverse platoon through six and two-thirds innings, 6.67 FIP vs. lefties, 0.42 FIP vs. right-handers.
  • 3:09PM PDT – Top of 10th, 1 out – Aggressive! On the sac bunt attempt, Suzuki throws to get the lead runner out. Nice play.
  • 3:15PM PDT – Bottom of 10th, 0 out – The flame-throwing Reed is out. Lefty Matt Thornton is in. Yesterday, Ka’aihue was pinch hit for when Thornton came in, but with the A’s bench basically down to Seth Smith with all the illness, there is no advantage to pinch hitting here.
  • 3:22PM PDT – Top of 11th, 0 out – Jordan Norberto is the new A’s pitcher. Real test with Dunn, Konerko and Pierzynski. There was talk about Norberto becoming a starter possibly so I wonder if he is the sort of defacto guy to go a few innings here. He has thrown eight innings this year with 4.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 yet to allow a home run. The ERA stands at 3.38 and the FIP at 3.04. He has been inducing ground balls (56.5%) something the A’s I’m certain want to see more of.
  • 3:26PM PDT – Top of 11th, 2 out – Infield single for Pierzynski. Norberto tries to get him at first but throws it and it goes all the way down the line to the White Sox bullpen and the Pierzynski ends up on third. Norberto and the A’s are fortunate this happened with two outs.
  • 3:28PM PDT – Top off 11th, 2 out – A’s intentionally walk Rios and Ventura is opting to have Dayan Viciedo pinch hit for Fukudome. Viciedo has some pretty bad numbers, not sure he is the guy I’d be sticking in – 2.0% BB% yet a 25.5% K%.
  • 3:29PM PDT – Top off 11th, 3 out – That K% only goes up as Norberto gets Viciedo swinging for strike three.
  • 3:32PM PDT – Bottom of 11th, 0 out – New White Sox pitcher is Will Ohman. He has had some bad luck this year, and has a weird stat line: 10.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 2.7 HR/9 with a .417 BABIP, 10.30 ERA, 5.32 FIP and 2.64 xFIP. He is a lefty, so the White Sox are playing the percetanges as Weeks (S), Sogard (L) and Reddick (L) are due up.
  • 3:45PM PDT – Top of 12th, 2 out – Norberto walks, De Aza. Second walk of the game for him. Control problems seem to be reappearing…
  • 3:49PM PDT – Bottom of 12th, 0 out – The new White Sox pitcher, their fifth in the game, is the hard thrower right-hander Nate Jones. Jones had thrown six scoreless innings of baseball and has averaged 96.7 mph on his fastball this year.
  • 3:50PM PDT – Bottom of 12th, 1 out – Smith comes into the game to pinch-hit for Gomes. Smith is an exceptional pinch-hitter with a .336/.429/.593 slash line and five pinch hit home runs in 168 plate appearances.
  • 3:53PM PDT – Bottom of 12th, 2 out – The no doubles defense catches the White Sox flat-footed and Suzuki has a bloop single and Ka’aihue comes up hoping to end the afternoon for the A’s. The pitching has been phenomenal in this series, a relatively quick game given it is the bottom of the twelfth inning. Three hours, twenty minutes is normal for some nine inning games let along one and a third games.
  • 3:57PM PDT – Top of 13th, 0 out – Jerry Blevins comes in to pitch for the A’s who have just two arms left in the bullpen: Pedro Figueroa and new call-up Jim Miller. Blevins who has 6.8 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 with an alarming 2.7 HR/9 across his six and two-thirds innings is set to face the 3-4-5 hitters for the White Sox.
  • 3:58PM PDT – Top of 13th, 0 out – Ball bounces off the bag at first gets past Barton and Dunn leads off the 13th with a double. Weird little hit there, but it gets the Sox going.
  • 3:59PM PDT – Top of 13th, 0 out – Brent Lillibridge comes into pinch run and add some speed on the bases. I doubt Konerko sacrifices, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the A’s walk him to face Pierzynski and create some force outs.
  • 4:00PM PDT – Top of 13th, 0 out – Walk him they do. Pierzynski is up and Blevins finds himself in a bit of a mess here.
  • 4:01PM PDT – Top of 13th, 1 out – Wow. Another huge error by the White Sox. Lillibridge was lingering too far off the base, Suzuki snap throws back and gets him. Incredible play. Big play. Between this and that suicide squeeze screw up, the A’s better win this game, the White Sox are trying to give it away.
  • 4:05PM PDT – Top of 13th, 3 out – Crazy play. Pennington-to-Sogard-to-Suzuki at the plate. Gordon Beckham (running for Konerko) is out. Sort of a weird play to begin with and amazing to recover and an amazing play by Sogard. So much for the White Sox pinch runners. This makes the go of it a bit easier going forward as the the 3-4 hitters are no longer Dunn and Konerko but are now the decidedly less dangerous Lillibridge and Beckham.
  • 4:12PM PDT – Bottom of 13th, 3 out – Twelve pitches for a 1-2-3 bottom of the 13th for Jones. The one keeps chugging along, Blevins should be coming out for the top half.
  • 4:14PM PDT – Top of 14th, 0 out – Sogard made a great play to end the 13th, but a not-so-great one to start the 14th as he boots it on the Viciedo grounder.
  • 4:15PM PDT – Top of 14th, 1 out – Morel sacrifices Viciedo to second and the White Sox have a runner in scoring position. White Sox are 0-for-8 with men in scoring position today.
  • 4:19PM PDT – Top of 14th, 2 out – Blevins walks De Aza and Miller is set to come in for the A’s to make his A’s debut. Pretty wild game, Parker deserved to win it. His only other MLB game was similarly weird. That game went ten innings between the Dback and Dodgers. In the top of the 10th the visiting Dodgers scored five runs, which the Dbacks bested with six in the bottom half. Hope this one doesn’t come to that.
  • 4:22PM PDT – Top of 14th, 2 out – Welcome to the A’s Mr. Miller. Alexei Ramirez, hits a two run double on a pitch right over the middle of the plate. White Sox take a late 4-2 lead. This means White Sox closer Hector Santiago will come out to face Sogard, Reddick and Cespedes who will hope to get the A’s back in this one, so long as they cauterize this bleeding here.
  • 4:26PM PDT – Bottom of 14th, 0 out – Santiago comes in to close it out. He has just one shutdown to go with one meltdown. He owns a 4.50 ERA and a 6.92 FIP as his 13.5 K/9 is good as is his 1.5 BB/9, his 4.5 HR/9 is a big problem for him and hopefully fortuitous for the Athletics.
  • 4:28PM PDT – Bottom of 14th, 1 out – Bloop base hit for Reddick. Cespedes comes up as the tying run…
  • 4:30PM PDT – Bottom of 14th, 1 out – I love this guy. Home run for Cespedes! Si Cespedes! Game is tied at four! This guy is going to be American League Rookie of the Year. Wow.
  • 4:31PM PDT – Bottom of 14th, 1 out – Smith with a single. The go-ahead run now stands on first. This has turned into a crazy game like that Dbacks-Dodgers tilt and I am happy for that! What a game.
  • 4:34PM PDT – Bottom of 14th, 1 out – You have to wonder if the pick off attempts of Smith kept Santiago distracted. Another offspeed pitch from Santiago converted into a hit for the A’s this time for Suzuki. First and second. One out. Ka’aihue due up.
  • 4:35PM PDT – Bottom of 14th, 1 out – Ka’aihue is the hero! Bloop single, A’s fifth straight hit and that scores Smith from second and the A’s win 5-4. What a great game, it was the same outcome as Parker’s last! Weird.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Drew W permalink
    April 26, 2012 12:26 am

    Unbelievable game! A nice day for Suzuki, which I love to see. Cespedes–wow! Parker looked legit, too. I worry a little about Cespedes in CF–he had another awkward play–ran a mile and had a ball hit off his glove for a double. Not exactly an error, but it’s hard to tell if he is misplaying balls or if he’s just so fast he’s getting to balls he has no business catching, if you know what I mean. Either way, maybe you are right–give Coco CF and let Cespedes take left. Minor quibble, I suppose. Jim Miller gets the win–gotta love baseball!

    • April 26, 2012 4:52 pm

      I don’t think I’ve advocated Coco in center, I’ve more advocated him playing for another team… haha. I think that Cespedes has taken some “creative” routes to balls thus far this year but, I think he has improved game after game and I am really looking forward to his continued development. I saw leave him in center, he’ll improve.

  2. dKim permalink
    April 26, 2012 11:28 am


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