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Live Blogging: A’s @ Orioles Game 21

April 27, 2012

The A’s take on the O’s at Oriole Park at Camden Yards tonight. The surprising first place Orioles will throw Jake Arrieta on the hill. He has thrown 24 2/3 innings of 7.7 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 with 0.7 HR/9 baseball all three of which represent thus far career bests. While his ERA sits at 4.01 his FIP is a much tidier 3.22. The A’s will feature Brandon McCarthy making his sixth start of 2012. Thus far, he has thrown 32 innings, featuring 5.1 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and 0.8 HR/9 for a 3.74 FIP, slightly higher than his 3.38 ERA. He has been a soreluck loser entering today with an 0-3 record. Coco Crisp is in tonight’s lineup meaning Michael Taylor can grab a few crab cakes and head back to Sacramento. My guess is Crisp is probably still playing sick but senses he might be losing out playing time longer-term if he doesn’t show up so I don’t expect much out of him. Other differences in the lineup are Kila Ka’aihue starting at first and Eric Sogard getting the start at third.

  • 4:13PM PDT – Top of 1st, 2 out – Coco strikes out. I really was sort of hoping he’d be DL’d. He just isn’t a valuable player.
  • 4:17PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 0 out – Double to right field for Nolan Reimold. Early trouble for McCarthy and the A’s.
  • 4:20PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Fly out for J.J. Hardy to left field. Reimold tags and advances to third care of Crisp’s noodle arm.
  • 4:21PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 2 out – Nick Markakis flies out to left field and Reimold tags and scores. I don’t think anyone tries that against virtually any other left fielder in Major League Baseball. No one even thinks about it, yet against Crisp, not only do they think about it. They execute it. O’s 1, A’s 0.
  • 4:27PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 1 out – Ka’aihue draws a walk. I have a feeling he might hit himself into the lineup in the short-term. Well, he sort of already is, I suppose.
  • 4:32PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 2 out – Kurt Suzuki doubles it to left field. Ka’aihue scores from first. The only reason Ka’aihue scored there is because of Reimold missing the cut off man. If he hits Hardy, the inning is over and the Orioles lead is in tact. He doesn’t. Kila scores. A’s and O’s tied at one.
  • 4:35PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 2 out – The aggressiveness from Ka’aihue to score wasn’t needed as Sogard takes a 3-1 pitch from Arrieta to right field for a home run to make it 3-1 in favor of the A’s. Interesting the CSNCalifornia broadcast states it is a home run from Luke Hughes – it is not.
  • 4:38PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 3 out – Nine pitch at bat from Cliff Pennington pushes Arrieta’s pitch count to 49 pitches (27 strikes) through just two innings. Would be nice to really get to the O’s starters early and burn through some of their bullpen ahead of the remainder of the series.
  • 4:44PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 2 out – Mark Reynolds draws a walk from McCarthy. Reynolds walks at an above average rate and so far has walked 12.7% of the time. He is of course known for his prodigious strikeout totals currently striking out 39.7% of the time. CSNCalifornia had an interesting graphic up showing that Reynolds leads the league presently in the percentage of at bats (not plate appearances, hence the difference) that result in a strikeout or home run. He leads despite having zero home runs on the year at 45.5%.
  • 4:51PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 0 out – Jemile Weeks draws a lead off walk. Good stuff. Pitch count keeps climbing, climbing, climbing for Arrieta.
  • 4:52PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 1 out – Matt Wieters throws out Weeks. Looks like he may have missed him. But regardless it was a great throw. Weeks still is sliding too late…
  • 4:53PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 1 out – Costly caught stealing as Coco manages a double to right field that could’ve scored the speedy Weeks from first and added to Oakland’s lead.
  • 5:04PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 3 0ut – Eleven pitch inning for McCarthy whose efficiency stands in stark contrasts to the lack thereof from Arrieta. Through three apiece, Arrieta has thrown more strikes (41) than McCarthy total pitches (40). Overall Arrieta has thrown 70 pitches nearly twice as many as has McCarthy.
  • 5:17PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 3 out – This is the best McCarthy has looked all season long. 50 pitches for McCarthy across his four innings, with 33 for strikes.
  • 5:26PM PDT – Top of 5th, 0 out – Leadoff double just over the head of Sogard at third for Chris Davis. Weird sort of slice on that ball. Tough break, but entering with a .091 BABIP on the day, that’s just the pendulum swinging the opposite way.
  • 5:30PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 3 out – 6-4-3 inning ending double play and McCarthy gets out of the inning unscathed.
  • 5:36PM PDT – Top of 6th, 1 out – Josh Reddick with a home run to right field. First row. Didn’t look like he killed it, it just sort of carried and carried and ended up in the first row. A’s 4, O’s 1.
  • 5:37PM PDT – Top 6th, 2 out – And Arrieta’s night is through. He didn’t pitch terribly, but he was mostly the victim of his pitch count: 105 pitches, 62 for strikes and the long ball: two of the four hits were home runs accounting for three of his four earned runs. Otherwise he had two walks and three strikeouts. New pitcher is: Troy Patton. Patton is unimpressive this year with just 3.4 K/9 with 1.1 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9. His ERA is 4.50 with an FIP of 4.15.
  • 5:45PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 1 out – Double for J.J. Hardy to right-center. The broadcast crew is disagreeing with the Yoenis Cespedes decision to slide on that, but I am not that upset with it despite the ball skipping away. Tough to get all the way to that ball.
  • 5:47PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – Adam Jones, opposite field to right field. Reddick juggles it and that allows Hardy to score without any question. With Reddick’s arm if he fields that cleanly he probably gets him at home. Interesting game with a lot of outfield arms, throws and non-throws really coming into play. O’s now down by two, 4-2.
  • 6:06PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 0 out – Leadoff walk to Reynolds as Ryan Cook begins working in the bullpen presumably to pitch the eight but perhaps earlier if McCarthy runs into some trouble.
  • 6:08PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 1 out – Routine fly ball to center from Ryan Flaherty, but then Cespedes fires it to second. Wasn’t like Reynolds was going anywhere, but love the message that it sends: You may wrong on noodle arm in left, but don’t even think about running on me.
  • 6:18PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – Six pitch walk to Coco has Buck Showalter reconsidering his pitcher and going to the bullpen. Matt Lindstrom is due in, a man who has been traded four times in his career, most recently to the Orioles from the Rockies with Jason Hammel in exchange for Jeremy Guthrie. Lindstrom, who has an average fastball in his career of 96.3 mph, is a former closer off to a good start in Baltimore with 9.7 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 across eight and a third innings with a 0.00 ERA and 1.82 FIP.
  • 6:21PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – Stolen base for Crisp. Love the speed the team is using. Got to give him credit, he has indeed had a pretty good ballgame, probably better than anything Taylor could’ve put up.
  • 6:22PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 0ut – Base hit for Reddick scores Crisp, stolen base pays immediate dividends. A’s up the lead to 5-2.
  • 6:25PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – McCarthy is done for the day. Line is seven innings, two earned runs on five hits, with three walks and four strikeouts. Ka’aihue also is done for the day with Daric Barton taking the reins at first. Cook comes in to face the Orioles’ 2-3-4 hitters.
  • 6:28PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 2 out – I am impressed with Cook. Two straight swinging strike outs, he could be a future closer – has the moxie for it. Hardy and Markakis set down can Jones make it a swinging strikeout on everyone in the inning?
  • 6:30PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 2 0ut – Cook gets Jones to swing and strikeout but the ball was so far away yet Jones swung, and the ball got away, that he ends up on first. So, can Wieters help Cook tie the record with four K’s in the inning?
  • 6:34PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 3 out – He may have fouled off five pitches but Cook outlasts Wieters and ties the record for most K’s in an inning with four getting Wieters swinging. Not a bad inning of work there.
  • 6:37PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Kevin Gregg in for the Orioles. This guy is terrible. He lost his closer job and sports a 9.64 ERA, interestingly enough he also had 9.64 BB/9. So his FIP is ugly too at 9.32. He’s allowed a slew of HR’s as well and his xFIP too is ugly at 8.58 so there is no way to sugarcoat Gregg’s 2012. It’d be nice to get a few insurance runs.
  • 6:42PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 0 out – Grant Balfour out to close it out. Blew the save last time out, time to get on track tonight.
  • 6:47PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 0 out – Walk to Davis. He has some leeway here, but better to just shut it down.
  • 6:53PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 3 out – A’s win!
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