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Live Blogging: A’s @ Orioles Game 23

April 29, 2012

The 13-8 and in first place Baltimore Orioles, take on the 11-11 and in second place Oakland A’s this afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. On the hill for the O’s is Tommy Hunter, off to a terrible start with a  -0.3 WAR, a 4.74 ERA and 6.80 FIP. For the A’s they will start Bartolo Colon, who is tied for ninth in WAR at 0.7 among American League hurlers, and though his strikeout numbers are down (5.5 K/9) he is getting it done with minimizing extra baserunners (1.3 BB/9) and keeping the balls out of the hands of souvenir seekers (0.8 HR/9). A’s lineup has Kila Ka’aihue hitting fifth today. He has been getting a lot of these starts at first as Bob Melvin plays the hot hand. Eric Sogard gets the start at second, meaning that Coco Crisp moves into the leadoff spot (but it is strange that Crisp is the DH, don’t know why you don’t go with Jonny Gomes) with Cliff Pennington in the number two slot behind him.

  • 10:43AM PDT – Top of 1st, 3 out – A’s go relatively quietly in the first inning, with just a Josh Reddick line drive single to show for it. The top of the order today with Crisp and Pennington has a lot of low-OBP guys early, heck you can throw Reddick in there too.
  • 10:45AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 0 out – Nolan Reimold with a leadoff double.
  • 10:46AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 0 out – Why is J.J. Hardy trying to bunt Reimold over? Hardy has (a relatively quiet care of playing for Baltimore) 30 home runs last year.
  • 10:47AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 2 out – Line drive to first, doubles off Reimold. Fortunate for the A’s.
  • 10:53AM PDT – Top of 2nd, 3 out – Nine pitch inning for Hunter. A’s anemic offense is out in full force early today.
  • 10:58AM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 2 out – Swinging strikeout of Matt Wieters is the first strikeout of the game for Colon. Not sure why his K/9 rate is down yet this year. He certainly hasn’t had trouble finding the strikezone. Perhaps therein lies the problem – he is getting contact far more than he is missing bats? Colon hasn’t ever been a huge K guy, career mark is just 7.0 K/9, but his 5.5 so far this year is well below last year’s 7.4.
  • 11:02AM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 3 out – Freezes Wilson Betemit on the outside corner for his second K of the ballgame and to end the second inning. So far, so good on the mound.
  • 11:05AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – Nice play by Mark Reynolds to catch the ball in the baseline and quickly snap his arm back out of the way before Luke Hughes snapped his arm back off for him.
  • 11:09AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – Crisp draws a walk. Doesn’t do that too often. Nice to see them taking a few pitches as Hunter has been able to zip through prior to now.
  • 11:10AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – Pennington with a single. Little late rally here. I hate that it feels like the A’s just get baserunners with two outs. Except they fall short of scoring. Turns out it is true 54 hits with two outs (that includes the two today) makes it the most of any number of outs beating one out hits (52) and no-out hits (46).
  • 11:12AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 3 out – Ground out to the pitcher for Reddick kills the rally and strands two.
  • 11:17AM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 2 out – Hardy, who Buck Showalter elected to sacrifice earlier, just missed a home run foul down the left field line. Just a bit late on that pitch.
  • 11:22AM PDT – Top of 4th, 0 out – A leadoff hit! Yoenis Cespedes comes through with a single.
  • 11:23AM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Wow, very impressive 3-6-3 double play by Reynolds. Reynolds dives away from second, throws out Cespedes from his knees, then gets up to get the throw from Hardy. Nice defensive play. Poor job by Cespedes not trying to slide into Hardy.
  • 11:24AM PDT – Top of 4th, 3 out – Why did Seth Smith running on Nick Markakis‘ arm? He has a good one. And shows it off. After getting a gift single by the ball bouncing off the bag weirdly, he tests the arm and is thrown out with ease by Markakis trying to double his gift. Poor decision there on Smith’s part.
  • 11:32AM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 3 out – This game is moving along at a good pace. Both starters look pretty good: Colon’s four innings are marred by three hits, but he has struck out two. Hunter’s four innings, have seen him allow four hits and a walk though he has yet to strike out anyone. 48 pitches for Colon (31 for strikes), while it is 53 for Hunter (35 for strikes).
  • 11:34AM PDT – Top of 5th, 1 out – Reimold reaches over the outfield wall (didn’t realize that it was such a short wall) and robs Kurt Suzuki of a home run. Weird just seeing him stand and reach the ball clearly over the wall as opposed to a leap or jump of any sort. In off-field news, Ken Rosenthal reports that the A’s will indeed sign Brandon Inge as I predicted. Think that means Hughes, due up later this inning, has his days here numbered.
  • 11:52AM PDT – Top of 6th, 2 out – Another two-out hit for Reddick. Hopefully Cespedes can get the A’s a run here.
  • 11:53AM PDT – Top of 6th, 2 out – Double into the left field corner for Cespedes! Scores Reddick, finally… the A’s get a 1-0 lead.
  • 12:01PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 3 out – Eleven straight set down by Colon. Just 67 pitches, 47 for strikes for him. Through six: 11.2 pitches per inning. Can’t get much more efficient than that.
  • 12:04PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – Smith with a nice long home run to near dead center. Crushes that right into the O’s bullpen. A’s up the lead to 2-0.
  • 12:12PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 0 out – O’s refuse to relinquish first place as Markakis with a leadoff double to right center as they try to get back into this ballgame.
  • 12:20PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 2 out – The unintentional, intentional walk to Chris Davis put the tying run on first with Betemit coming to the plate. Ryan Cook starts to warm in the A’s pen.
  • 12:21PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 3 out – Pennington pulls down the pop out. Crisis averted.
  • 12:24PM PDT – Top of 8th, 0 out – Darren O’Day is the new Orioles pitcher. The side-armer who is dependent upon his slider, will face the top of the A’s order, entering the game with ten innings pitched of 9.9 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and 0.9 HR/9 baseball with an 0.90 ERA for a 2.65 FIP. Despite a very good outing by Hunter – seven innings, two earned runs, on seven hits (including the Smith HR), with a walk and a strikeout – he is on the hook to pick up a loss right now.
  • 12:31PM PDT – Top of 8th, 3 out – Three up, three down for O’Day and Colon walks out so he will be taking the mound in the eighth. Pitch count is just at 84, wonder if he can have a quick inning if they leave him in to get the shutout?
  • 12:36PM PDT – Top of 8th, 1 out – Colon leaves a pitch up high and Robert Andino singles off of him. Cook still is throwing in the pen, I imagine if Colon allows another runner Colon is out. Don’t think he has a particularly long leash.
  • 12:37PM PDT – Top of 8th, 3 out – Well that was quickly squelched. Reimold hits into a 6-4-3 double play, inning over.
  • 12:39PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – New O’s pitcher: Pedro Strop. Strop came to the O’s in a deal separate of the deal that sent Davis and Hunter over as the Rangers looked to get the entire Orioles bullpen to push them to the World Series. Strop has been good in 2012 so far: twelve innings, 10.5 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9 with a 2.25 ERA and 2.95 FIP. He is throwing the hardest he’s thrown in his career at 96.7 mph so far this year.
  • 12:41PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 1 out – Double for Daric Barton pinch hitting for Kila. Needs more of those if he wants to get back into the lineup.
  • 12:50PM PDT – Top of 9th, 3 out – Reynolds misplays the ball and Andino picks it up flings it to Strop to get out of the inning. All signs point to Colon coming in to close out the shutout.
  • 12:52PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 0 out – Ball is hit up the middle by Hardy. Sogard went deep to get it but had a poor throw that Barton couldn’t handle at first leaving Hardy safe. He would’ve had him out. Barton should’ve had it, the throw was far from good, but it also didn’t seem that tough. Tying run is at the plate, Markakis is due up as the number three hitter, so gets tougher for Colon here.
  • 12:55PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Big K of Markakis. Adam Jones is up now as the tying run.
  • 12:57PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Big trouble for the A’s. Weak ground ball that Colon had to field. He threw it past Barton now it is second and third with just one out. Tying run in scoring position will end Colon’s day. Grant Balfour is coming in to face Wieters, then Davis.
  • 1:03PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Double halfway off the left field wall scores two, ties the game for Wieters. Blown save for Balfour. Both these runs get tagged to Colon, need to question Melvin’s decision keeping him in. Wieters is out for a pinch-runner, Endy Chavez, as the O’s look to win it. Hunter is also spared a loss as Colon will earn a no decision on an eight and a third inning, two earned run, seven hit, one walk, five K performance.
  • 1:04PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – A’s smartly elect to intentionally walk Davis and take their chances with Betemit who is 0-for-3 today.
  • 1:08PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Game over. Walk off three run home run for Betemit. Wow. That changed in a hurry. Terrible loss that falls on the shoulders of Melvin and possibly Curt Young who conferred about leaving Colon out there. Loss goes to Balfour who fails to record an out and gets tagged for a double and home run plus the intentional walk. Terrible ending. O’s win 5-2.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Hungary4A'sNews permalink
    April 29, 2012 4:33 pm

    Dismal. But when we play 162 so we will get some of these too.
    Help me out on this please:
    Brandon Inge CLEARED waivers.. That means no one made a claim right.
    so now he can be kept or traded BUT this is the reason he is only due the league Prorated minimum? or anyone DFA’d even if claimed is due only the prorated minimum?

    • April 29, 2012 4:55 pm

      Inge is signed with Detroit for $5.5M. In baseball contracts are guaranteed, so Detroit is on the hook for $5.5M. To release a player he must be placed on release waivers. Let’s say that someone valuable was released (unlikely for obvious reasons), you can claim him on waivers and then that transfers that contract straight to the new team, i.e. the A’s would be paying him $5.5M. Since he cleared release waivers, that means he is the Tigers’ responsibility financially, and any team signing him is only responsible for the league minimum with the Tigers picking up the rest of the tab.

      • Hungary4A'sNews permalink
        April 29, 2012 4:59 pm

        ok cool. SO THAT is why the A;s did NOT put in a waiver claim. Now the MLBTraderumors story makes more sense to me. The A;s will now (the say) contact Detroit about obtaining him. Let;s assume it is true. Who gets bumped down/off from the 25 man roster..Your guess?

  2. Hungary4A'sNews permalink
    April 29, 2012 5:30 pm

    Dear Blog Readers, the Very thorough answer to the above question can be found in the Next heading of this blog. Appreciatively, this commentor. : )

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