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Live Blogging: A’s @ Red Sox Game 25

May 1, 2012

Jarrod Parker pitches today in his second start for the A’s. He had a good outing against the White Sox in his A’s debut and unlike his other two MLB starts hopefully this one doesn’t go into extra innings, he can earn himself  victory and everyone can go home early. He squares off against Felix Doubront. In 22 innings, Doubront has 9.0 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and has allowed 1.2 HR/9 giving him a 4.09 ERA and an inline with that 4.22 FIP. Lineup still features the scuffling Jemile Weeks in the leadoff spot, not a smart move in my mind, Brandon Inge hits second in an interesting unique move also. Other weird lineup pieces, Jonny Gomes is in left field, Kila Ka’aihue gets the start at first, and the designated hitter is Anthony Recker (guess that means in case something goes wrong Inge is the backup?). It is rainy and cold today, so advantage probably goes to the pitchers?

  • 4:13PM PDT – Top of 1st, 0 out – Weeks with a lead off hit as he tries to prove me wrong regardless the weak contact argument as he has a good solid liner to left field.
  • 4:17PM PDT – Top of 1st, 1 out – Josh Reddick walks again. Two nights in a row 2.1% BB% entering today’s ballgame. Moneyball at work.
  • 4:20PM PDT – Top of 1st, 1 out – Early lead for the A’s as Yoenis Cespedes hits it straight up the middle scoring Weeks. A’s up 1-0.
  • 4:25PM PDT – Top of 1st, 2 out – Reddick runs and steals third. Surprised that Cespedes stayed put at first, think he could’ve possibly made it. The pitch however that he ran on was very clearly strike three for Doubront on Kurt Suzuki but the A’s catch a break.
  • 4:31PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Ryan Sweeney gets hit by the pitch. Sweeney is having a great year so far, and good for him, I always liked Sweeney a lot. 0.7 WAR already on the year, seven times what he had last year in 108 games. Don’t expect him to keep up the .373/.394/.567 or .410 wOBA and 159 wRC+ but do expect him to have a big year. He is well suited to hit at Fenway Park.
  • 4:39PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 0 out – Lead off ground rule double for Ka’aihue. Given the conditions the A’s want to score early and often in case this one is called later on – which doesn’t seem altogether outside the realm of possibility.
  • 4:43PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 1 out – Jarrod Saltalamacchia has to feel like garbage as Ka’aihue steals third. Wow, that is aggressive. Kind of like it, if no one is watching you and you get a big lead, go for it. Big deal with one out too as a sac fly can now score him. That is his first Major League stolen base on his second career attempt.
  • 4:46PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 2 out – Cliff Pennington hits to relatively deep left field, which isn’t very deep at all at Fenway Park. Cody Ross has a good arm throws it in and Ka’aihue isn’t going anywhere. Red Sox catch a break there.
  • 5:12PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 3 out – Parker is looking very good. He has been incredibly efficient with his pitches through three innings, allowing just one hit, while striking out two on just 39 pitches (27 for strikes). Doubront on the other hand has the A’s missing at six K’s but he has paid the price, with just the one earned run, three hits, and a walk, it seems the K’s are partially responsible for a high 62 pitches (39 for strikes).
  • 5:20PM PDT – Top of 4th, 1 out – Single by Suzuki and a walk drawn by Ka’aihue has the A’s in business again.
  • 5:26PM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Pennington doubles into the gap in left center, scores Suzuki, makes the A’s lead a 2-0 one. Nice piece of hitting there. Doubront has been tough getting eight K’s thus far, but Parker has bettered him at run prevention and at the end of the day that is what really matters. Interesting though, because Doubront has by some metrics outpitched Parker: 0.22 FIP for Doubront so far this game, yet Parker’s is 2.62.
  • 5:28PM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Weeks comes through with a line drive to center field, I will take this morning’s post as full credit for that. The hit plates two and gives the A’s a commanding 4-0 lead.
  • 5:29PM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Another stolen base at third for the A’s as Weeks takes third.
  • 5:30PM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Importance of the stolen base right there. Saltalamacchia fails to block the pitch, it gets past him. Weeks trots home 5-0 A’s.
  • 5:36PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 0 out – Dustin Pedroia gets down to second base on the wild pitch from Parker. Really needs to get this heart of the lineup out. Can’t let the Red Sox get back into this one here now.
  • 5:38PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 0 out so much for keeping the Sox off the board. David Ortiz grounds out, but Pedroia scores on the play. Red Sox tighten the gap to 5-1.
  • 5:43PM PDT – Top of 5th, 0 out – Doubront’s day is done. Four innings of work for him eight K’s, two walks for an 0.45 FIP. Problem being he allowed six hits, five runs (all earned). New Red Sox pitcher is Scott Atchison who faced the A’s yesterday in a not-so-hot outing. He has 8.8 K/9 on the year, with 2.2 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9 for a 2.19 ERA and 2.79 FIP in his 12 1/3 innings of work.
  • 5:52PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 1 out – Great block by Suzuki behind the plate. Gets a tough pitch out of the dirt and had Saltalamacchia on first been leaning he would’ve had him dead to rights. Suzuki doesn’t get enough credit for how adept he is at blocking pitches. Good work there keeping Salty on first.
  • 5:58PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 3 out – Parker gets himself into a bit of trouble there and then gets himself out of it. Still a pretty economical 72 pitches for Parker – 47 over for strikes. He is proving to be the good pitcher I thought he would be.
  • 6:05PM PDT – Top of 6th, 1 out – Back-to-back hits for Ka’aihue and Recker. Nice to get a few more runs here, can’t ever feel confident regardless of the lead at Fenway.
  • 6:19PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – New pitcher for the Red Sox is Rich Hill. He has played in just one game this year at the MLB level, two-thirds of an inning with two walks. Not much to say there. He is a lefty facing Inge (R), Reddick (L) and Cespedes (R).
  • 6:24PM PDT- Top of 7th, 1 out – Good opposite field double plunked off the Green Monster by Reddick. Eighth double of the year for him.
  • 6:30PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 0 out – That’ll keep you off the plate as Parker throws one right over the head of Ross. Clear that there was no intent with it but yikes.
  • 6:34PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 2 out – Nice play by Gomes in left field running to get that Marlon Byrd drive to the gap. Good non-play too to hold onto the ball instead of trying to throw it with poor footing to get Ross out at second and double him off.
  • 6:36PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 2 out – Parker walks Nick Punto and his day is through. Bob Melvin out to fetch Brian Fuentes from the bullpen to face the right-handed Mike Aviles with two men on… Not necessarily sure that I like this move. Aviles in his career has hit lefties well: .303/.348/.489 with a .359 wOBA and 120 wRC+.
  • 6:42PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 3 out – Wow. Very impressive play there by Inge. Dove to get it. Knew he had no throw. Got up and dove to tie Ross going into third. Great play. Dare I say it but if he keeps that sort of thing, I just might enjoy this guy.
  • 6:48PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – After two pain-free outs from Hill, Bobby Valentine has decided to return to his bullpen pulling out Matt Albers. Albers comes in to the game for his ninth appearance. He has thrown eight innings of 2.3 K/9, 1.1 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9 baseball with a 2.25 ERA and much higher 4.82 FIP.
  • 6:52PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Ryan Cook comes in. He has yet to allow a run in his ten innings of work. The K/9 rate is now up to 7.2 K/9 with his BB/9 still a higher than you’d want 4.5. That minuscule BABIP persists at .048 which I don’t anticipate to keep up.
  • 7:02PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 2 out – Four straight balls to left-handed slugger Adrian Gonzalez for Cook. Might’ve wanted to switch this inning up a bit and split out the work to someone like a Jerry Blevins as it isn’t a save situation. Now due up is another powerful lefty in Ortiz.
  • 7:03PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 2 out – Two more balls to start of Ortiz and Curt Young walks to the mound to offer words of encouragement and sage advice.
  • 7:04PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 3 out – Filthy slider from Cook to freeze Ortiz. Wow. Whatever Young said worked. Nice stuff. This game alone has showcased why the A’s won that trade for Trevor Cahill. What a great night.
  • 7:13PM PDT – Top of 9th, 2 out – Pennington stole third (a steal of third – every A’s steal has been of third interestingly) and I don’t get how he didn’t score on that Inge chopper up the middle to Aviles. He should’ve been running on contact there, tack on an insurance run.
  • 7:20PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 0 out – Not a save situation but Grant Balfour is on the mound to close it out for the A’s. Five shutdowns, to two meltdowns for Balfour. Thirteen innings on the mound for him this year with a 6.9 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, and 2.1 HR/9 line for a 3.46 ERA but ugly 5.33 FIP care of all those home runs.
  • 7:23PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 0 out – Leadoff double into the corner for Ross. Inauspicious start for Balfour who needs a good outing to forget the mess that happened in Baltimore on Sunday.
  • 7:29PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Following the strikeout of Saltalamacchia (funny how all the Red Sox seem incredulous they have been called out on strikes looking) another hit given up by Balfour: a single to Byrd. Ross goes to third…
  • 7:32PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – 3-2 pitch from Balfour to Punto very high. That loads the bases up. Tying run (Aviles) comes to the plate. Jordan Norberto (not someone who instills much confidence) begins to warm in the bullpen.
  • 7:36PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Goes 3-2 to Aviles also – really the fourth pitch was a borderline strike there and he nearly walked home a run – but the result was worse as Aviles hits it up the middle for a two-run single. That means Balfour is done for for the evening and Melvin is opting to go with Norberto. Not sure I like that, but Norberto is a lefty, Lars Anderson who is due up is a lefty so at least the matchup works. Just hope Norberto’s new found better (still far from good) control shows up.
  • 7:41PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 2 out – Would’ve rather had a double play ball here and avoid a Pedroia/Noberto matchup but Norberto gets the swinging strikeout of Anderson and you can’t complain about that.
  • 7:44PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 3 0ut – Parker gets his first ever MLB win, the A’s win! Norberto induces a groundball from Pedroia to Weeks who flips it to Pennington to seal the victory. Messy finish. Norberto first career save and a big one. Good stuff. Got to starting wondering if Balfour is well suited to the closer role though with the less than desired finishes to a few games here now in the early go.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Drew permalink
    May 2, 2012 10:47 am

    I cringed when Balfour came into the game. Maybe he was having trouble locating because it was such a cold night. Not sure how much more of that stress I can take. Outside of Cook and Fuentes, not sure who I trust in the bullpen, and that is saying something, as I still distrust Fuentes from last year. Also: you’re exactly right about the Sox complaining on called strikes. In recent years they seem to have more than their fair share of whiners, with Ortiz, Youklis, Pedroia, now Aviles. Ortiz may be the worst in baseball, outside of Ian Kinsler, about complaining over every pitch.

    • May 2, 2012 1:26 pm

      I don’t yet know that I trust Ryan Cook 100% and though I think he is a good pitcher, I do not trust Brian Fuentes if the batter up is right handed. I hope Balfour gets over this but there is the chance he isn’t cut out to close. I think I might start giving Jerry Blevins some more looks. Though he doesn’t over power the numbers seem to be there for him year-in and year-out, he sort of sneaks up on you.

  2. Hungary4A'sNews permalink
    May 2, 2012 6:45 pm

    Great point Drew. Complaining about pitches! D Ortiz just hangs OVER the plate and wears his protective gear then ADD that he complains about calls. Where does he expect a pitch to a matchbox zone? Wonder what message(massage) Bob Gibson would send him!

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