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Live Blogging: A’s @ Red Sox Game 26

May 2, 2012

A’s look to win a series in Boston behind their ace Brandon McCarthy who comes in with a 3.23 ERA and 3.66 FIP backed by 5.1 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9. He faces converted reliever Daniel Bard who has pitched in four games (three starts) with a 3.72 ERA, 3.35 FIP with a good 8.8 K/9, ugly 4.7 BB/9 and solid 0.5 HR/9. A’s lineup features Seth Smith at designated hitter and Kila Ka’aihue again at first base. With groin tightness, Jemile Weeks sits and is replaced by Eric Sogard. Coco Crisp also is back despite a never ending series of illnesses and afflictions. Everyone is wearing 1936 throwbacks, Red Sox ones don’t look different really except for the cap. The A’s ones are quite significantly different with the gray and blue of the Philadelphia Athletics being worn. Sharp looking jerseys for the A’s.

  • 4:14PM PDT – Top of 1st, 3 out – Josh Reddick grounds into the inning ending double play and Bard gets out of the first having thrown just eight pitches (five crossing for strikes).
  • 4:18PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Ryan Sweeney doubles into the right field corner for his twelfth double of the year. Swingles no more, he now is Swedoubleney?
  • 4:24PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Adrian Gonzalez draws a walk on a 3-2 pitch from McCarthy, but no damage as it takes just one pitch to get David Ortiz to roll over on a sinker to Cliff Pennington.
  • 4:37PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 2 out – Really nice strike at the knees there to freeze Jarrod Saltalamacchia for McCarthy’s first strikeout on the night. Next up is the MLB debut of Will Middlebrooks who gets the start tonight at third base. Hitting .309/.396/.709 with a .488 wOBA and 209 wRC+ in his 96 plate appearances (featuring nine home runs!) with Pawtucket thus far this year.
  • 4:41PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 2 out – Middlebrooks draws a walk and then first time on base steals second base off of McCarthy and Kurt Suzuki. That one really was mostly off of McCarthy who wasn’t paying attention to him. He was an 80.4% successful basestealer in the minors (37 of 46).
  • 4:46PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 0 out – Nice work by Brandon Inge, getting down 0-2 and fighting back to draw the leadoff walk
  • 4:59PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 3 out – The pitchers both are pretty even both have allowed just one hit (Pennington and Sweeney) both have walked two, but while Bard has yet to accrue a strikeout, McCarthy has two. Pitch counts: Bard 40 (22 strikes), McCarthy 42 (24 strikes).
  • 5:04PM PDT – Top of 4th, 1 out – Yoenis Cespedes with a double off the out of town scoreboard. Not much offense as of yet in this one. Hopefully this can open up some run scoring.
  • 5:07PM PDT – Top of 4th, 1 out – There we go! Line drive into right field for Smith scores Cespedes from second. A’s up 1-0.
  • 5:11PM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Suzuki with a single in the gap to left center. It doesn’t get far enough in the corner to score Smith or let Zuk get a double, so Inge will need to come through for the A’s.
  • 5:16PM PDT – Top of 4th, 3 out – Inge strands the two runners with a ground out. Bard seemed sufficiently distracted by Suzuki of all people at first even faking a throw over when Gonzalez was playing deep near the cut of the outfield grass but they couldn’t get him to leave a hanger over the plate. Still, a one run lead is better than a no run lead.
  • 5:34PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 0 out – An error is given to Reddick on a ball he had to run a decent way to go get, but it pops out of his glove. Didn’t think it was routine enough, but regardless Saltalamacchia ends up on first to start the inning.
  • 5:36PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 0 out – Inge throws and the throw pulls Ka’aihue off the bag. Not an error there, they give Middlebrooks a base hit. First of his MLB career.
  • 5:39PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 0 out – Marlon Byrd can’t get down the bunt fouling two straight off before flying out to right field. Don’t get how McCarthy would be so tough to bunt on, it seems he’d be a bit easier than most perhaps.
  • 5:43PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 3 out – McCarthy gets himself out of the jam. Some tough spots there but he keeps the Sox off the board. 72 pitches for McCarthy through five, 47 for strikes.
  • 5:49PM PDT – Top of 6th, 1 out – Big error by Cody Ross on a relatively routine ball in left field. Smith hits it to left field, Ross overruns it, ball kicks back and Reddick is able to score all the way from first. Big break for the A’s here who go up 2-0. The error – being a mental one – is scoring-wise a hit, since Ross didn’t actually touch it, double for Smith along with an RBI.
  • 5:53PM PDT – Top of 6th, 1 out – Double for Ka’aihue into the right field corner. Great hit. Sweeney has some trouble picking it up and Ka’aihue goes in standing to second. Not worth it in all likelihood but I wonder if running full speed he could’ve maybe had a triple out of that. Regardless Smith easily scores from second, A’s add on: 3-0 and Matt Albers begins to throw in the Red Sox bullpen.
  • 5:56PM PDT – Top of 6th, 1 out – Suzuki hit by a pitch on the hand. Hopefully he isn’t hurt, trainers and Bob Melvin are out investigating him. Not a good place to be hit, not that there are good places to be hit.
  • 6:00PM PDT – Top of 6th, 1 out – Double for Inge to left center plates Ka’aihue, sends Suzuki to third. A’s lead 4-0! With that, Bobby Valentine is going out to pull Bard after 101 pitches. He has two men on he is responsible for. Not a very impressive line even if they don’t score for him.
  • 6:07PM PDT – Top of 6th, 2 out – Pretty bad K from Sogard there. The low strike has been called all night, no excuse 3-2 to not swing at such a borderline pitch.
  • 6:17PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – Ortiz with a double high off the Green Monster. I think someone other than Coco may have thrown him out, but not to be for Crisp…
  • 6:24PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – Clayton Mortensen, the former Oakland Athletic, takes the hill for the Red Sox. He was just called up this morning. The Rockies sent him shipping up to Boston in return for another former Athletic, Marco Scutaro. A terrible deal for Boston, but that’s not our concern. In Pawtucket, Mortensen pitched 10 innings all in relief, with 9.0 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and no home runs allowed for a 3.00 FIP to go with his very good 0.90 ERA.
  • 6:35PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 0 out – Middlebrooks doubles into the corner sending Saltalamacchia on board with a single to third.
  • 6:38PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 1 out – Byrd gets the Red Sox on the board with a sacrifice fly as Saltalamachia scores easily from third and makes it A’s 4, Red Sox 1.
  • 6:43PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 2 out – McCarthy frustrated with that last pitch that results in a Sweeney walk and it’ll be all for him too as Melvin comes to get him and replace him with Ryan Cook.
  • 6:48PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 2 out – Dustin Pedroia draws a walk from Cook. Bases loaded for Gonzalez…
  • 6:51PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 3 out – Strike out! Cook gets out of the jam lead in tact!
  • 7:00PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – Mortensen gets his former batterymate looking. Three strikeouts for Mortensen who has looked good thus far.
  • 7:07PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Wow, I thought that was long for Ortiz, but Reddick nearly caught it and it bounced off his chest. Ends up being a double for David Ortiz.
  • 7:12PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 3 out – Cook settles down just fine after that leadoff double. K’s Ross, and K’s Middlebrooks who McCarthy couldn’t get out all night. Wonder if Melvin goes to Grant Balfour in the ninth?
  • 7:15PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Interesting, it is not Balfour but Brian Fuentes working in the bullpen. Hopefully the A’s can get an insurance run or two here in the top half. Due up for the Red Sox in the bottom half are: Byrd (R), Mike Aviles (R) and Sweeney (L).
  • 7:18PM PDT – Top of 9th, 2 out – The strike zone is a big one today. Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes is set down on strikes – Mortensen’s fifth K – on what looked very outside corner to the point of being just plain outside.
  • 7:20PM PDT – Top of 9th, 3 out – Pennington goes down swinging too. Six K’s in Mortensen’s three innings of work with just the one hit. 47 pitches with 34 of them strikes. Great outing for the former Athletic. And with that… Fuentes comes out for career save number 200…
  • 7:30PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 2 out – One strike away from career save 200 and Pedroia doubles high off the wall. Aviles scores all the way from first. Red Sox still trail, but the score is narrowed to 4-2, tying run Gonzalez due up.
  • 7:32PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 2 out – Why do you just let Pedroia steal third there? Or “advance uncontested” whatever you want to call it. Why not contest it? What’s the worst that happens? You throw it into left, he scores it is 4-3. If you get him it is game over. Doesn’t change the calculus at all, if Gonzalez homers it is a 2-run shot, if you throw it into the outfield and then Gonzalez homers afterwards still two runs…
  • 7:34PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 3 out – Groundout. Done. A’s win. Fuentes notches save 200.
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