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Live Blogging: A’s @ Rays Game 29

May 6, 2012

The A’s and Rays square off against each other today with Matt Moore taking on Tommy Milone. Against their respective starters A’s and Rays hitters are a big bad 0-for-1 (Josh Reddick versus Moore) as no one has seen anyone else ever before. Milone hopes to recover from a brutal outing against the Red Sox in Boston, while Moore – who also has a brutal start in Boston on his ledger – looks to continue to improve. Milone currently stands at 5.1 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9. Love that the control is there, don’t expect much more out of the strikeouts but wonder if the home runs is a result of his being a soft-tosser and will be a problem for him or is just early season statistical hooey. A’s lineup looks a lot different than any we’ve seen this year as Cliff Pennington leads off and Michael Taylor hits second and plays right field followed by Josh Reddick DH’ing. Rest of the order is pretty standard with Anthony Recker catching and Eric Sogard at second. Interesting to see Jemile Weeks getting another day off. I know that Joe Maddon is all about mixing it up but don’t know that with all their firepower, Jeff Keppinger is who I would have hitting fourth. It is almost like a video game has just subbed in Keppinger at third base for Evan Longoria without taking into account the stark differences between the players…

  • 10:45AM PDT – Top of 1st, 2 out – Pennington K’s and Taylor K’s. Great start.
  • 10:50AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, o out – Six pitch walk to Desmond Jennings. Not the type of guy you want to let on and an inauspicious start for a pitcher so dependent upon his control.
  • 10:52AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 0 out – B.J. Upton walks, the ball gets away from Recker so Jennings on second with a stolen base moves to third. World of trouble early for Milone.
  • 10:57AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 0 out – So much for control specialist Milone. Carlos Pena fights back from 0-2 to draw another walk as Milone walks them full.
  • 11:02AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Bad hop has the ball scoot past Recker. Great throw from Yoenis Cespedes. But since the ball got by run scores, sac fly for Keppinger. Tampa Bay 1, Oakland 0.
  • 11:04AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Hits Luke Scott with a pitch to reload the bases. Terrible, terrible start for Milone. 28 pitches, 15 for balls.
  • 11:05AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Base hit for Sean Rodriguez. Run scores 2-0 Rays.
  • 11:09AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Matt Joyce nearly hit a grand slam missing it by feet. A second hanging curve he didn’t pull foul but hit into right field for a two-run single. Rays up 4-0. Milone looks terrible 37 pitches, 19 strikes, 18 balls and already Jerry Blevins is up working in the pen. Good thing the A’s have a real long man, oh wait…
  • 11:13AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 3 out – Chris Gimenez grounds into an inning ending double play. Thank goodness. The line on Milone for the first 41 pitches, 22 for strikes, two hits, three walks, no K’s for a 27.00 ERA but an oh-so-much more forgiving 14.96 FIP. Terrible, terrible, terrible inning.
  • 11:23AM PDT – Top of 2nd, 2 out – This is what qualifies as a rally for the A’s. Brandon Inge walks, Daric Barton hit by pitch…
  • 11:45AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – 54 pitches for Moore, 32 are strikes as he walks Reddick on four straight pitches.
  • 11:46AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – That little rally with a Pennington single and Reddick walk results in a run as Cespedes goes opposite field to right to score Penny from second and narrow the lead to 4-1.
  • 11:49AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – A bloop single drops from Jonny Gomes, scoring Reddick and getting Cespedes to third. A’s cutting into that Rays lead a little more, it is now Tampa Bay 4, Oakland 2. As it looks like Milone is getting a little more settled in, Moore seems to be going in the opposite direction and getting more unhinged.
  • 11:52AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – Nice little stolen base from Gomes to get to second, but that matters nothing as Inge launches one to left field to clear the bases and give the A’s a 5-4 lead! What a turn of events, all with two outs. Nice timing for the first home run from Inge. Milone now has to take this gift and go out and shutdown the Rays in the bottom half.
  • 12:00PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 3 out – Great time for his first 1-2-3 inning. Milone so far through three, still doesn’t look great but is getting a lot better: four earned runs, on two hits and four walks, still yet to K anyone. ERA is now at 4.41, quite a bit higher than the 3.69 he came in with.
  • 12:16PM PDT – Top of 5th, 0 out – Base hit for Taylor, his first of the year. Good way to lead off the inning, set up some insurance runs.
  • 12:22PM PDT – Top of 5th, 2 out – Another two out run for the A’s as Gomes doubles into the left field corner to score Taylor and increase the A’s lead to 6-4.
  • 12:25PM PDT – Top of 5th, 2 out – Love the two-out hitting. Opposite field double for Barton to plate two. A’s 8, Rays 4 and that will be all for Moore as Maddon goes out to retrieve his Rookie of the Year hopeful. A start like this won’t earn you any honors. Burke Badenhop is due in as the new pitcher. The A’s saw him yesterday as they did with every other Rays reliever save Wade Davis.
  • 12:31PM PDT – Top of 5th, 3 out – Inning over. Books close on Moore: four and two-thirds innings, 105 pitches, 62 for strikes, eight runs (all earned), on seven hits (including the Inge HR), three walks four K’s.
  • 12:35PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 1 out – Upton homers deep to left field. Rays don’t want to give up just yet… Oakland 8, Tampa Bay 5.
  • 12:37PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Hmm… not sure why Pena is trying to bunt with two strikes. I mean, I am all for beating the shift but that was just strange. First strike out of the game for Milone, weird way to do it as the pitch was a strike though Pena brought the bat that was inexplicably out back in.
  • 12:49PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 0 out – Blevins comes in. He was warming in the first inning, but now comes in five innings later. The tall lefty owns a 1.64 ERA but 4.78 FIP as he has struggled with serving up the long ball (1.6 HR/9, 22.2% HR/FB).
  • 12:55PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – Davis comes in to face the A’s 3-4-5 hitters. Davis a true long man for Maddon’s Rays, has thrown 12 innings of 8.3 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 and 0.8 HR/9 baseball for a 2.25 ERA and 2.71 FIP and remember this is the guy who didn’t make the rotation. A lot of depth in the starting rotation for these Rays…
  • 12:56PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – Reddick draws a walk! Entered the game with just a 2.6% BB% and walks twice in this ballgame.
  • 1:06PM PDT – Top of 7th, 2 out – Inge gets under it just a bit, Davis reacted as if he gave just a three-run shot, but it dies on the warning track deep enough that Reddick can trot home and make this a 9-5 Oakland lead.
  • 1:29PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 2 out – Slowest. Game. Ever. Two straight walks for Blevins who had otherwise looked good and Bob Melvin has seen enough. Ryan Cook comes in to face the right-handed Keppinger.
  • 1:38PM PDT – Top of 8th, 1 out – Two singles for the A’s to start the 8th with as both Sogard and Taylor with hits in the inning. Real nice solid single there by Taylor up the middle. Smoked that one.
  • 1:46PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Brian Fuentes is out to pitch the eighth inning. He has been a pleasant surprise thus far this year with some very good numbers in his 12 innings of work. On the year he has 6.8 K/9, and a most impressive given his struggles with control last year (despite it being a career best year one must remember) 0.8 BB/9. His walks match the number of home runs he has allowed and that adds up to a 3.75 ERA higher than last year’s (3.70), but perhaps evident of how FIP can sometimes best gauge one’s comfort level with a pitcher a much lower FIP at 3.04 (last year’s being 4.16). He will face Scott (L), Rodriguez (R) and Joyce (L).
  • 1:49PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 1 out – Rodriguez draws a walk. The seventh walk by A’s pitching (Milone had four, Blevins two and now Fuentes one) and twelfth combined between the two clubs. No wonder this game is at three hours and ten minutes and only in the bottom of the eighth and not long done.
  • 1:53PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 2 out – Big strikeout of Gimenez there. He is having a tough day. He just seems miserable. Can’t blame him.
  • 1:57PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 3 out – Perhaps a bigger strikeout there as Fuentes gets Elliot Johnson looking. One more inning to go, in this painfully lengthy game.
  • 2:00PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Cesar Ramos comes out to pitch for the Rays. Ramos was called up yesterday from Durham as the Rays demoted Brandon Gomes. He has 16 innings under his belt with the Bulls throwing 8.4 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 1.7 HR/9 for a 1.69 ERA but sort of gaudy 4.51 FIP.
  • 2:01PM PDT – Top of 9th, 2 out – Nice play by Rodriguez to make an exceptional dive to stop an Inge hit from going to the outfield but a terrible call at first as Inge was clearly safe. The play on the outfield grass was the out on that, as the umpire gave the out when he shouldn’t have.
  • 2:06PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 0 out – Jordan Norberto comes to end this one. It is of course not a save situation. Norberto has a 4.15 ERA, 3.81 FIP so far this year. Most importantly at 4.2 BB/9 he has found some semblance of control.
  • 2:12PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 3 out – Put it in the books. A’s win. The A’s pull this out one as at one point the Rays had a 91.3% chance of winning. Milone isn’t entirely deserving of it but he gets the win, Moore fully deserving of it, takes the loss.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Todd Van Poppel permalink
    May 7, 2012 11:23 pm

    “Brandon Inge is a bad player on a bad team”

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