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Live Blogging: Blue Jays @ A’s Game 30

May 8, 2012

The 16-13 Blue Jays come to the Coliseum to play the 15-14 Athletics, while one may have expected the Blue Jays to be above .500 now the same can’t honestly be said of Oakland. Ricky Romero starts for the Blue Jays, he has pitched 42 innings this year to the tune of 6.2 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 0.9 HR/9 owning an OK 3.64 ERA but worse 4.03 FIP more in line with his somewhat unimpressive peripherals, though both numbers are very much so in line with his career marks of a 3.60 ERA and 4.04 FIP. Jarrod Parker makes the start in lieu of Brandon McCarthy who is battling shoulder soreness. Parker has been great in his young career and his two starts this year has thrown 13 innings of 6.2 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 baseball with him yet to surrender a long ball. His ERA stands at 1.38 and while his FIP is considerably higher at 2.49 that is still an exceptional number. A’s lineup is a bit different than we’re used to as Yoenis Cespedes gets a night off as he was a scratch due to a sore wrist. Jonny Gomes takes his place in the clean up spot DH’ing while Josh Reddick mans center field. Left field will be taken over by Seth Smith with Michael Taylor positioned in right field as the A’s welcome back radio voice Ken Korach.

  • 7:13PM PDT – Top 1st, 2 out – Yunel Escobar is picked off of first by Parker. Parker has a nice move, got to see it this spring in Peoria in a Cactus League between the A’s and Mariners.
  • 7:41PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 3 out – Miserable at bat by Taylor. Watches two go by before Romero pulls the string and gets him to chase a pitch in the dirt. I just don’t see how Taylor is a part of the future of this team.
  • 7:49PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 1 out – Surprising carry on that ball but Kelly Johnson with an opposite field home run that just kept going and going until Smith ran out of real estate. That plates J.P. Arencibia on second base with a double and gives the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.
  • 7:51PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – Jose Bautista, who has some stupid comments on Twitter earlier about how he was playing baseball in a football stadium tonight (ignoring the fact that Toronto of course does the same and on turf no less), hits one to the warning track where it dies as I expected with the Johnson shot earlier. On the backswing though he hits Kurt Suzuki who looks like he may be seriously hurt. That is after all where he was hit by a pitch on Saturday.
  • 7:53PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – Gamer. Suzuki is going to stay in for now.
  • 7:56PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 1 out – Fly out for Jemile Weeks to Colby Rasmus, but that was another solidly hit ball along with the hit in the first inning. That’s a good sign, hopefully the start of a turnaround.
  • 8:06PM PDT – Top of 4th, 2 out – Brett Lawrie doubles. Love how he was running hard right out of the gate and thinking double the whole way. That makes a great ballplayer. Happy to see that a lot of the guys on the A’s are like that this year despite the low expectations of the club this season.
  • 8:11PM PDT – Top of 4th, 3 out – Amazing play by Reddick as he throws the hands out in the air then finds the ball in time to dive and get it full extension and retire Arencibia. Some trouble with control for Parker here with 67 pitches and only 34 for strikes.
  • 8:20PM PDT – Top of 5th, 2 out – Good job B. Smith to try and break up the double play. Perhaps that slide is waht causes Escobar to throw it into the Blue Jays dugout for the third Blue Jays error of the game. A’s need to capitalize on that sort of thing, just as in football when a team makes another pay for things with turnovers, extra outs given to you need to be taken advantage of as well. Daric Barton is on the third.
  • 8:21PM PDT – Top of 5th, 3 out – Another three pitch strikeout on a Romero change up in the dirt for Taylor. Have a feeling they will keep going to it until he can prove he can hit it – or at least even take it as a ball.
  • 8:33PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 0 out – Good steal of second for Weeks. Happy to see the slide being earlier, didn’t overshoot it. Sixth of the year in eight tries, percentage right where you want it again.
  • 8:38PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 1 out – Maybe an assist to Weeks there on second? Weeks clearly had the attention of Romero and Romero leaves one over the plate that Reddick slams into the right-center field bleachers to tie this game at two.
  • 8:51PM PDT – Top of 6th, 3 out – 1-2-3 inning for Parker is a good one coming right after the A’s clawed back into a tie. Wonder if with the pitch count now at 99 his night is through or not.
  • 9:00PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – Taylor again swings for strike three on an offspeed pitch. Fool me once… what is it that they say for fool me thrice?
  • 9:01PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – Good line drive double from Weeks into left-center field. Good game he is having, hopefully he has turned the corner.
  • 9:05PM PDT – Top of 7th, 1 out – Good strikeout of Rasmus swinging to lead off the seventh inning for Parker. I am loving what I have seen from Parker so far since the A’s acquired him. Very exciting to think about the pitcher he could develop into. He has had a good game despite some control struggles. He doesn’t seem phased or intimidated out there, love that moxie.
  • 9:12PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 0 out – Jason Frasor takes the mound for the Jays. He has 12 appearances, 12.3 K/9, 6.6 BB/9 and no home runs for a 4.09 ERA and very generous seeming 2.41 FIP. Book is closed on Romero who goes six innings, allowing two earned runs both coming on the Reddick HR, with five hits, a very high five walks and solid seven strikeouts.
  • 9:14PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 0 out – Leadoff walk for Reddick. He doesn’t walk much, he’s raised his BB% but coming in it was just 4.1%.
  • 9:22PM PDT – Top of 8th, 0 out – Ryan Cook out for the eighth so no second victory for Parker in this one. Cook has thrown 14 2/3 innings, he has managed 8.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 yet to give up a home run though he came close in Tampa Bay. That all adds up to a 2.48 FIP, but he has yet to allow a run so the ERA stands at 0.00. Still has that unbelievable BABIP .097, only three hits off him this season.
  • 9:29PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – John Farrell goes to his bullpen again and brings out 41 year-old southpaw Darren Oliver. Great year for Oliver though he has had many of those as he gets better it seems with age. 2.16 ERA to go with a 2.72 FIP powered by 9.7 K/9 and an equal 1.1 BB/9 and HR/9 in his eight and a third innings on the mound.
  • 9:32PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 3 out – Quick work by Oliver to set down Oakland 1-2-3. Not a save situation but smartly Bob Melvin will be going to his closer Grant Balfour. Balfour hasn’t been the sharpest as of late, 4.40 ERA on the year in his 14 1/3 innings big trouble being the 1.9 HR/9.
  • 9:38PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Eric Thames with a very big triple off the wall in left field. Ball sort of got away from Smith, but a heck of a throw from Reddick made it close with Thames barely getting the hand in before Brandon Inge could place the tag.
  • 9:39PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Strange move by Farrell. Thames is fast, yet he wants to get faster on third and puts in pinch runner Rajai Davis.
  • 9:42PM PDT – Top of 9th, 1 out – After getting Lawrie to ground out to second base Balfour goes 3-0 on Rasmus and finally they elect to just put him on. Double play now is in effect so the infield can play back a bit but Farrell is instead opting for Omar Vizquel to pinch-hit. Could the squeeze be on?
  • 9:46PM PDT – Top of 9th, 2 out – Vizquel bunts, though it seems like it was a safety squeeze he was giving a go there. Inge ran down and snagged it in the air. Big out for the A’s and Balfour who now has to contend with Johnson who accounts for all of Toronto’s runs in this one.
  • 9:48PM PDT – Top of 9th, 2 out – Hanging curveball and Johnson drives it into right field as Balfour continues to erode his trade value with another poor performance. Davis is about to trot home and give Toronto a late 3-2 lead.
  • 9:50PM PDT – Top of 9th, 3 out – Escobar grounds out to Cliff Pennington to end the inning. During his at bat he drew attention to the umpires about Balfour not coming to a set position and thinking about it, it is sort of remarkable that he hasn’t been called on a balk more often. It is a very brief set position. A’s will need to contend with the current Toronto closer Francisco Cordero in the bottom half. Cordero may be shakier than Balfour even as he has three shutdowns and three meltdowns on the year, with a sloppy 5.73 ERA and even worse 6.14 FIP propelled by crazy 3.3 BB/9 and 2.5 HR/9 numbers to go with his 6.6 K/9 in 11 innings. He is due to face Taylor looking to avoid the golden sombrero, Weeks and Pennington.
  • 9:54PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 0 out – Taylor avoids the golden sombrero while getting a chalk-aided first double of his career in the right field corner. Good solid hitting there from Taylor.
  • 9:55PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Good sacrifice bunt for Weeks. Don’t mind that call there – heck Weeks nearly out ran it – as the A’s just need to focus on tying this and keeping this game going right now.
  • 9:57PM PDT – Bottom of 9th,  1 out – Jeff Mathis shows why Mike Scoiscia was such a big fan of his in Anaheim as the ball gets away from him and he races to get it. Very impressive. Thankfully, Stanford alum Taylor had his thinking cap on and decided to stay put at third or he’d have been a sitting duck at the plate.
  • 9:58PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Pennington hits it through the drawn in infield on the right side score Taylor and the game is tied again.Maybe Pennington on first can distract Cordero as Weeks did to Romero, with Reddick due up.
  • 10:01PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Pennington now will have to distract Cordero from second base as he steals second with Mathis unable to even get a throw out there. The Jays now will make the double play available by intentionally walking Reddick to instead face Gomes.
  • 10:04PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – This time Mathis can’t get to the ball quickly and it squirts away, in a similar place and moves both runners up to second and third so Farrell and the Jays now will be intentionally walking the bases full by walking Gomes to face Inge.
  • 10:05PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Jays are doing the five man infield drill. Bautista ran to the dugout to get an infielders glove and they line up like this, Lawrie at third, Escobar at short, Johnson at “second” right behind the bag, Bautista at “rover” and Adam Lind at first.
  • 10:06PM PDT – Bottom of 9th, 1 out – Not going to make a difference because where Inge hit it there were no fielders at all. GAME WINNING GRAND SLAM!!! A’s win 7-3! What a hit.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. dKim permalink
    May 9, 2012 10:21 am

    epic win!!! my interwebs were crashing so i was sitting on the floor w/ my radio to my ear as my wife was watching tv.

    • May 9, 2012 2:37 pm

      Every one of Inge’s home runs this year have given his team the lead with two of the three being walk off winners, pretty wild.

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