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Live Blogging: A’s @ Rangers Game 38

May 16, 2012

The A’s are in Arlington for a two game set with the Rangers the first of nineteen games against the AL West leaders. Tommy Milone takes the hill for the A’s he has struggled on the road this year, having a 7.84 ERA in 20 2/3 innings with a 4.55 FIP and Arlington and the Rangers lineup is not well suited to fixing that problem. All in all he has a 3.92 ERA with a 4.26 FIP across 43 2/3 innings powered by 5.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9. He faces the other big international signing of the winter, Yu Darvish. Darvish has a 2.84 ERA, with a 3.72 FIP as he has an astounding 10.4 K/9, pretty bad 4.9 BB/9 and solid 0.8 HR/9 and at 5-1 is likely the undisputed favorite for American League Rookie of the Year right now. A’s have an interesting lineup tonight, Collin Cowgill hits second, Seth Smith is the left fielder in the cleanup spot, Kila Ka’aihue is back at DH hitting fifth, Josh Donaldson still is inexplicably hitting quite high in the order at sixth, Anthony Recker gets the start behind the plate and Eric Sogard starts at short.

  • 5:10PM PDT – Top of 1st, 0 out – Jemile Weeks leads off with a double. Good way to begin the ballgame.
  • 5:14PM PDT – Top of 1st, 2 out – Good deep fly ball from Josh Reddick deep enough that Craig Gentry in center has no play and Weeks can trot in from first. Good early start to the game for the A’s as they will need as many runs as they can get with this potent Texas offense. Oakland 1, Texas 0.
  • 5:24PM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 3 out – Big strikeout for Milone there getting Josh Hamilton swinging. Hamilton enters today’s game leading in the Triple Crown categories hitting .402/.457/.848 with 18 home runs and 45 RBI, but he is striking out (20.5%) more often than he has in his career (18.3%). I am pretty sure Ron Washington and the Rangers brass is willing to let that slide with his production!
  • 5:30PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 2 out – Good solid base hit for Daric Barton to break up the two K in a row streak for Darvish. I wonder if Barton is on the chopping block potentially (well the option block) with the roster crunch coming up. The quality just hasn’t been there for him.
  • 5:39PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 3 out – Three up, three down for Milone all on ground balls. Not an easy lineup to do this against but he is being effective changing speeds and that is how a guy like Milone can do it. He won’t blow one by you or scare you at all with anything.
  • 5:53PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 1 out – Base hit bunt for Gentry. Didn’t like the ill-advised throw from Recker, he should’ve just held on to it. Nearly overthrew Barton at first. The bunt base hit moves Brandon Snyder to second base, so a bit of a game for Milone.
  • 6:07PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 0 out – Infield single for Hamilton extends his hitting streak to sixteen games. His speed, his power, he really is a five tool player.
  • 6:08PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 0 out – Adrian Beltre belts one to right field off his back leg. Rangers take the lead 2-1.
  • 6:18PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 2 out – Cowgill and Sogard converge in very short center field on a Snyder pop-up and wow, what a snag by Cowgill catching it at the last second and making it look nonchalant. If that dropped one run certainly would’ve scored but could’ve even been two.
  • 6:20PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 2 out – I never realized how fast Gentry was. But that infield hit is on Donaldson. Donaldson double-clutched on that throw, moved slowly and it was a good throw but late. Gentry is safe. Run scores. Recker’s passed ball earlier in the inning is partially responsible for that run too.  Rangers 3, A’s 1. Milone’s strong start not looking so strong anymore.
  • 6:23PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 2 out – Elvis Andrus with a base hit to right and that scores Yorvit Torrealba from third. Rangers tack on another run to make it 4-1. Wheels seem as if they are coming off for Milone who is just getting hit around second (and now beginning with Andrus the third) time through the lineup.
  • 6:36PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Nice 6-4-3 double play there to erase Hamilton and Beltre. Milone really needs the groundballs to find fielders, a lot of the hits he has allowed have just been through the infield or on the infield.
  • 6:45PM PDT – Top of 6th, 3 out – Another K of Reddick for Darvish who now has six K’s across six innings. Unfortunately the walks haven’t been there like they normally are for him with just the one to Weeks this inning on the game and none other.
  • 6:52PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 3 out – Three up, three down for Milone so maybe it was just a one tough inning for him in the fourth and that’s it?
  • 7:13PM PDT – Top of 8th, 0 out – If you want to get back into a ballgame and with a three-run deficit and six outs to go now is the time to do it, and a walk is a good way to start. Barton draws a leadoff walk from Darvish, just his second walk surrendered.
  • 7:15PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – Gotta love Ray Fosse telling it like it is. Nelson Cruz breaks back then runs in to dive and snag the Sogard fly to right and says, “and he’s gonna be put on a highlight reel for a ball that he totally messed up”. I agree with Fosse too regarding him not needing to dive on that play. That was pretty dangerous for Cruz to dive and risk that ball getting past him.
  • 7:17PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – Weeks singles – he is starting to look better as of late – and that’ll be it for Darvish who gets the standing O as Washington pulls him. New Rangers pitcher will be Mike Adams. Adams has 13 2/3 innings under his belt in 2012, posting a 1.98 ERA and 3.18 FIP. His strikeouts are way down from where they normally are as he is well off the pace with just 5.3 K/9 (career mark: 9.1).
  • 7:21PM PDT – Top of 8th, 2 out – To face the lanky righty Adams, Bob Melvin elects to pinch-hit Cowgill with Jonny Gomes. Gomes represents the tying run and is second only to Reddick in wRC+ at 138 and wOBA at .368.
  • 7:24PM PDT – Top of 8th, 3 out – Gomes strikes out. Inning over.
  • 7:26PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Pedro Figueroa comes in and he’ll have a monumental task with Hamilton up first. Figueroa should not be on this team any longer if you ask me, but he is and he owns a 2.57 ERA but a more indicative 6.10 FIP in his seven innings of work with an awful 0.60 K/BB ratio.
  • 7:28PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 1 out – Lucky play there for Reddick now in center field. Goes back to the wall, gets turned around reaches up and gets it. Phew.
  • 7:36PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Joe Nathan comes in to close this one out for the Rangers. He is Texas’ new closer and despite his struggles last year, this year he has returned to form with 9.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 with a 3.07 ERA and 2.96 FIP. He has five shutdowns compared to two meltdowns.
  • 7:39PM PDT – Top of 9th, 1 out – Hat trick for Reddick as Nathan K’s him for the third time tonight.
  • 7:43PM PDT – Top of 9th, 3 out – Strikes out the side and the A’s lose. A’s fall back to .500 at 19-19.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dangerous Dean permalink
    May 17, 2012 9:11 am

    Love Darvish. He is the real deal and I have whatever the opposite of “buyer’s remorse” is.

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