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Live Blogging: A’s @ Giants Game 40

May 18, 2012

Jarrod Parker takes the mound to counter Barry Zito as the A’s and Giants open up the interleague schedule tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Parker’s last outing wasn’t great but he comes in today with solid season numbers: a 2.10 ERA, 3.67 FIP in 25 2/3 innings. The K/9 at 6.0 is lower than the A’s want and the BB/9 at 4.2 is higher than the A’s want but Parker has been good thus far. Zito meanwhile is having a great year with a 2.53 ERA, though as was the case when he starred in Oakland, the FIP at 4.28 is considerably higher. In 42 2/3 innings he has just 4.9 K/9, along with 4.2 BB/9 and 0.6 HR/9. A’s lineup is a bit different without the luxury of a designated hitter, with Daric Barton earning the start at first and Jonny Gomes wearing the start in left field. The Giants are wearing their orange alts and the A’s are wearing their green alts making for a garish display on the field tonight.

  • 7:30PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 0 out – Leadoff walk for Gomes after perfect first innings from both Zito and Parker. Zito wasn’t particularly close on any of those so it is good to see Gomes be patient. Middle of the order was solid yesterday, that needs to continue this weekend.
  • 7:37PM PDT – Top of 2nd, 3 out – 11 pitch at bat from Barton, but all for naught as he eventually just flies out lazily to left fielder Melky Cabrera. I’ve made a lot of how Barton’s ability to have lengthy at bats (and in this one he fouled off six pitches and fought back from down 0-2 to make it 3-2) is a strength but ultimately if he continues to fail to get on base at the end of these lengthy at bats it kind of ends up being worth next to nothing.
  • 7:42PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 0 out – Leadoff walk to Angel Pagan and he promptly steals second. The throw from Kurt Suzuki was on the wrong side of second.
  • 7:43PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 0 out – Pagan’s steal pays off Brandon Belt hits it just in front of Collin Cowgill in center and Pagan races around to score running through the stop sign at third. Giants lead 1-0.
  • 7:45PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 0 out – Hector Sanchez with a single to right field. Belt tests the arm of Josh Reddick whose throw comes in just slightly late making it first and third nobody out. Mess that Parker has gotten himself into here early.
  • 7:48PM PDT – Bottom of 2nd, 1 out – Deep fly ball that carried to left field for Joaquin Arias all the way to the warning track easily scores Belt from third. Giants up the lead to 2-0.
  • 7:53PM PDT – Top of 3rd, 0 out – Josh Donaldson takes it deep to left field. This guy really likes hitting in AT&T Park as he had a few dingers here during the Bay Bridge Series too. Nice smack. Hopefully this gets him in gear. A’s halve the Giants 2-1.
  • 8:07PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 0 out – Brandon Crawford doubles into right-center field scoring Gregor Blanco all the way from first – man he can fly. The Giants get the run they gave up right back and make it 3-1.
  • 8:08PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 0 out – Not sure if Cabrera was bunting there to get a runner over or if the plan was to bunt for a hit. These National Leaguers… But the bunt is perfect and Cabrera ends up on first, Crawford on third. Whole world of trouble for Parker with the middle of the order up.
  • 8:13PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 0 out – Parker is looking overmatched. Loses the handle on Pagan and walks him and therefore walks the bases full. Two innings pitched, three earned runs, four hits, three walks no K’s thus far in this one.
  • 8:16PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 0 out – Belt walks. That walks home a run and gives the Giants a 4-1 lead. Bob Melvin comes out and will go to Jerry Blevins from the pen (what about alleged “long man” Travis Blackley?). Terrible spot Blevins comes into with the bases loaded and nobody out. Blevins comes in having pitched in 14 games, going 16 1/3 innings with 7.2 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and allowing 1.7 HR/9. Overall he has a 1.65 ERA but a gaudy 5.05 FIP.
  • 8:20PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 1 out – Sanchez hits it out to Cowgill and Cabrera scores from third on the sacrifice. Giants up 5-1. Parker just looks shell-shocked on the bench. I wonder if this merits a trip to Sacramento as the results have tailed off start after start after start now for him.
  • 8:25PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 2 out – Wild pitch lets Belt get to second base so the A’s elect to intentionally walk Emmanuel Burriss and face Zito instead. Makes you wonder why Belt even went? Also makes you wonder if all it took was Belt going to second to decide to walk Burriss, why would you have decided to walk Burriss to begin with?
  • 8:28PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 2 out – Blevins gets down on Zito 3-0, gets him back to 3-2 and then walks him losing the pitch low. Fifth walk of the inning for the A’s, three for Parker, the one intentional one from Blevins and that one to Zito that scores a run the bases being loaded and the Giants lead 6-1.
  • 8:31PM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 3 0ut – Blevins K’s Blanco and finally the inning ends. That also closes the book on Parker. Parker goes two innings, allowing six earned runs, on four hits while walking four to raise his ERA from the 2.10 he came in with to the 3.90 he will leave with.
  • 8:45PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 1 out  – Cabrera singles, then Pagan doubles into the gap in right center. Good job by Cowgill racing out there and cutting it off otherwise Cabrera easily scores and Pagan probably is on third. More trouble for A’s pitching, if this keeps up this could force a roster move as the bullpen is depleted.
  • 8:48PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 2 out – 46 pitches for Blevins (a career high) as Belt belts it to center field deep enough to score Cabrera and deep enough to send Pagan from second to third. Pedro Figueroa is working in the bullpen now. Giants’ lead is expanded to 7-1, that losing streak at AT&T Park for the A’s – currently at nine – looks certain to expand to ten.
  • 8:49PM PDT – Bottom of 4th, 2 out – The rout is on. Cowgill is just forced to run all over the place as Sanchez doubles opposite field into the right-center field gap. Pagan trots home: San Francisco 8, Oakland 1. Blevins looks spent at this point.
  • 8:58PM PDT – Top of 5th, 1 out – Donaldson adds a double to left field. I thought that was a ground rule double but fortunately it wasn’t ruled as such, Barton scores all the way from first with a very good slide to avoid the tag by Sanchez. Donaldson astutely advances to third on the throw home. A’s cut the lead to 8-2.
  • 9:02PM PDT – Top of 5th, 2 out – Adam Rosales is in to pinch hit for Blevins. He went 1-for-1 with three walks yesterday his only action all year as he didn’t get a plate appearance in his lone other appearance way back in Tokyo. That officially closes the book on Blevins too: two innings, two earned runs, on three hits, two walks though he did K three.
  • 9:05PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 0 out – Figueroa is out to pitch. In seven appearances the lanky lefty has gone eight innings with 3.4 K/9, 6.8 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9 for an awful 6.09 FIP that is quite different than his seemingly strong 2.25 ERA.
  • 9:08PM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 1 out – Now Zito walks for a second time as Figueroa walks him on five pitches. Zito’s two walks today represent two more walks than the entire pitching staff of the Oakland A’s have in their careers.
  • 9:15PM PDT – Top of 6th, 0 out – Wow. Jemile Weeks hits it past Pagan in right center and man he flies around the bases for a stand-up triple. Good hit. Still hoping Weeks has figured out whatever has been troubling him this year.
  • 9:16PM PDT – Top of 6th, 0 out – Cliff Pennington with a solid hit to left field scores Weeks from third and chips away at the Giants’ lead some more 8-3.
  • 9:19PM PDT – Top of 6th, 1 out – Zito K’s Reddick and Bruce Bochy is coming out to get him as he is a victim of a high pitch count. New pitcher will be Steve Edlefsen. Edlefsen has appeared in six games, going seven and a third innings of 3.7 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 home-run-free baseball for a 2.97 FIP much in line with his 2.45 ERA.
  • 9:25PM PDT – Top of 6th, 2 out – Back-to-back hits from Suzuki and Barton load the bases against Edlefsen with two outs. Blanco’s arm apparently caused Mike Gallego to decide that Pennington needed to put on the brakes at third. Bases juiced for Donaldson, really nice opportunity for him to break out of his slump he has had a good day with a home run and double thus far.
  • 9:28PM PDT – Top of 6th, 2 out – What is it about AT&T Park for Donaldson? Hanging slider, doubles it to the left center field wall in the gap. Three runs score! A’s tighten this one up on his second double of the game and his fifth run batted in in the contest. Giants lead cut to 8-6. Edlefsen is being removed, and Clay Hensley is coming in. Hensley has 14 innings on the year, in his 17 appearances, throwing 7.7 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 while he has yet to surrender a home run. 2.57 ERA and 2.97 FIP agree with one another on Hensley’s run suppression this season.
  • 9:39PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 0 out – Figueroa opens up the sixth with back-to-back walks to Cabrera and Pagan – he is on this team still because? And a double switch is coming as Jordan Norberto enters the game in relief – again where is Blackley the alleged long man? Norberto has a 3.38 ERA and 3.18 FIP and has been pretty impressive in his 18 2/3 innings of 7.2 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 0.5 HR/9 work. Seth Smith comes into the game and replaces Cowgill in the lineup and goes to right field Reddick slides over to center field now. Smith will lead off the top of the seventh for Oakland.
  • 9:44PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 1 out – Barton drops the ball on a Belt grounder ending the threat of a 3-6-3 double play. Ball took a weird high hop so you can’t blame him and at least he got the out at first as the two other runners advance.
  • 9:46PM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 2 out – Big K for Norberto. All the pitches were all over the place but Sanchez obliges and K’s on a pitch thrown down the peninsula in Palo Alto.
  • 9:54PM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – With the lefty Smith due up, Bochy goes to a lefty of his own in Jeremy Affeldt who will turn around the next two hitters who both are switch hitters. Affeldt has appeared 12 times for 13 innings pitched during with he has 7.6 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 yet to give up a dinger. His ERA is 3.46, and he has a 2.43 FIP.
  • 9:57PM PDT – Top of 7th, 2 out – Some cruel breaking balls here to get both Smith and Weeks swinging. Yeesh.
  • 10:01PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 1 out – Pinch-hitter comes in to replace Affeldt after his inning of work. Brett Pill comes in, he his hitting .241/.305/.463 with a .329 wOBA and 107 wRC+ with 0.3 WAR in 59 plate appearances.
  • 10:02PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 2 out – Wow. Great dive and stop and then subsequent throw from Donaldson. Unquestionably the A’s player of the game in this one. Nice to see all facets of his game clicking on all six cylinders.
  • 10:07PM PDT – Top of 8th, 0 out – Sergio Romo in for the Giants. 11 1/3 innings for him with 11.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 0.8 HR/9. He has an amazing 0.79 ERA but his FIP is a lot higher at 2.44. Good pitcher is Romo.
  • 10:14PM PDT – Top of 8th, 3 out – Suzuki should be mad at the umpire for that one. Don’t get why umpires are so reluctant to call for help, also the check swing call is a tough one to see from behind the plate. Side view proves Suzuki did hold up and that pitch was clearly not a strike otherwise. I’d be mad if I were him too, second poor call against the A’s in as many days. Doesn’t affect the outcome like the potential of the Brandon McCarthy trap call the other day. For a good read on that check out McCarthy’s own blog.
  • 10:17PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – A’s fans get their first look at Blackley as he comes out to pitch the eighth. Giants get their first look at Blackley as hitters.
  • 10:23PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Giants closer and former Athletic Santiago Casilla comes out to finish this one off. Casilla has been a bit shaky with four shutdowns but five meltdowns on the season. He will put his 6.8 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 1.2 HR/9 with a 1.72 ERA but sketchy 4.24 FIP record, to the test against Barton, Donaldson and the presumed pinch-hitter in the pitcher’s spot.
  • 10:26PM PDT – Top of 9th, 1 out – Donaldson grounds it to Burriss who misplays it so the pinch-hitter Kila Ka’aihue will represent the tying run at the plate. Ka’aihue is .271/.326/.400 on the year, with a 107 wRC+ and .323 wOBA.
  • 10:28PM PDT – Top of 9th, 2 out – Kila pops out weakly first pitch swinging. That was pretty terrible. All comes down to Smith for the A’s.
  • 10:29PM PDT – Top of 9th, 2 out – Smith singles to short right center moves Donaldson to third. Smith is the tying run at first base. Weeks at the plate represents the go-ahead run.
  • 10:33PM PDT – Top of 9th, 3 out – The deficit Parker left the A’s in proved too deep to recover from as Weeks grounds out to second base and the A’s fall to the Giants 8-6. A’s drop their tenth straight at AT&T Park and have to hope to end that streak tomorrow afternoon. Got to like how this team does not give up, that really does mean something and count for something and it is good to see. A lot of teams down 8-1 would roll over and Oakland did not tonight. Still too late, too late. A’s fall back to .500 at 20-20.
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