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Live Blogging: A’s @ Twins Game 51

May 30, 2012

Two bad pitchers square off against each other. Can the two anemic offenses manage a few runs? Tyson Ross is up for the A’s, with a 5.79 ERA, 4.93 FIP with 4.7 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9 in 42 innings. The mystifying, in that he goes from being so good to so bad Francisco Liriano is up for the Twinkies, he has a 8.47 ERA, 5.91 FIP and 7.9 K/9 to 6.9 BB/9 with 1.6 HR/9 in 34 innings. Coco Crisp again is hitting in the eight spot, if he has to be in the lineup I can’t say I have any problems with him down there, Collin Cowgill again gets the start in left field (it is looking like he might somehow manage to stick around once Yoenis Cespedes and I presume Manny Ramirez are added to the roster prior to the series in Kansas City), and again Josh Donaldson is inexplicably hitting fifth.

  • 10:14AM PDT – Top of 1st, 1 out – Double into the left field corner for Cowgill. Nice hit. Nice to see men on base for Josh Reddick who is now at 2.0 WAR, eclipsing his previous career high, last year’s 1.9 WAR doing it in 68 fewer plate appearances.
  • 10:19AM PDT – Top of 1st, 3 out – A’s go down without a run crossing the plate. Heck of a run by Ben Revere to get that ball way in the corner there and steal extra bases and RBI from Josh Donaldson.
  • 10:23AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 0 out – Ross leaves one over the plate and Denard Span hits it into the right field corner for a leadoff double. Ross, leaving them over the plate, story of the year for him isn’t it?
  • 10:24AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Nice bunt from Revere but what was the point? Not so sure that was a bunt for a hit attempt like Roy Smalley of FSNorth seems to think.
  • 10:26AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 1 out – Another pitch right over the middle of the plate. Solid it into center field for Josh Willingham. It scores Span. Twinkies up 1-0.
  • 10:30AM PDT – Bottom of 1st, 2 out – Pitch? Middle of plate – though a bit down. Result? Base hit straight up the middle for Brian Dozier. Score? 2-0 Twins.
  • 10:37AM PDT – Top of 2nd, 2 out – Daric Barton flat out looked overmatched by Liriano. Liriano is looking good. Such a Jekyll and Hyde type pitcher…
  • 10:38AM PDT – Top of 2nd, 2 out – Coco Crisp with an infield hit. Good point from Smalley – the Twins crew is one I have always been a fan of, and Smalley isn’t even a regular – but if Jamey Carroll threw the ball lower, Justin Morneau could have stretched out and Crisp is out. But the high throw meant he had to reach up and Crisp sneaks in. Those things don’t count as errors but in a sense they really are.
  • 10:48AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 0 out – Jemile Weeks singles, extending his hitting streak to seven games. He seems to be sorting out his early season woes. With that his slash line is upped to .217/.301/.315 still far from where you want but moving in the right direction.
  • 10:51AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 0 out – Liriano gives up a four pitch walk to Cowgill. A’s need to take advantage of an easily rattled pitcher like Liriano.
  • 10:52AM PDT – Top of 3rd, 2 out – Reddick with a line out to Carroll, who throws back to Alexi Casilla to double off Weeks. Terrible play. Earlier in the game Joe Mauer avoided that by being cognizant of where the ball was going, and that allowed the Twins to get a run, but here the A’s fail at execution and erase a runner in scoring position stupidly.
  • 11:01AM PDT – Bottom of 3rd, 0 out – That stolen base was on Ross not on Kurt Suzuki as Revere takes second.
  • 11:15AM PDT – Top of 4th, 3 out – Liriano is looking good. Despite control issues, he is getting strikeouts. Six K’s now in four innings as Barton goes down for the second time on strikes. 66 pitches, just 37 for strikes for Liriano but he has the A’s tied up in knots thus far. Not that that necessarily says much.
  • 11:26AM PDT – Top of 5th, 1 out – Coco sees three straight balls. Then Coco gets three straight strikes to strike out. Ugh.
  • 11:34AM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Mauer is walked by Ross, third on the day, to just one strikeout. Don’t want to walk guys in front of Willingham. As A’s fans know, he is a good hitter.
  • 11:35AM PDT – Bottom of 5th, 2 out – Well that comment seemed prescient. Willingham homers to left field on a no-doubter. Twins expand the lead to 4-0.
  • 11:44AM PDT – Top of 6th, 3 out – Liriano K’s Jonny Gomes to end the sixth. Nine K’s on the game to just two walks. 88 pitches with just 51 for strikes. He is not always making it look pretty but he is getting it done.
  • 11:46AM PDT – Bottom of 6th, 0 out – Andrew Carignan comes into the game. Is there any greater sign on this team of  waving the proverbial white flag than his entrance? Ross’ line on the day is messy: five innings, four earned runs on six hits including the Willingham home run, three walks and a strikeout. He leaves the game with a 5.94 ERA higher than he entered with, and a 5.21 FIP, higher than he entered with as well.
  • 11:53AM PDT – Top of 7th, 0 out – Liriano’s afternoon is over as well. Six innings, three hits, two walks, nine K’s. Nice outing for him and the A’s anemic offense couldn’t get to him. Alex Burnett is the new Twins pitcher. For the season he has a 2.84 ERA, but that isn’t indicative of a lack of quality like his 4.74 FIP does, backed by awful peripherals: 3.9 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9.
  • 12:00PM PDT – Bottom of 7th, 0 out – Jordan Norberto is in for Oakland. 6.7 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9 on the year for him, giving him a 3.54 FIP to go along with a 4.07 ERA in 24 1/3 innings across 20 starts.
  • 12:14PM PDT – Top of 8th, 3 out – Another doubling off. Weeks lines out. Cliff Pennington, first baserunner for the A’s in five innings is doubled off. Inning over. Weak.
  • 12:16PM PDT – Bottom of 8th, 0 out – Jim Miller out for Oakland. Miller has 12 2/3 innings on the season, 7.1 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9 with a 1.42 ERA and 3.40 FIP. He has been a nice under-the-radar pickup, despite the limited time he has pitched he has thrived and looked good in Sacramento as well.
  • 12:22PM PDT – Top of 9th, 0 out – Jeff Gray comes out to close out the came for the Twins. Not a save situation and Gray is not a closer but he will look to hold the four run lead. He has two shutdowns and three meltdowns on the year along with his 4.35 ERA and 5.28 FIP powered by 6.1 K/9, 4.4 BB/9 and 1.3 HR/9. A’s put up their 2-3-4 hitters.
  • 12:26PM PDT – Top of 9th, 3 out – Game over. Pathetic.
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