Once again I will be staying up into the wee hours of the night to watch some baseball. A few things to note for this game. Mike Carp has a sprained shoulder and is on the 15 day DL. It happened in the 4th inning on the double that was out of his reach by half a foot. That could help explain his suckiness at hitting yesterday. That is not good. Carlos Peguero has been recalled from AAA to fill his spot. Also not good. Tonight will pretty much be the same as last night as far as content goes, maybe fewer bartender jokes or maybe more. Once again, pitch types are my guess, as no MPH is shown on TV. Here is the M’s lineup:
Hopefully we see Dr. Vargas and not Mr. Jason today, or maybe the other way around. It’s late and I’m pretty tired. The good Vargas is what I want to see. For the A’s, they send Bartolo Colon’s fossil out to the mound. It’s a bold move starting something that died a few centuries ago, but Billy Beane is always trying to find innovative ways to win. I understand the Brandon McCarthy thing, he had skin, ligaments and muscle, but if we can’t score on a skeleton, I’ll start to worry.
Figgins flies out to center to lead things off. Colon is looking surprisingly fluid for lacking anything holding his skeleton together. But in all seriousness, he looks old and run down. I really want there to be a radar gun somewhere. Ackley goes down looking on a fastball low and away. Second time that’s happened in as many games. Ichiro swings at the first pitch and grounds out to Jemile Weeks, who makes a good play to record the out.
Weeks flies out on a low curve after two quick strikes from Vargas. Another quick two strikes on Pennington, who then hits a line drive up the middle on a low curve. Similar AB to Weeks’, different result. I hate you Cliff. Two identical inside fastballs to Crisp for strikes, throws another one that breaks Crisp’s bat and results in a flyout to Ackley behind second. Two down. Seth Smith is not playing today. Melvin probably forgot about him since he is so boring. Jonny Gomes strikes out looking on an inside fastball. Vargas is looking good right now; he got two strikes on all four hitters that inning.
They just showed how beer is served in the Tokyo Dome. Basically girls carry around kegs and pour it for you. Super jealous. Smoak hits a hard one in the gap, Cespedes runs it down though. Montero gets called looking on a fastball on the outer half of the plate. All in all, a pretty bad at-bat. Seager hits a hard one at Ka’aihue who keeps it in front and takes it himself to first. That name is going to suck to type all night. Maybe Billy Beane was a genius signing a fossil, he’s looking good.
Suzuki hits a routine grounder to Ryan. As does Cespedes, probably confused by the opulence of Captialism. Josh Reddick did not shave, still looks like a douche. He hits a hard line drive right at Smoak. Have to wonder if that would have been a hit if he had shaved. Vargas is looking good, working quickly and filling up the zone.
An ad was shown for Cactus League baseball, which must be an awkward transition, with fake games to real games to fake games and back to real games. Stupid Bud Selig. Olivo hits a bloop shot over first base that Weeks runs down; another nice play by Jemile. Finally some thinks about bunting! I doubt Colon is super mobile without cartiledge or muscle. Saunders hits a grounder to Weeks. Two outs and Ryan is up. He pops out to Suzuki behind home plate. Another quick inning. I don’t see what is so hard about hitting Colon, he is throwing around the zone and hasn’t shown a lot of movement on his pitches. That is frustrating.
Josh Donaldson is up, I have not heard of him ever before. He hits a hard ground out to Seager who makes a nice snag and a strong throw. Ka’aihue is up, I will now call him Kila since its easier. It seems the A’s hate first basemen who can hit. Allen hit eighth last night and Kila is hitting ninth. He pops out to Seager. I love the unwritten rules of baseball. Olivo just took a foul off the helmet, the umpire walked out to Vargas, Weeks went and got some more pine tar and Ryan grabbed some of the resin bag. Olivo must have been lonely back there. Weeks is a switch hitter, that’s cool, but so is grounding out to shortstop. Inning over. He's taking more pitches to retire hitters but Vargas still looks strong.
Top of the order up, and Figgins squares but lets a strike go by. He hits a bullet the other way, but Donaldson makes a nice stop. Ackley pops out on the first pitch, two very different at-bats from him. Hopefully that means a happy medium next time. Ichiro gets called looking on a very gratuitous call from the ump. Geoff Baker claims that if Ichiro gets ejected, the ump would get put on a barge to North Korea. That was a bad call though. But worse hitting in general from the M’s; Colon has a perfect game. Ha! Now you’re jinxed Bartolo!
Pennington sits on a curve and flies out to center, too bad you can’t redo that one Cliff! You suck! Crisp attempts to do the same thing and looks a lot cooler doing it; the ball went higher and further. Jonny Gomes is a large person; I wouldn’t be surprised if he and Brandon Allen ate Eric Sogard at some point this year, especially if Colon chipped in. He strikes out on a ball in the dirt. Another good inning by Vargas.
CenturyLink showed a totally impossible commercial; no way a slinky could go cross-country on flat ground. Just saying that I like my ads to be feasible in the physics world. Jemile Weeks makes another nice play to get Smoak on a ball in the hole. The Japanese must think MLB hitters suck or that our pitchers are really good, one hit so far. Colon has thrown 33 strikes in 40 pitches. Honestly though M’s? Can we figure this out? Montero gets a hit in between Weeks and Kila, welcome to Seattle Jesus. Seager hits one near the warning track in center, the Proletariat runs it down. Still haven’t nailed down a good name for Cespedes, any ideas? Olivo didn’t swing at a breaking ball in the dirt; see, you can teach an old dog new tricks. He singles up the middle. Two outs, guys on first and second. Think we will need more than a single to score though, Montero and Olivo are probably two of the slowest guys on the team. Saunders walks, bases loaded with two outs. Geoff Baker is getting super sassy with his tweets. Ryan grounds out to SS. Damn. At least we ended the perfect game, suck it Bartolo!
They just showed George Sherrill buying a coke from a vending machine in Japan. Cool story bro. And Suzuki flies out to Ichiro who makes a leaping grab that was not necessary. The Japanese loved it though. Good pitch by Vargas that Suzuki hit hard, he’s one to watch. Cespedes gets clowned on by Vargas, looks silly swinging at a low change up, goes and sits down worried he could end up in a labor camp. There are some athletes I don’t like based off of appearance, but I can’t really describe what specifically it is. Josh Reddick, I don’t like you because of that stuff protruding from your face. He doubles to right, gives giant middle finger to me for hating on his beard. I still stand by my comments. Donaldson is up but grounds out to Seager to end the inning. This is weird, runners have been on base in two consecutive half innings. I think both teams forgot who they were quickly. Hopefully, they glance up at the scoreboard or at each other’s jerseys and remember. Vargas still cruising, as is Colon.
Ackley got one million yen for his performance yesterday. Do I get a percentage of that since I own him in fantasy baseball? I would like 100% but will accept 99%. It’s a tough economy, everyone needs to make sacrifices. Figgins gets punched out on another borderline call. He wasn’t pleased, but neither was I with his handling of the first two pitches. Ackley pops out to third again, on the first pitch. So much for a happy medium. Ichiro gets to a full count and then swings at ball four and flies out to center. Geoff Baker remaining sassy, I’m not bitter he ignores my tweets at all.
Vargas at 78 pitches through 5, 3 K’s and 2 hits. Kila pops out to center, does weird voodoo dance rounding first. Justin Smoak may start doing some weird stuff soon. Colon was eyeing Eric Sogard hungrily on the bench; he needs to watch his back. Weeks walks on 4 straight pitches. Weeks is thrown out by Olivo. Good throw, better pick and tag by Ackley. Cliff Pennington almost strikes out, but fouls out to Seager, which is almost as embarrassing. Ha Cliff!
Kind of a large zone today, Smoak didn’t seem excited about a few calls there and I would agree with him. But Justin Smoak don’t care, he just hits bombs. This one to the front row in left field, nice bit of opposite field power by him. Montero tries to emulate, falls about 250 feet short. 1-0 M’s. The Fossil seems to be suffering from some osteoporosis. Seager hits a hard liner foul, but then Colon takes some calcium and gets Seager looking on an inside pitch. Told you the zone was big. Buster Olney claims Smoak showed big time opposite field power. That was an out at Safeco, guaranteed. Olivo grounds out to end it. The shutout is over.
Just realized why Patrick loves Carp; he has beard envy. That thing isn’t Ackley quality, but its pretty solid bit of facial hair. Although Vargas’ cheeks are smooth, damn. I will figure this anomaly out. Coco Crisp just watched a 2-0 fastball down the pipe. He wasn’t happy. He then remembered he is named for a cereal and was chill. So chill that he walked. Walks are bad! They bite pitchers in the ass a lot. Especially lead off walks. But Vargas almost picks him off first. Crisp was going on first move and Vargas should have had him. Good job by Crisp to get back. Jonny Gomes finally puts the ball in play today, albeit to Michael Saunders. Vargas is done for the day. Nice job by Mr. Jason or Dr. Vargas, I still don’t know which is correct here. Shawn Kelley is in. I follow him on twitter so know that he loves Louisville. Sorry Shawn, I need them to lose to Kentucky for great things to happen. But don’t let my cheering for a rival team impact your pitching. He doesn’t and gets Suzuki to ground out to Seager who gets Crisp at second. Double play is stopped by a nice slide by Coco. Cespedes responds to pressure to perform by taking Kelley deep. 2-1 A’s. Kelley hung that one and Cespedes is a big dude. Oh well, such is baseball. Kelley is now being pulled by Wedge. George Sherrill is now pitching against a wild animal, oh no wait, that’s Josh Reddick. Sherrill’s hat brim is ridiculously flat. It does him no good as Douche takes him deep to left. 3-1 A’s. I really should stop calling Reddick names, he seems to do better when I insult him. Sherrill gives up a single to Donaldson and another to Kila. Donaldson does not try for third, realizing Ichiro would gun him and the crowd would go crazy. Sherrill is done. He was totally ineffective. I like Wedge’s strategy here, bring in a substitute teacher. Those jokes are harder to make though, sorry Steve Delabar, this could be rough. His beard isn’t too shabby though, nowhere near Ackley or Carp though. Jemile Weeks confused as Delabar puts on a movie and sits in the back of the class on his computer. Strikes out. Inning over. 3-1 A’s.
I don’t know about you, but this lead seems like a lot more than 2 runs. The Fossil is still in, makes Saunders look stupid as he swings way over a changeup for strike three. Ryan hits a chopper to second and Figgins hits a ball that would have made the warning track at Williamsport. But, here in the big leagues, it is an infield pop out. At least we have our best hitters coming up in the ninth.
Pennington is up, complaining how assignment left for class by real teacher is way too hard. Delabar shrugs, after long period of thought and significant whining from Cliff, tells Pennington to sit down. He flies out to left. Coco Crisp sees one pitch, realizes it’s a sub and grounds out to first, goes to the bathroom for the rest of class. Johny Gomes calls out sub on lack of knowledge, hits a home run to center. 4-1 A’s. Kurt Suzuki feels bad for a flustered Delabar and kindly strikes out swinging as bell rings. Rally time!
The Fossil is done, is off to hunt Eric Sogard with Brandon Allen. Grant Balfour is in. Did Bob Melvin only bring three relievers to Japan? I wouldn’t be surprised, seems like something he would forget. Ackley, Ichiro and Smoak are due up. Dustin works a full count and then strikes out swinging on ball four. Nice plate discipline there, but the high fastball can be tough to lay off. Ichiro grounds out to first. Two down, Smoak up. Eric Sogard is sitting on the bench, trying to blend in with the other people with A’s jerseys on. I don’t think he realizes that his name is on the back of his jersey. Smoak grounds out to Weeks. Game over. 4-1 A’s win.
Well the bullpen sucked and the offense sucked. Where is David Pauley when you really need him. On the bright side, Vargas was good, Smoak hit a home run and we are still tied for the lead atop the MLB standings. Go M's.