The Bells of St. Mary’s

I looked at my closet and used a tape measure to figure out the dimensions of wood boards I would have to put in there to create some more space for my stuff.  I went out to the library for about a half hour before taking the buses out to the Grand Lake Theatre.  Some of the bus riders were frustrated with the lateness of the 57 bus.  I got to the theatre about five minutes before “Cars 3” was supposed to start.  I paid more attention to the short film “Lou” this time.  The message about bullying was rather annoying.  The movie itself was a little bit better the second time around, but the ending certainly was not satisfying.  Not many people were seeing the early afternoon showing of this movie, so the employee didn’t have much popcorn to sweep up afterwards.  I went back to the library and spent some time listening to music.  I had no energy to get out to the hardware store, so I went home and watched “The Bells of St. Mary’s.”  It was a sequel to “Going My Way” that could have been the prequel to it.  Bing Crosby is again Father O’Malley, who seemed calm and easygoing, but he didn’t exactly stand up for academic standards, declaring a holiday immediately upon arrival.  I thought back on the movies set at school that I’ve seen in my lifetime, like “Up the Down Staircase” and “Teachers.”  This one seemed unreal, as it was made 72 years ago.  When I was a child, movies from the 1940s didn’t seem so old, but they do now.  Father O’Malley is one of those men who believe that real-world experience teaches you more than school lessons in math and English.  That extends to boys fighting each other, which shows you the age of this movie.  Ingrid Bergman plays Sister Benedict, the nun who clashes with O’Malley.  She helps out the boy who lost the fight by buying a book on boxing, a book that didn’t really exist in reality, and coaching him on Saturdays, not quite like Mickey in “Rocky.”  Would a nun these days actually coach a young boy to fight to protect himself on the playground?  Well, I don’t know what goes on inside the Catholic Church.  One interesting moment was the children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, which at the time didn’t have the words “under God.”  One of the students is a troubled girl who seems to be doing badly with her grades.  Also, there is a rich man putting up a new building next door, pushing to have the school condemned so that he can buy the property for a parking lot.  Henry Travers is this character, a contrast to Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  Another thing that’s going on is Sister Benedict’s health problem.  The doctor hasn’t told her about it because her emotional response would make worsen her condition, supposedly.  I questioned the ethics of the doctor in this movie, as I did with the doctor in “Ikiru.”  This is one of your old-fashioned movies with sentiment and humor involving cats and the idealism of nuns.  The image of this laidback Catholic priest was so odd in light of the complaints his son in real life made about Bing Crosby after his death.  I can’t deny that Crosby was a good singer, although it looked like he wasn’t really playing the piano in one scene, and the most interesting song in this film is a Christmas carol.  It’s not really a Christmas movie, although it shows the Catholics doing good, a big contrast to a film like “Spotlight.”  It did show a miracle, which involved Travers.  In this story, prayer somehow does make a difference.  Travers complained that glass was hard to come by as he had a window fixed.  The pairing of Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman doesn’t feel magical 72 years later, although it puts together two Oscar winners.  There is no romantic chemistry between the characters, of course, although in this case I’m sure the audience didn’t mind.  This movie had eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress.  The most meaningful scene was Sister Benedict about to depart from the school under a cloud.  Well, a movie like this is supposed to be uplifting, making you feel good about religion and American values.  It made a lot of money for RKO, although it’s not one of the movies from the 1940s that we really remember.  I would say that it was not as entertaining as “Going My Way” was, the case with most sequels.  I couldn’t help thinking about Bing Crosby having a heart attack while playing golf in Spain.  Leo McCarey won two Oscars for directing and one for writing in his film career.  He directed “Duck Soup,” “The Awful Truth,” “Going My Way,” and “An Affair to Remember.”  “The Bells of St. Mary’s” was based on his aunt, Sister Mary Benedict, who died of typhoid.  His last picture was “Satan Never Sleeps” in 1962, and he died at age 70 of emphysema on July 5, 1969.  I watched the first half of “Kubo and the Two Strings.”  I thought that some of the humorous bits were good, but some of them fell flat.  I liked the animation with the origami figures.  Charlize Theron was the voice of a monkey.  I heard that the A’s managed to win their game in Houston, as Ryon Healy hit a grand slam to make the score 5-1, and Santiago Casilla escape a big jam in the bottom of the ninth inning with a double play to end the game.  The A’s have been alternating four wins with four losses over the last twelve games.  If the A’s were to win two-thirds of their games in the second half of the season, they would win 54 more games.  Some of the people who died on June 28 include James Madison (1836), Frank Sutton (1974), Rod Serling (1975), Maureen O’Sullivan (1998), Fred Travalena (2009), Jack Carter (2015), and Scotty Moore (2016).  Today is a birthday for John Cusack (51), Kathy Bates (69), and Mel Brooks (91).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 28, “The King and I,” starring Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, and Rita Moreno, was released in 1956.  In 1975, Rod Serling died at age 50 after heart surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York.  In 1991, “The Naked Gun 2 ½” was released.

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Pete’s Dragon

I had to drag myself over to work.  I hated going over there on a Monday.  I returned home and watched “Pete’s Dragon,” not the 1970s movie that I barely remember, but the movie I kept seeing advertised last year.  The dragon had fur instead of scales, so that it looked like it came out of “Monsters, Inc.”  The movie had elements of “The Wild Child,” “E.T.,” and “The Iron Giant.”  Pete is the survivor of a car accident, and he has lived in the forest with the help of the dragon he names Elliott.  I thought that after six years, he would be incredibly dirty and smell awful.  Bryce Dallas Howard is Grace, a forest ranger who tries to help Pete after her daughter Natalie discovers him hiding and climbing trees.  Grace seemed a lot like Jessica Chastain.  Karl Urban, who is Doctor McCoy in the recent Star Trek movies, is a man who stumbles upon the dragon and sets out to hunt it and get rich from it in a King Kong way.  Robert Redford is now old enough to play slightly crazy old men.  He is known as the only person who has seen the dragon up until these recent events.  There are environmental and animal rights issues running underneath this story, so I saw this role for Robert Redford as a variation of things he did going back to “Jeremiah Johnson.”  Some bits don’t make too much sense, like how the school bus driver could continue driving, oblivious to what the children were seeing.  The dragon sure had a keen eye for people and their trucks, and he seemed nearly intelligent to read books for himself.  I saw that the Disney tradition of having the kids take action is still intact with this story.  It was remarkably easy for them to handle the chains that bound the dragon.  There was a touchy moment when the dragon finally does breathe fire.  He almost kills people.  This being a Disney movie, you would expect the dragon to be slit open and killed like the slimy creature at the beginning of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.”  I don’t think the Disney people would allow Pete to live out the rest of his life in the forest, rather like the kids in “Captain Fantastic.”  I kept wondering about what the vocabulary of this kid would be at five years old, and how he could comprehend people six years later.  I read that the story was supposed to take place in 1977 and 1983.  I think that would explain the absence of cell phones and even CD players.  Natalie was listening to a record, and Pete touched the record as it was spinning.  One odd little detail is Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne” on the radio.  I couldn’t think of any radio station in the world that was playing Leonard Cohen in 1983, and it was curious that a young girl like Natalie was listening to it.  I thought that Bryce Dallas Howard was likable in her role, even though Grace wasn’t the most fascinating character.  She was sentimental about her compass, tried to do good deeds with preserving nature, and had instant maternal feelings towards Pete.  I didn’t think there was much suspense over whether she was going to hand the kid over to Social Services.  Robert Redford left the audience with a better feeling than he did with “All is Lost” or “A Walk in the Woods.”  I couldn’t help thinking that this movie was another walk in the woods for him.  As far as your family movies go, “Pete’s Dragon” was an alternative to the very noisy entertainment kids get.  It was a variation on the movies about a boy and his dog.  Maybe a lot of people would prefer seeing “My Dog Skip,” but this movie was rather a pleasant surprise.  I went out browsing in the record store, and looking through the bargain bins, I saw a CD copy of “The Partridge Family Album” for three dollars, so I bought it.  One of my favorite songs on it is “Brand New Me,” because it brings back memories of that skunk episode and those times when I watched the show with my brother.  I heard a lot on the news about Giants ticket prices dropping because of their poor season.  These radio and TV reporters were late in telling us this, because it was a front page story in the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday.  We were told that some tickets were going for $6, and the box office was selling standing room tickets for $9.  I should have been cleaning my apartment, but I spent too much time working on the puzzles in the newspaper.  The Sudoku puzzle was easy, even if I hadn’t done one in a while.  I got stuck on the Jumble puzzle for a while with “ARUBUE.”  I had to work on a separate piece of paper to discover that it was “BUREAU.”  The Challenger was a square made up of sixteen little squares with four of them with given numbers between one and nine, and the rows, columns, and diagonals were supposed to have designated sums.  The challenge time was 8 minutes and 37 seconds, but I didn’t know how to approach it.  I used math to help me.  I wrote down ten equations with twelve variables and used a 10 by 13 matrix and found the reduced row echelon form.  It didn’t give me the answer, but I found that variables 1 and 9, 3 and 11, and 8 and 12 had to be equal.  I was wasting an amazing amount of time on this question, but eventually I did come up with the solution.  Some of the people who died on June 27 include Albert R. Broccoli (1996), Jack Lemmon (2001), John Entwistle (2002), Shelby Foote (2005), Gale Storm (2009), Bobby Womack (2014), and Alvin Toffler (2016).  Today is a birthday for Tobey Maguire (42), J.J. Abrams (51), Isabelle Adjani (62), and Vera Wang (68).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 27, “Destination Moon” was released in 1950.  In 1959, “West Side Story” closed on Broadway after 732 performances.  In 1968, Elvis Presley taped his NBC television special.  In 1984, the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios in England burned to the ground towards the end of the filming of Ridley Scott’s “Legend,” although it would be rebuilt and reopened in January 1985, in time for the filming of “A View to a Kill.”  In 1987, Whitney Houston’s second album, “Whitney,” featuring “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” and “So Emotional,” became the first album by a woman to enter the Billboard album chart at Number One.  In 1989, The Who performed their rock opera “Tommy” in its entirety for the first time in 17 years at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  In 2002, John Entwistle died of a heart attack induced by cocaine in Room 658 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

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Transformers: The Last Knight

The first Sunday of the summer had me feeling tired.  I woke up and watched CBS Sunday Morning, which had segments on the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Dick Gregory, John McEnroe, and Cyndi Lauper.  After I went grocery shopping, I took the buses out to Jack London Square to go to the theatre where “Transformers: The Last Knight.”  I thought the story started off on the wrong foot with the whole Middle Ages introduction with Merlin.  After that strangeness, we see Marlky Mark and a spunky little girl, who also had to be a most foolish little girl for being in such dangerous situations.  She had more technical knowledge than anyone in the world.  What, was she self-taught?  We get Anthony Hopkins and three people from “The Big Lebowski.”  Not only is Merlin thrown into the plot, but there are things that we didn’t know about World War II and the death of Hitler tossed in there.  I didn’t know what was going on, but throughout all of this, I knew that Merlin’s staff was important.  The attempts at humor generally weren’t funny, but the woman behind me laughed loudly at everything.  I’ve seen a lot of these loud movies this summer already.  It’s discouraging to see the audiences going along with all this nonsense.  The action scenes lacked excitement, but one thing that was a little surprising was how the ending dragged on and on.  Hardly any movies that are two and a half hours long merit that kind of length, and this one isn’t an exception.  This movie was empty, had no emotion, and wasn’t put together thoughtfully.  The reviewer for RogerEbert.com gave it one star.  I wouldn’t rate it that low.  That is the territory of the Hot Tub Time Machine and Zoolander sequels.  I’m amazed that so much money could be spent to get much modest results.  Everything seems to happen so quickly that there is no sense of wonder what what’s happening.  You’d think that the end of the world is happening every day, or at least every day of the summer.  This movie was a step down from the last Transformers movie, certainly, and the future of the series doesn’t look promising if the stars don’t return.  I thought this was something like the Fast and Furious series, except for robots and science fiction elements.  When I checked the rating of this movie, it was PG-13.  It seemed rather foul-mouthed for the little kids to watch, but then I have no idea what little kids these days are like.  149 minutes was a long time to spend watching this movie, and it made me feel exhausted.  After it ended, I heard one fan talking about what he saw on YouTube about the Transformers.  I did not find it inspiring.  Summer movies sure have changed since the days of Jaws, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones.  I thought the movies were more fun back then, along with a lot of other things.  I would have thought that we would like to go to the movies to escape the depressing news about terrorism and shootings, but then this type of entertainment continues with the violence.  The trailer for the Planet of the Apes movie did not make me want to rush out and see it, with its suggestions of a race and class war.  I want a break from these statements.  I listened to the end of the A’s game in Chicago on the radio on my way home.  Santiago Casilla seemed intent on blowing it in the ninth inning by giving up a home run, but it turned out to be a 5-3 win, although the team is now headed for Houston.  Other news was that Stephen Vogt is now with the Milwaukee Brewers, joining Eric Sogard, who has been doing well this season so far with the Brewers.  I went over to the record store and bought used vinyl copies of albums by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.  The cashier told me that it was good to see me in the store.  I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN.  He played songs by Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, The Slickers, and Bob Marley and the Wailers.  It’s already been 36 years since the death of Bob Marley.  It was good to hear “Redemption Song,” “No Woman, No Cry,” and “One Love” on the radio again.  I watched part of a Columbo episode with Jackie Cooper, but I fell sleep before the ending.  I was too sleepy to watch Kolchak: The Night Stalker.  I saw a commercial for one of those 1970s rock and roll cruises.  I might be interested into going on one of those cruises, although I’m not sure that I would want to go to Jamaica.  I’m still not a fan of Styx.  I don’t think I liked anything that came after “Lady,” which is a lot.  I’m not sure that I can even name one member of Styx after all these years.  I had the feeling that this would be a tough week of work, and so I wasn’t eager to get out of bed and face it all.  Some of the people who died on June 26 include James Weldon Johnson (1938), Roy Campanella (1993), and Nora Ephron (2012).  Today is a birthday for Ariana Grande (24), Nicole Arbour (32), Gretchen Wilson (44), Chris Isaak (61), and Mick Jones (62).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 26, “Darby O’ Gill and the Little People,” starring Sean Connery, was released in 1959.  In 1964, the Beatles’ album “A Hard Day’s Night” was released in the United States.  In 1987, “Dragnet,” with Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, was released.

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Manifesto

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I awoke and watched CBS This Morning, with its chef segment.  Some of John Tesar’s signature recipes include Ribeye – back to the pan, Avocado fries, Heirloom tomato salad, Johnny mac and cheese, and Sriracha pork belly in the style of Peking duck.  Jason Isbell was the musical guest.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on June 29, 1974 were “Annie’s Song,” “Rock Your Baby,” “Band on the Run,” “Hollywood Swinging,” “Rock the Boat,” “If You Love Me (Let Me Know),” “Be Thankful for What You Got,” “Your Make Me Feel Brand New,” “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero,” and “Sundown.”  I had to go to work for five hours, and with one person calling in sick, the shift was a bit difficult.  I stopped for a burger on the way home, and I walked over to the theatre to see “Manifesto.”  It was Cate Blanchett playing 13 different characters delivered various manifestos by people such as Karl Marx, Claes Oldenburg, Jim Jarmusch, Werner Herzog, and Lars von Trier.  When Blanchett appears as a homeless man, it reminded me of Monty Python.  The movie had some humor in it, as the choreographer, news anchor and reporter, and teacher segments made some of us in the audience laugh a little bit.  It was too much talking, however, as we didn’t want to hear an endless discussion about art.  How can you convince anyone when you’re causing your listeners to tune out?  Some of these ideas are questionable, like the statement that nothing is original.  Some parts made me squirm restlessly in my seat.  I think that any film that quotes from Jean-Luc Godard is going to be in trouble.  This movie made me think back to a film of John Gielgud reading from Shakespeare.  “Manifesto” is not for most people.  I overheard people afterwards joking that it was weird and that they thought beforehand that since Cate Blanchett was in it, it was going to be good.  If you don’t mind sitting through boring stretches to get to some scattered jewels, there is something in this film for you.  I’ll give credit to Blanchett for attempting something different and meaningful, for taking a chance on something new.  I think the filmmakers have to consider the audience.  I don’t know how you can expect people to pay $8.50 or more for a ticket if you don’t try to be more engaging.  Watching this movie is like listening to someone, or maybe I should say 13 people, who don’t know when to stop talking.  I looked at the review on RogerEbert.com and was a bit surprised that it was so positive.  I thought about all the strange experiences I’ve had at the movies.  “Manifesto” was not one of the top ten, but it was certainly out of the ordinary.  It wasn’t Pirates of the Caribbean, Wonder Woman, Captain Underpants, or Transformers.  I went home and watched the end of a Giants game with the Mets.  The Giants lost their 50th game of the season.  A front page story in the San Francisco Chronicle was about the declining prices of Giants tickets.  I thought the article was a warning to the A’s and their fans that the team has to win once they have a new stadium.  I saw on the news that Matt Olson, Jaycob Brugman, and Franklin Barreto all their first major league home run in the same game in Chicago.  I watched the Star Trek episode on Me TV and then the news.  It has been fifty years since The Beatles performed “All You Need is Love” via satellite to the world.  Some of the people who died on June 25 include Johnny Mercer (1976), Boudleaux Bryant (1987), Jacques Cousteau (1997), John Fiedler (2005), Farrah Fawcett (2009), Michael Jackson (2009), and Patrick Macnee (2015).  Today is a birthday for Ricky Gervais (56), Sonia Sotomayor (63), Jimmie Walker (70), Carly Simon (72), and June Lockhart (92).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 25, The Beatles reached Number One on the singles chart in 1966 with “Paperback Writer.”  In 1976, “The Omen” was released in the United States.  In 1983, the “Flashdance” soundtrack album replaced Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” at the Number One position on the Billboard album chart.  In 2009, Farrah Fawcett died of cancer at age 62.

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Monterey Pop

I spent a couple hours at the laundromat, and then I went to the library.  After I had lunch, I went out to the theatre to see “Monterey Pop.”  They opened the theatre late, and I was the only one there to see the movie.  I had seen it before, in the early 1980s, and it was pretty much the same movie that I remember from all those years ago, except that it wasn’t a scratchy print with muddled sound.  The good thing about digital projection is that it doesn’t degrade the picture after many showings.  I found it interesting to see someone eating an orange or sleeping on the ground.  The first song is Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco,” which is not a live performance, but it is fitting in setting the mood.  I was a bit surprised at how bright and lively the Mamas and the Papas sounded on “California Dreamin’.”  Canned Heat is not a band that I will remember for anything at all.  Simon and Garfunkel’s brief number is “The 59th Street Bridge Song” instead of “The Sound of Silence.”  Jefferson Airplane does two songs, and I still didn’t recognize either one.  Grace Slick sure had a powerful voice years ago.  Janis Joplin gave one of the best performances in the film with “Ball and Chain.”  Mama Cass is in the audience and is impressed, saying “Wow!”  Eric Burdon and the Animals perform “Paint It, Black,” which really reminds us that the Rolling Stones should have been there but weren’t, along with The Beach Boys, The Kinks, and The Doors.  One person who was part of the festival but not the movie was Laura Nyro.  The Who went into “My Generation” and ended with a lot of destruction, with Keith Moon apparently getting injured.  One thing that is a contrast with Woodstock is that people are sitting in chairs, and they probably all had a good view of the bands.  Something else that was interesting was the almost nobody waves at the camera, giving a feeling of a Fellini film.  Otis Redding sang “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.”  I wish I could get the image of Jon Cryer in “Pretty in Pink” erased from my memory permanently.  Jimi Hendrix gave perhaps the most memorable performance.  There was quite a bit of sex in his song, “Wild Thing,” so it wasn’t shown on network television.  The setting of his guitar on fire was outrageous.  I kept wondering why he should want to destroy his guitar in the first place.  Some of the audience members aren’t hip, as they seemed confused as to how to react.  They’re still accustomed to conventions and politeness.  I don’t know if they would have been ready for Iggy Pop or The Sex Pistols.  I didn’t understand why Hendrix played the guitar behind his back.  It didn’t add anything to the moment, except to show that he could do it.  It made me think of Tom Hulce demonstrating Mozart’s skills in “Amadeus.”  The last number is Ravi Shankar’s “Dhun,” which I didn’t think was the greatest for the cameras, as it showed long shots of Shankar’s fingers.  He was certainly skilled.  One woman was sleeping.  I thought this was serious music, but some people are dancing around like jackasses.  The music does build to an ending that excites the audience, and you can briefly see Micky Dolenz of the Monkees.  I thought this was a good concert film, although it isn’t as impressive as “Woodstock.”  I thought the one annoying shot of the film was Michelle Phillips upside down.  I was glad to be reminded of what happened fifty years ago.  They sold fresh roasted peanuts at the concert site, and no one carried cell phones.  They weren’t able to hold another festival the following year, which I guess is just as well.  It would have been hard to recreate the magic.  It was fun being the only one in the theatre to see this movie.  It was almost like being at home with a huge screen in front of me.  I went over to a Prince Purple Rain Listening Party.  The bonus tracks that I heard did not excite me very much.  After I returned home, I watched the Partridge Family episode “Danny Converts,” which felt like a Bridget Loves Bernie preview.  Laurie was supposed to have been eating ice cream in one scene.  My copy of The Partridge Family Cookbook arrived in the mail.  It was in pretty good condition for a 45-year-old paperback book.  I saw on the news that the A’s won their game with the Chicago White Sox.  Khris Davis hit a home run.  Some of the people who died on June 14 include Grover Cleveland (1908), Jackie Gleason (1987), Brian Keith (1997), David Tomlinson (2000), Paul Winchell (2005), and Eli Wallach (2014).  Today is a birthday for Mindy Kaling (38), Mick Fleetwood (70), Peter Weller (70), and Jeff Beck (73).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 24, “Cat Ballou,” starring Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, Dwayne Hickman, and Nat King Cole, was released in 1965.  In 1971, “McCabe and Mrs. Miller,” starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, was released.  In 2014, Eli Wallach died at age 98.

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Jesse Hahn’s Horrendous Two Innings

I went over to the bookstore to submit a textbook order, and to the Office of Instruction to give them some paperwork, and then I headed to the BART station to go to the Coliseum.  After the gates opened, I headed to the team store, where I bought an Eckersley jersey.  I decided that I would feel better if I ate before taking my seat, so I went to the food trucks and bought a Banana-Fana with a bottle of drinking water.  I saw Roberta Gonzales of KPIX warming up to throw out the first pitch.  She was wearing black on a hot afternoon.  Jalen Richard threw the second first pitch, which I think is just the second pitch.  I heard the news that Stephen Vogt was gone from the team.  I couldn’t help wondering what was going to happen to Faith and Family Day.  Jesse Hahn was the starting pitcher against the Houston Astros.  He got off to a horrible start, hitting the first batter with his fifth pitch of the game.  A pinch-runner had to come into the game.  Hahn walked the next two batters, as he threw only two strikes to the first three batters of the game.  Two sacrifice flies produced two runs without a hit for the Astros.  A fly ball to right field was the third out.  Hahn had gone to three-ball counts to five of six hitters in the inning.  The only thing that happened in the bottom of the inning was Matt Olson getting his first hit, as Matt Joyce, Ryon Healy, and Khris Davis all struck out.  Hahn was unable to do better in the second inning.  He allowed a single to the first hitter, but then got an out on a fly ball to centerfield.  He then gave up a double and a home run to make the score 5-0, and then another double and a walk.  A ground ball looked as though it could turn into an inning-ending double play, but Yonder Alonso committed an error on the play to load the bases with still one out.  Hahn proceeded to give up a single for two runs, followed by a home run for three more runs and a 10-0 score.  Bruce Maxwell caught a foul ball for the second out, and the third out finally came on a ground ball.  I heard a lot of groaning from the fan a few seats to my right throughout the inning.  Hahn’s ERA had gone from 3.56 to 4.66.  The fans certainly weren’t expecting the A’s to come from ten runs behind to win, although they had done it once before in their history.  Josh Smith took over for Hahn in the third inning.  He went three innings and gave up no runs.  The first batter got a single off him, but then Smith got eight consecutive outs before he gave up a double.  He then struck out the last batter he faced in the fifth inning.  The A’s had men on base in each of the first four innings without producing a run, but they finally did something in the fifth.  Maxwell singled, and after Rosales made an out, Joyce doubled.  Maxwell scored on Olson’s ground ball.  Michael Brady came into the game in the sixth inning with an ERA of 9.00 because he allowed one run in one inning.  He gave up a home run to Josh Reddick with his first pitch, doubling his ERA to 18.00.  After allowing a double, though, he got seven consecutive outs to reduce his ERA to 5.40.  After hearing relationship advice from the A’s via the scoreboard, we saw them score more runs in the sixth inning.  Khris Davis doubled.  Yonder Alonso fouled out on a 3-1 pitch, but then Chad Pinder doubled to make the score 11-2, and then Jaycob Brugman singled to make the score 11-3.  Maxwell and Rosales made outs.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Right Back Where We Started From,” and I could see one of the ushers singing along.  The A’s got only a walk with one out from Olson in the inning.  In the top of the eighth inning with one out, Brady gave up a triple and a sacrifice fly, which made the score 12-3.  He finished the inning with a strikeout and a 6.75 ERA.  In the bottom of the inning, the A’s did something.  Rajai Davis doubled on the first pitch.  Pinder struck out on a 3-2 pitch.  Brugman walked on a 3-2 pitch, and then Maxwell doubled for one run.  Rosales went to a 3-2 count and doubled for two more runs.  On a 3-2 wild pitch, Joyce walked and Rosales went to third base.  After a pitching change, Olson doubled, with Rosales scoring and Joyce going to third base.  Joyce scored the fifth run of the inning on a wild pitch, with Olson going to third base.  Healy grounded out but Olson scored, bringing the A’s to within 12-9.  Khris Davis struck out to end the inning.  It was his third strikeout of the game.  John Axford pitched the top of the ninth inning.  He allowed two singles with one out, but kept the score at 12-9.  The A’s appeared used up their magic in the eighth inning.  The game ended with Rajai Davis, Chad Pinder, and Jaycob Brugman all striking out.  After winning four straight against the Yankees, the A’s lost four straight to the Astros.  The Astros certainly looked like the best team in the American League.  This game started at 12:37 with a game time temperature of 88 degrees, and it ended at 4:01.  The attendance was 18,747.  Instead of going straight home, I stopped by Best Buy and bought Blu-ray discs of “For Your Eyes Only” and “The Great Escape.”  I went home for something to eat.  I browsed through the record store and bought a Blu-ray of “Wings” and a Midnight Special DVD.  I took a shower and fell asleep while watching some Portlandia.  Some of the people who died on June 23 include Jonas Salk (1995), Shana Alexander (2005), Aaron Spelling (2006), Ed McMahon (2009), Peter Falk (2011), Richard Matheson (2013), and Dick van Patten (2015).  Today is a birthday for Melissa Rauch (37), Joss Whedon (53), and Randy Jackson (61).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 23, the mono issue of Ray Charles’ “Modern Sounds of Country and Western Music” reached Number One on the Billboard albums chart in 1962.  In 1984, the Number One single was Duran Duran’s “The Reflex.”  In 1989, “Batman,” directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger, and Jack Nicholson, was released.

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Sean Manaea’s Three 0-2 Pitches

I didn’t get the chance to go to Peet’s Coffee on Broadway to see Yonder Alonso, Stephen Vogt, Ryon Healy, and Liam Hendriks wearing aprons.  I got to stadium by taking the buses out there, and I sat on a bench as I waited for the gates to open.  I decided to browse through the team store.  I saw jerseys that I would like to buy.  The Hunter, Jackson, and Eckersley jerseys looked like the best ones to me.  I strolled through the Catfish Hunter gate and took a photo.  I got some loaded tots and headed for the plaza where the food trucks were parked.  I bought chicken tacos and a chocolate malt.  I took my seat after 6:30. Sean Manaea, the starting pitcher for the A’s against the Astros, started off with two perfect innings.  He allowed a walk and a single in the third inning but didn’t give up a run.  He got through the fourth, allowing just a single with two outs.  In the fifth inning, Manaea walked the first batter, then got the next three batters out.  Through the first five innings, the A’s through the first five innings got a runner as far as second base only twice, in the first inning and in the fifth inning.  Entering the sixth inning, the score was still at 0-0, but something was about to happen.  Manaea went to a 3-2 on the first hitter before giving up a single.  He went to a 2-0 count on the second batter before giving up another single.  Jaycob Brugman made the mistake of throwing to third base when the runner was the speedy Jose Altuve, allowing the trailing runner to take second base.  Manaea went ahead in the count, 0-2, but gave up a single for two runs.  After a strikeout, he again went ahead, 0-2, to the next batter and allowed a single.  After another strikeout, Manaea got to a third 0-2 count in the inning and allowed the fifth single of the inning, this one making the score 3-0.  He struck out the next batter to finally end the inning.  Manaea began the night with a 4.01 ERA. At the end of the fifth ending, he had reduced it to 3.73, but at the end of the sixth inning, it had gone up to 4.05.  The A’s were quiet in the bottom of the sixth inning, with nobody reaching base for the first time in the game, although the only runner they had in the fourth inning was Khris Davis via an error by the third baseman.  The Big Head race had no grabbing or pushing or bumping, but Rollie Fingers continued a lackluster stretch as it was a close finish between Rickey Henderson and Dennis Eckersley, with Eckersley winning it.  Ryan Madson took over for Manaea in the top of the seventh inning, and Madson should have had a clean inning but for Healy’s error with two outs.  The bottom of the inning had a promising start for the A’s, as Yonder Alonso doubled and Ryon Healy walked.  After a pitching change, Brugman hit into a force play, with Healy out at second base as Alonso went to third base.  After another pitching change, Stephen Vogt pinch-hit for Rajai Davis and grounded out, as Brugman went to second base, and Alonso scored a run. Josh Phegley was unable to bring in Brugman, as he grounded out to the pitcher.  The unusual thing that the fans saw in the eighth inning was Stephen Vogt playing left field.  Santiago Casilla was pitching the inning.  Vogt caught a fly ball for the first out.  The next ball hit to him was a sinking line drive that he was unable to catch, although he stopped it from getting past him.  The next ball was also hit his way but to his right, as it went for a double.  A fourth ball was hit to him, and it was another fly ball that he caught, with the Astros scoring on the play.  The score was now 4-1.  Casilla got the third out on a ground ball.  I saw that his ERA went from 4.07 to 4.26 after the inning.  The A’s had no reply in the bottom of the eighth inning, as they made three quiet outs.  Jed Lowrie looked discouraged as he took a called third strike for the last out.  Josh Smith pitched the top of the ninth inning.  He got the first two batters out, but then gave up a home run on a 2-0 pitch, making the score 5-1.  He got a strikeout to end the inning.  His ERA started at 6.63 and went up to 6.75.  Many of the fans had left by this point, so not many were left to dance along to “Y.M.C.A.”  The bottom of the ninth inning started with Khris Davis striking out.  He had gone 0-for-4 on the night, grounding into a double play with two runners on base to end the first inning.  Yonder Alonso flied out.  He had walked and doubled, going 1-for-3 in the game.  We saw a photo of him wearing a Peet’s Coffee apron and badge on the scoreboard.  Ryon Healy singled to right field.  He had gone 1-for-3 in the game.  He had struck out and hit into a double play that ended the fourth inning, but also walked.  Jaycob Brugman, the last hope, was 1-for-3 with a single coming up to bat.  The count was 1-2 on him when he struck out to end the game.  This game had started at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 70 degrees, and it ended at 10:13.  The attendance was 12,277.  Like Khris Davis, Matt Joyce had gone 0-for-4.  Jed Lowrie had gone 0-for-3 but walked in the first inning.  Josh Phegley was without a hit, but was hit by a pitch.  Rajai Davis was 0-for-2.  Annoyingly, he struck out with Brugman at first base with no outs in the fifth inning.  Vince Cotroneo pointed out to us over the radio that the good feeling from the Yankees series was now a distant memory.  The Astros were showing us that they are a better team than the Yankees.  Cotroneo had said that Jose Altuve had gone without a hit in the first two games of this series, which was incorrect.  The box score for Tuesday’s game showed that Altuve had one hit.  Cotroneo also informed us that Falcon McFalconface would be getting a new wingman, so to speak, a kind of Robin to Batman.  I saw Cotroneo’s tweet showing some of the food from the food trucks, including nachos from Big City, Country Boy.  I listened to Chris Townsend talk about Manaea’s failure to get an out three chances with the count at 0-2.  I was just anxious to go home. Some of the people who died on June 22 include David O, Selznick (1965), Judy Garland (1969), Fred Astaire (1987), Pat Nixon (1993), Ann Landers (2002), George Carlin (2008), and Dody Goodman (2008).  Today is a birthday for Bruce Campbell (59), Cyndi Lauper (64), Meryl Streep (68), Lindsay Wagner (68), Todd Rundgren (69), and Kris Kristofferson (81).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 22, “The Fall of the House of Usher” was released in 1960.  In 1968, Herb Alpert had the Number One single, “This Guy’s in Love with You.”  In 1973, David Bowie released the single “Life on Mars?”  In 1979, “The Muppet Movie” was released.  In 1990, the sequel “RoboCop 2” was released.  In 1993, Wilson Pickett pled guilty to drunken driving charges after he had struck an 86-year-old pedestrian named Pepe Ruiz in Englewood, New Jersey.  In 1995, “Apollo 13” had its premiere at the Academy Theater in Beverly Hills.

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