Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

The CBS Sunday Morning show was about cancer, and one of the segments focused on Sheryl Crow.  My parents phoned me, and my mother said that her dog had been sick for the last couple of days.  When I saw a commercial for the ASPCA, I thought about contributing.  If I were a rich person, perhaps I would do it.  I shopped for groceries and listened to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on the radio before I headed to the Grand Lake Theatre.  I took a photo of the ducks outside the library before I walked over to the theatre.  “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” was showing on one of the small screens.  It was the most expensive French film of all time, but it was proving to be a flop in this country.  There was an unusual, quiet feeling to it that American audiences probably found boring.  Even the weapons were relatively quiet.  Luc Besson did direct “The Fifth Element” and “Lucy,” but this one had a story that was not so compelling, and the relationship between the two main characters was excruciating.  Dane DeHaan was Valerian, and he projected a kind of diluted Leonardo DiCaprio personality, white Cara Delevingne was Laureline, and she was something like Susan Dey and Mariel Hemingway.  A.O. Scott described her as the supreme superciliary celebrity of our time.  I’ve seen DeHaan in “The Place Beyond the Pines,” “Lincoln,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” and “Knight of Cups.”  The story of Valerian had elements of Star Wars and “Avatar.”  We see these alien living a peaceful life with these strange pearls and the strange creatures that produce pearls, and their lives are disrupted.  Ethan Hawke shows up, and I liked watching him, but he was so natural in “Boyhood” that just about anything else from him falls short.  Rihanna appears, although her characters comes and goes so that it feels that she was just inserted into the film for a bit of box office value and for so-called diversity.  The movie should have been beautiful and inspiring, but it is really just unexciting.  I thought it was better than something like “John Carter,” but there was no real emotion to it.  It felt as though Besson had forgotten about the audience.  I wanted to like Laureline because I thought Kara might have a Fanning sister quality to her, but this script made me not care about anything in the movie.  Whatever happened to science fiction movies like “2001: A Space Odyssey”?  Those movies made us talk about them because there was some thought behind the concepts they gave us.  This one just throws at us two young people with lukewarm chemistry, an unadventurous adventure, and some alien beings that attempt to win our sympathy.   On my way home, I heard that the A’s won their game against the Mets, hitting three home runs getting a winning score of 3-2.  Matt Chapman got the big hit for that last run.  I browsed through the record store but didn’t see much that I wanted except for the Beatles singles.  I listened to the Robert Hilburn Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN.  He had songs from some of the best albums of 2017, which were by Jason Isbell, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Father John Misty, and Valerie June.  I watched a bit of Columbo before I fell asleep, and I watched the end of Kolchak: The Night Stalker.  On the KPIX Sports Report, Tim Kawakami talked about leaving the world of newspapers to write for a website.  I don’t think I would want to pay for any of this sports writing because I can observe for myself and make up my own mind.  Some of the people who died on July 24 include Martin Van Buren (1862), Peter Sellers (1980), Isaac Bashevis Singer (1991), Virginia Christine (1996), G.D. Spradlin (2011), Chad Everett (2012), and Marni Nixon (2016).  Today is a birthday for Lynda Carter (66), Michael Richards (68), and Ruth Buzzi (81).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 24, “Blow-Out” with John Travolta was released in 1981.  In 1982, Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” was Number One on the singles chart.  In 1992, “Mo’ Money” was released.  In 2012, Sherman Hemsley, known for the role of George Jefferson on television, died of lung cancer at age 74.

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Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story

I watched CBS This Morning and their chef segment.  Some of Roxanne Spruance’s signature recipes include Summer vegetable salad, Grilled octopus, Tomato and cucumbers in salsa verde, String beans with miso butter, Roast pork loin with almonds, anise hyssop and peaches, Popcorn crème brûlée, and Raisin ice cream.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on July 23, 1977 were “Best of My Love,” “Do You Wanna Make Love,” “Margaritaville,” “Undercover Angel,” “Angel in Your Arms,” “My Heart Belongs to Me,” “I’m in You,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “I Just Want to Be Your Everything,” and “Looks Like We Made It.”  I went to work and later went to Ike’s for a Dave Henderson sandwich.  They gave me a Tootsie lollipop with the sandwich.  I went over to Tara’s Organic Ice Cream.  It was two fairly small scoops for $3.80, although it tasted good.  I walked to the theatre to see “Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story.”  Harold and Lillian Michelson were married in 1947.  Harold became a storyboard artist and worked on films like “The Ten Commandments,” “The Birds,” “Marnie,” and “The Graduate.”  Lillian began to work at the research library at Samuel Goldwyn studios in 1961, and she bought the library in 1969.  She did research for “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Chinatown,” and “1941.”  This film has drawings that make it seem as though Harold and Lillian’s lives were a storyboard.  Harold was responsible for some very famous images we saw in big movies like “The Ten Commandments,” “The Birds,” and “The Graduate.”  Some of Lillian’s stories are funny, like her work for “Fiddler on the Roof.”  She went over to the Fairfax district and talked with elderly Jewish women about the clothes they wore in years past.  They gave her patterns.  She also got into some potential danger in researching what the homes of drug dealers looked like for her work on “Scarface.”  We get a slight sense of what filmmaking is like, and how people like Harold and Lillian don’t get the recognition for their work.  Danny DeVito used to hang around with Harold.  Lillian tells the tale of driving Harold across Europe in hazardous winter weather so that he could work on the Sam Peckinpah film “Cross of Iron.”  At the time, Harold was recovering from a badly broken leg.  Harold became a production designer and worked on the first Star Trek movie.  He said that he gained a lot of recognition for working on a Star Trek project.  Looking at Harold’s work made me reconsider the talents of directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Mike Nichols.  Their level of creative genius seemed less than I thought.  Mel Brooks was one of the people interviewed, and he talked about Harold’s ability to produce ideas that improved movies, like “Spaceballs.”  Lillian mentioned people like David Lynch and Francis Ford Coppola coming into the library.  Harold had health problems, and he would eventually die in 2007.  Lillian would retire in 2010.  They made it seem like Hollywood was a fun place.  I thought this was a good movie about the movie business, and it was better than just about anything since “Day for Night.”  The audience on this afternoon was mostly older people, and some of them laughed along with Lillian’s comments.  She had a book about their lives, fitting because of her library work over all those years.  How did their marriage last for sixty years?  There was a touching moment when Lillian talked about running into Harold at Paramount and celebrating their being in the same place.  I went home and listened to the end of the A’s game against the Mets.  They blew a 5-0 lead and gave up a walk-off home run, losing 6-5.  I watched some of my TV program DVDs and felt too tired to watch “Playtime” at the end of it.  I don’t know how people have the time to sit down and spend hours watching Game of Thrones or Dark Matter or whatever it is that they’re watching.  I heard about John Heard’s death.  The news kept mentioning that his most famous role was the father in “Home Alone,” but I remember him more for those early movies like “Chilly Scenes of Winter,” “Cutter’s Way,” and “Cat People.”  Looking at his credits, it seemed that his career started to fade in the early 1990s, around the time of “Awakenings” and “Rambling Rose.”  I saw on Twitter that Mayim Bialik worked with him on “Beaches” when she was 12 years old.  Some of us confused John Heard with John Hurt and William Hurt.  Heard was the only one of the three not to get an Oscar nomination.  Some of the people who died on July 23 include Ulysses S. Grant (1885), D.W. Griffith (1948), Montgomery Clift (1966), Van Heflin (1971), Vic Morrow (1982), Eudora Welty (2001), Leo McKern (2002), Amy Winehouse (2011), and Sally Ride (2012).  Today is a birthday for Woody Harrelson (56).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 23, Montgomery Clift died of a heart attack at age 45 in 1966.  In 1982, the Robin Williams movie “The World According to Garp” was released.  Also in 1982, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” with Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds, was released.  In 1999, the Disney film “Inspector Gadget” was released.

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Niagara

I watched the Partridge Family episode “Pin It on Danny.”  The family had a birthday cake for Shirley, although I didn’t see Laurie eating any of it.  I don’t know why Reuben would give Shirley a photo of himself for her birthday.  The kids gave her a four-slice toaster.  I saw in the mail the episodes of Banacek that I ordered, although the annoying thing was that the episodes were not in chronological order.  I watched the first Game of Thrones episode before I sat down for Marilyn Monroe in “Niagara.”  She actually wasn’t the main character, although she was the flashiest character.  I thought she was best in comedy, but she did show that she would play femme fatale parts in a movie like “The Asphalt Jungle.”  Joseph Cotten was not entirely convincing as Monroe’s husband with emotional problems.  Jean Peters was nearly a victim.  This movie had elements of Hitchcock with the famous landmark and the mysterious character, and the murder that what was it was thought to be initially.  Marilyn showed off her beauty and her bad side.  It wasn’t the most brilliant movie, but it was enough to see Marilyn in it for a while, although she was missing for the last 30 minutes or so.  Joseph Cotten did have a link to Alfred Hitchcock because of course he was in “Shadow of a Doubt.” I thought there was a little bit of “Strangers on a Train” in the murder.  The waterfall images made me think of Harrison Ford in “The Fugitive.”  I thought that Henry Hathaway made some pretty good films in his career.  One of his last films was “True Grit.”  This movie doesn’t have the quality of greatness because of the rather weak plot and the forgettable characters outside of Marilyn and Cotten.  Big stars can make almost any movie worth watching.  I would say that the character of Bud was especially weak, someone who doesn’t pay attention.  A couple of interesting notes about this picture is that it is one of the last to be shot in three-strip Technicolor, and that Hathaway said that it would have been better if James Mason had played the role of Marilyn’s husband.  The trailer was in black and white, oddly enough.

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Dunkirk

I went out to see “Dunkirk.”  Quite a few people were out to see it at 11:45 in the morning.  They must have read the reviews.  It had some links to previous Christopher Nolan films in the way it showed people attempting heroic acts.  The film dispensed with storytelling formulas and immersed the audience into the action.  It followed two soldiers doing all they could to escape the situation, a father and two sons heeding the call for help, and a pilot shooting down German planes.  There was some of the feeling of the beginning of “Saving Private Ryan” to this movie.  It didn’t signal to you how you should react to what was happening.  I don’t recall Hitler, Roosevelt, or Churchill being mentioned in the dialogue.  The only actors I recognized were Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy.  I wondered how difficult it was to film this movie, with so much of it taking place on or below the water.  I thought that it must be hard to shoot down a plane, but the pilot we see seemed like a real ace.  I thought the Germans would have been more cunning and skilled than what is shown here.  They didn’t use the clouds to make tricky maneuvers.  This certainly looked like an expensive movie, with the extras and the boats and planes, however they made everything look real.  I wouldn’t want to be on any location where explosions go off.  Kenneth Branagh reminded me of his role as Henry V all those years ago.  I don’t know how the father and son were able to save the people they did.  There was quite a bit of suspense to some of the scenes.  Landing a plane in the water looked so dangerous that it would be difficult to survive, unlike the passengers in “Sully.”  In fact, everything in this movie felt like it was difficult, including firing a rifle.  This world of 1940 seems very distant now.  A person who was 18 years old then would be 95 years old now.  I was hoping that the pilot who stuck it out in battle as he was running out of fuel would be rewarded.  Could he have taken some kind of circular path to land on the beach where he could leave safely?  Some of the World War II movies I remember from my youth were “The Longest Day,” “The Battle of the Bulge,” and “Patton.”  This movie attempts something different, which I appreciate.  It made me think of recent events in England.  I’m glad that I saw this movie.  It made me think about the state of the world today, and if people want to do good deeds in this world of social media and technology.  The movie didn’t run as long as I thought it would, based on what “Interstellar” was like, but it was long enough to wear down some people in the audience.  A few people applauded at the end, but the general reaction was rather subdued.  I thought the film was a good achievement, especially when compared to the mostly empty films that have been released this summer.  I think I might want to see it again on Tuesday.  As far as your 70mm films go, I thought this one was better than “The Hateful Eight.”  I took the bus into El Cerrito, where I bought a couple of items from Daiso, and a special edition of Rolling Stone magazine on Paul McCartney from Barnes and Noble.  I listened to most of the A’s game against the Mets.  Matt Chapman committed a big error, and Paul Blackburn gave up too many runs.  If the A’s split their remaining games evenly, they would finish with a record of 76-86.  Some of the people who died on July 22 include Florenz Ziegfeld (1932), John Dillinger (1934), Carl Sandburg (1967), Manuel Puig (1990), Estelle Getty (2008), Dennis Farina (2013), and Laszlo Kovacs (2014).  Today is a birthday for Willem Dafoe (62), S.E. Hinton (69), Albert Brooks (70), Don Henley (70), Danny Glover (71), Bobby Sherman (74), George Clinton (76), Alex Trebek (77), and Louise Fletcher (83).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 22, “King Kong Escapes” was released in Japan in 1967.  In 1977, “Orca”” was released.  In 1983, “Jaws 3-D” was released.  Also in 1983, “Mr. Mom” was released.

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The Little Hours

Watching the morning news, I couldn’t see how O.J. Simpson was going to be denied parole.  I used the Internet to place orders on several things, like a Blu-ray copy of “Citizen Kane.”  I had to go to my appointment at the optometry clinic. I was advised to wear sunglasses.  Someone on the ground floor was playing “And I Love Her” on the piano.  I went over to the theatre to see “The Little Hours.”  I had heard Aubrey Plaza talking about the movie on the Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me radio program.  She said that the movie was based on “The Decameron.”  It took place centuries ago, but the character used some modern language, making me think of Matthew Broderick in “Ladyhawke.”  James Franco’s brother was hiding out in a convent pretending to be a deaf mute, and he was the catalyst for sin.  The situation has some of the feeling of “The Beguiled.”  The nuns Alessandra, Genevra, and Fernanda were played by Alison Brie, Kate Micucci, and Aubrey Plaza, respectively.  John C. Reilly is the priest trying to run this place.  Fred Armisen is the bishop who discovers the things that were going on.  The comedy reminded me a little of “The Love Witch,” and the old women in the theatre mentioned that they thought the movie was like something that Monty Python would have done.  I thought Genevra had some funny moments.  Kate Micucci was Lucy of The Big Bang Theory.  I thought she was funny in that show, but I got a bit tired of her character after a while.  Unusual nuns remind me of the old Fellini films.  I could also mention Sally Field as The Flying Nun.  I couldn’t help thinking about serious issues like those in “Spotlight” as I was watching this movie.  I also thought I was seeing the end of “The Witches” for a few minutes.  I could imagine this movie getting a cult following.  I could also imagine a director like Russ Meyer working with material like this.  I would, however, prefer to see an actual Monty Python movie, like “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” or “Life of Brian.”  The reviewer on RogerEbert.com gave “The Little Hours” a positive review.  I give the movie a mild recommendation.  I didn’t find it really hilarious.  It made me think about Joe Orton.  I went shopping in the record stores and found a copy of The Partridge Family’s “Bulletin Board” for only two dollars.  I bought a beef burrito and went home to watch some old television shows before I went to bed.  It was the anniversary of the moon landing in 1969.  The news about John McCain’s cancer made me think about my own mortality.  Some of the people who died on July 21 include D.W. Griffith (1948), Jimmie Foxx (1967), Dave Garroway (1982), Alan Shepard (1998), Robert Young (1998), Jerry Goldsmith (2004), Mako (2006), Theodore Bikel (2015), and E.L. Doctorow (2015).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 21, Basil Rathbone died of a heart attack at age 75 in New York City.  In 1978, the last episode of “Chico and the Man” aired on NBC.  In 1985, Rock Hudson collapsed in his room at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, two months before his death at age 59.  In 2004, Jerry Goldsmith died of colon cancer at age 75 at his home in Beverly Hillls.

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Sonny Gray’s Sixth Win Amidst Trade Rumors

I went out to the stadium and waited for the gates to open.  I went over to the food trucks and bought a beef bowl.  I also bought a Creamsicle shake.  I looked through the team store and saw that Ryan Madson shirts were on clearance at 70 percent off.  I went to my seat.  Many of the fans thought that they might be seeing Sonny Gray pitching for the A’s for the last time at the Coliseum.  Tampa Bay was the opponent.  Gray gave up a walk to the first batter of the game, but the runner was thrown out trying to steal second base.  Gray also allowed a double, but he kept the Rays from scoring.  In the bottom of the inning, Yonder Alonso singled with two outs, and Khris Davis followed with a double, but Alonso was thrown out on a 9-4-2 play at home plate.  In the second inning with one out, Gray allowed a single on a play that was reviewed, but then Gray got five consecutive outs through the end of the third inning.  He ran into some trouble in the fourth inning, as he gave up three consecutive singles and a ground out, producing two runs for the Rays.  Gray got out of the inning with a 5-4-3 double play.  In the fifth inning, Gray allowed a walk and a single but got out of the inning with the score still 2-0.  The A’s did their biggest damage in the bottom of the inning. Bruce Maxwell walked.  Matt Chapman struck out, but Jaycob Brugman walked on four pitches.   Jed Lowrie doubled, but Bruce Maxwell hit a foul ball that the third baseman caught.  Matt Chapman singled, moving Lowrie to third base.  Rajai Davis hit a double, and it looked like Bruce Maxwell was thrown out at the plate, but the hit was ruled a ground ball double, and so Maxwell scored with Brugman going to third base.  Joyce hit a fly ball to center that brought in Brugman, with Rajai taking third base.  A wild pitch allowed Rajai to come home with the run that gave the A’s the lead at 3-2.  Semien singled and went to second base on another wild pitch, which became a big play, as Yonder Alonso singled, bringing in Semien with the run that made the score 4-2.  Khris Davis struck out to end the inning.  The shutdown inning wasn’t easy for Gray, as he got the first two batters of the sixth inning out, but then he gave up a double.  Marcus Semien again showed that he wasn’t a great shortstop, as he committed an error.  Gray responded with a strikeout, so he did keep the score at 4-2.  In the bottom of the sixth inning, Lowrie doubled.  Maxwell made an out, but Chapman singled, moving Lowrie to third base.  Brugman also singled, scoring Lowrie and moving Chapman to third base.  Rajai Davis hit a ground ball to the shortstop, and Maxwell was caught between third and home in a rundown that went 6-2-5-1 for the second out, but Brugman made it to third base, with Rajai at second base.  After a pitching change, Joyce couldn’t get the big two-out hit, as he lined out to center.  In the Big Head race, Dennis Eckersley grabbed Rollie Fingers, slowing him down and ensuring that Rickey Henderson would win again.  Semien committed another error.  Gray faced one more batter, and he got a strikeout.  Bob Melvin decided to bring in Daniel Coulombe.  Gray walked off the mound and to the dugout, and the fans applauded him, knowing that he might not be coming back with the team when they got out on this next road trip.  Coulombe allowed a single when the count was 0-3, but then he got a double play ground ball.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.”  In the bottom of the inning, Semien walked on a 4-3 pitch.  Yonder Alonso was hit on the backside with a pitch, prompting a pitching change.  Khris Davis hit a ball that the third baseman caught.  Lowrie single to load the bases, and Maxwell grounded out on a 3-1 play, but Semien got to home plate, making the score 6-2.  Chapman grounded out to end the inning.  We saw fans doing the Robot Dance, but they didn’t seem to understand how robots moved.  Coulombe faced one batter in the top of the eighth inning, and it went for a double on the first pitch.  Liam Hendriks came in and got three consecutive outs.  He had a fastball that reached 95 mph.  In the bottom of the inning, Brugman and Rajai Davis made outs, but then Joyce hit a home run to make the score 7-2.  The A’s had scored in four consecutive innings.  Semien made the third out.  Santiago Casilla came into the game, and he got some boos from the fans who remembered his blown save from Tuesday night.  He didn’t have to face a speedy pinch-runner to unnerve him, so he managed a clean inning to end the game.  Sonny Gray had won his sixth game of the season.  Yonder Alonso reached base four times in the game, with two singles, and walk, and a pitch that hit him.  Lowrie and Rajai Davis also had two hits in the game.  Semien and Brugman both had a single and a walk.  Maxwell had no hits, but had two walks.  Joyce, Khris Davs, and Chapman all had one hit, but Davis had the big one, a home run.  The game started at 12:38 with a game time temperature of 68 degrees, and it ended at 3:46.  The attendance was 17,019.  We wouldn’t get another home game until the 28th.  I made my way over to Best Buy, where I searched for a memory card for my phone.  I went home and did my laundry.  I heard the news about John McCain’s health.  Even though everyone seemed to characterize him as a fighter, I don’t see how at his age he can live for much longer.  I thought about my poor brother, who lived with cancer for about seven years.  I was reminded of Bernie Sanders’ advanced age.  I couldn’t see him getting through eight years of an incredibly stressful job without dropping dead.  I heard that the A’s had acquired Chris Carter.  Some of the people who died on July 20 include Bernhard Riemann (1866), Bruce Lee (1973), Frank Reynolds (1983), Nicolas Freeling (2003), and James Doohan (2005).  Today is a birthday for Carlos Santana (70), Kim Carnes (72), and Diana Rigg (79).

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Chris Smith’s Misfortune

I took the buses out to Jack London Square to catch the 11:15 showing of “War for the Planet of the Apes.” I learned a little more about Bad Ape from this second viewing. I went over to the 12th Street BART station and got to the Coliseum early. A few people got into the line outside the gate before I did. A woman came around and pestered some of the people in the line, rambling on about how the day was her 60th birthday. When she walked past me, I noticed how bad she smelled. She was walking around in slippers. Eventually, she did move on. After the gates opened, I headed to a table and bought two autographed mugs. I then bought a ticket to have my photo taken with Rickey Henderson, and I got into a line for autographs from Dallas Braden and Dave Stewart. Dallas sure has become a hairy guy since 2010, with his ponytail and huge beard. Dave didn’t have a Sharpie on him. Terrence Long was at a counter, but I already had his autograph. Marcus Semien was at the far end of the room, but the huge line discouraged me. I went to the A’s wives table to have my mug filled. I think it was Yonder Alonso’s wife who scooped a lot of ice cream for me. I went over to the Rickey Henderson line. Some fans grumbled that he wasn’t going to sign certain items, like bats and baseballs. When it was my turn, Rickey said that he would have signed my picture, but I chose to get the photo. I guess he was suggesting that an autograph would be more valuable. I already got his autograph last year, and the picture I had in my hand was a card with Dave Stewart’s picture on it. I saw Matt Chapman signing some autographs, but I had enough and left. I visited the food trucks but decided that I didn’t want any food yet with all the ice cream in my gut. Chris Smith was the starting pitcher for the A’s against the Rays on this night. He struck out the first two batters of the game in a clean first inning. In the bottom of the inning, Rajai Davis singled, and he stole two bases as Marcus Semien and then Ryon Healy struck out. Khris Davis saved the inning with a home run, putting the A’s ahead, 2-0. Smith couldn’t get the shutdown inning, however, as he gave up a four-pitch walk, and then Matt Chapman committed an error on a ground ball that should have been a double play. The runner at third base scored on a sacrifice fly. Smith gave up a single before getting the next two batters out, although Ken Korach on the radio commented that the A’s should have had two double plays in the inning. Before the next inning, a fan won a watch for answering a trivia question about Scarlett Johansson being the number one box office movie star of 2016. Smith’s first pitch of the third inning was a home run that tied the score at 2-2. Smith allowed a two-out walk through the rest of the inning, and he had a clean fourth inning. In the bottom of that inning, Khris Davis and Jed Lowrie both walked. Matt Chapman hit a fly ball that moved Davis to third base. Adam Rosales hit a foul ball that the catcher caught. Just as it looked as though the A’s would not get anything out of the inning, a wild pitch allowed Davis to score, with Lowrie going to second base. Josh Phegley singled, but Lowrie went only to third base. Phegley for some reason was caught too far off first base so that a 2-3 play got him out. The A’s would do nothing over the next three innings. Fortunately, Smith would continue to pitch well through the seventh inning. He allowed a single to start the fifth inning. Phegley would throw out the runner attempting to steal second base on a strikeout pitch, and then Smith would get the next seven batters out. Chapman made a good play to end the sixth inning. Smith ended his night with an ERA of 2.77 and the chance to get a win if the A’s could hold a 3-2 lead over the last two innings. Blake Treinen replaced Smith for the eighth inning, and he had a clean inning. In the bottom of the inning with one out, Rajai Davis singled. Semien hit into a force play, and he went to second base on a wild pitch, but Yonder Alonso struck out. Santiago Casilla came out to pitch the top of the ninth inning. He had the count at 0-2 to the first batter, who hit a ball down the left field line that looked like a sure double, but Chapman reacted quickly and grabbed it and threw to first base for the first out. It seemed to be the play that would save the game for the home team. Casilla struck out the next batter to bring the A’s to within one out of a win to send the fans happy on Root Beer Float Day. He went to a 2-0 count before giving up a single. A pinch-hitter came in, and a bad first pitch to the next batter was a wild pitch. The runner stole third base before Casilla gave up a walk. On the next pitch, a ground ball to the right side wasn’t hit too hard, but it got past Rosales for a single and a tie score at 3-3. It felt like the inning had already gone on too long with Casilla, but he faced another batter and got to a 3-2 count before giving up another hit, giving the Rays a 4-3 lead. After the second out, four consecutive hitters reached base, with three singles and a walk. The fans booed, and Bob Melvin brought in Liam Hendriks. After a stolen base put runners at second and third, and Hendriks got the count to 3-2, he got the strikeout that ended the ending. We saw the John Belushi Animal House video clip before the bottom of the ninth inning, but the life had evaporated from the stadium. Khris Davis had the count at 3-2 but struck out, and Lowrie struck out. Down to their last out, Matt Chapman was hit by a pitch. Matt Joyce came up to pinch-hit for Rosales. Joyce once had a pinch-hit grand slam in the ninth inning, but this time up he swung at the first pitch and grounded out to first base. Ken Korach said that this was one of the toughest losses of the year. The fans were disgusted with the way Casilla blew the game, denying Chris Smith the win, which would have been his first win as a starting pitcher, and his first win since June 24, 2008. This game had started at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 66 degrees, and it ended at 9:57. The attendance was 15,231. Chris Townsend on the radio said that we didn’t want to see a 36-year old blow a game after all the good feelings during the day. Chris Smith is also 36 years old. Some of the people who died on July 19 include Joe Flynn (1974), Lefty Frizell (1975), Jack Warden (2006), Frank McCourt (2009), James Garner (2014), and Garry Marshall (2016). Today is a birthday for Benedict Cumberbatch (41) and Brian May (71). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 19, Sun Records released Elvis Presley’s first single, “That’s All Right,” in 1954. In 1974, Joe Flynn drowned at age 49 in his swimming pool in Beverly Hills.

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