A.J. Griffin’s Fateful Fourth Inning

The chef who visited CBS This Morning yesterday was Fabio Viviani.  The recipes he brought were Fried Veal Cutlets, Broken Potatoes with Burnt Lemon and Parmesan, Roasted Lemons, Eggplant Caponata, and Fabio’s Mom’s Tiramisu.  I went to the coffee shop for orange juice.  I looked at the New York Times Book Review and left early to go to the game.  It was Reggie Jackson Bobblehead Day.  I got to the Season Ticket Holder Line at about 9:30.  I listened to some George Jones music and wrote in my notebook.  I saw on Twitter that Robert Hilburn was discussing Jones’ best records, including “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “She Thinks I Still Care.”  There were a lot of fans near the A’s bullpen mound, and it looked like Sean Doolittle was signing autographs. After the crowd cleared, a woman in the front row found a baseball that had fallen beyond the fence and grabbed it.  Some minutes later, a kid asked for it, saying that his brother had lost it.  The woman refused to give it to the kid, saying his description of it wasn’t accurate because it had a grass stain and three signatures.  This turned into a minor incident with the security guard and the mother getting into the debate.  Thankfully, the woman eventually gave up the baseball.  On the video screen, we saw footage of the 1973 World Series again, but this time we saw the player introductions.  This was reunion day for the 1973 team, and members of that team were accompanied to their positions on the field by members of the current team.  Some of the interesting pairs were Jed Lowrie and Bert Campaneris, Rollie Fingers and Grant Balfour, and Reggie Jackson and Josh Reddick. I was glad to see Blue Moon Odom and Vida Blue.  Since the 2003 reunion, Dick Williams had died, and Catfish Hunter had died in 1999.  The passage of time was sad.  The Orioles looked like they were intruding during the ceremony when they were doing their warm-up exercises.  Reggie Jackson threw out the first pitch, and they whisked away the World Series trophy, the players, and the families so that the game began 1:09.  Things looked pretty good for the A’s in the first three innings, when they had a 2-0 lead and A.J. Griffin pitching well.  In the second inning, Brandon Moss singled and Josh Donaldson doubled for the first run.  Josh Reddick followed with a walk, so it looked like the A’s would score more runs, but Chris Young and Eric Sogard both struck out, and Coco Crisp grounded out.  In the third inning with one out, Seth Smith singled and Jed Lowrie walked, and after Moss struck out, Donaldson brought in the second run with a single.  Unfortunately, Griffin couldn’t hold onto the lead in the next half inning.  He allowed a walk to the first batter, and then on a 1-2 count, he gave up a home run.  Two pitches later, another home run made the score 3-2 in favor of the Orioles.  A walk kept things going for Baltimore, still with no outs.  After finally getting an out with a fly ball to center, a single brought in the fourth run.  Griffin managed to straighten himself out, getting two strikeouts to end the inning and only giving up one more hit for the rest of his seven-inning day.  The kid sitting next to me to my left couldn’t sit still and bumped into me a lot.  He got excited in the fourth inning when Stomper visited our section.  Reggie Jackson came on the radio in the seventh inning to discuss his memories.  He asked if his pronunciation of Yoenis Cespedes’ name.  I thought Reggie spoke Spanish.  In the fourth through seventh innings, the A’s best chance to score was in the fourth when Young led off with a double.  Three straight outs followed, however.  The game started to slip away from the A’s in the top of the eighth inning, when Jerry Blevins got upset at not getting a strikeout and ended up giving up a home run.  That seemed to happen to Griffin earlier in the game.  A double and a single got more trouble.  Blevins managed to get out of the inning giving up only one more run on a fly ball, but now the score was 6-2.  The A’s answered in the eighth inning, but only with one run.  Moss walked with one out.  After a pitching change and “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” Donaldson doubled.  Reddick hit a fly ball that scored the run.  Young struck out, leaving Donaldson at second base.  Chris Resop couldn’t hold the score where it was in the top of the ninth inning.  A double with one out and a single with two outs produced the seventh Baltimore run.  Resop threw a wild pitch, putting the last runner at second with two outs, but a ground ball out ended the inning without any more runs.  The A’s managed to make things kind of exciting by loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning.  Adam Rosales was hit by a pitch.  It looked like the ball bounced off his helmet.  Coco Crisp walked, and the Orioles made a pitching change.  John Jason singled, but Rosales didn’t score on the play.  The A’s were four runs behind, and so the tying run was now at home plate, and this was their chance.  However, Seth Smith hit a fly ball that still didn’t score a run, and Jed Lowrie took a swing at a 3-1 pitch that resulted in the 6-4-3 double play that ended the game at 4:08.  Attendance was 31,292.  The A’s record was once 12-4, and now it was 13-12.  Outside the stadium, people were giving away sample of Pepsi Next.  I was thirsty, so I took one.  At the box office, I bought $2 tickets to the games on August 21 and September 4, and then I headed to the BART station.  I made my way to Trader Joe’s, listening to Jed Lowrie talk about his honeymoon in Africa.  He said that his wife told him she wouldn’t marry him unless he completed his degree at Stanford.  At home, I took a shower and did my laundry.  I watched the Star Trek episode “The Enemy Within.”  The transporter divided Captain Kirk into two people.  The evil one attacked Janice Rand.  Sulu was freezing to death on a strange planet.  Spock showed more emotion than usual, showing anxiety and making a provocative comment at the end.  This Spock seemed like kind of a jerk.  I watched the Saturday Night Live from September 25, 1976.  Norman Lear was the host.  The opening segment featured some of the stars of his shows, many of them now dead.  The musical guest was Boz Scaggs, Lear’s daughter’s favorite.  The songs were “Lowdown” and “What Can I Say.”  Three people who died on April 28 were Rory Calhoun (1999), Penelope Fitzgerald (2000), and Steve Howe (2006).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 28, Barbra Streisand’s first television special, “My Name is Barbra,” aired on CBS.  In 1968, “Hair” opened on Broadway.  In 1990, “A Chorus Line” was performed for the last time.

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