Kendall Graveman’s Rough MLB Debut

I took my USB flash drive with me to work so that I wouldn’t have to carry my laptop computer with me. I worked on my lecture. I went to catch a BART train to take me over to the Coliseum. It was a beautiful spring day. I went over to the box office to buy a ticket for a Detroit Tigers game. The giveaway was a Chief Bender button. I went over to my seat. There was water dripping from above that affected the old woman who sat in front of me. It turned out to be a bad day for the A’s pitcher Kendall Graveman. The problems he had in the first inning included the bad throw he made to second base. We wondered if he knew what he was doing. Stephen Vogt dropped a throw to the plate for an error, as the Rangers scored their first run of the game. After three singles and a sacrifice fly, the Rangers had scored three runs. The inning finally ended on an unusual 5-4-2-5-2-6 double play that was ruled a double play after a video review. The Rangers scored more runs in the third inning. Graveman got the first two outs on a good catch by Sam Fuld in center field and a foul ball to Brett Lawrie, but then Graveman gave up a single on a full count, and then a home run. Graveman had pitched well during spring training, but he didn’t make it out of the fourth inning in this game. He hit the first batter in the fourth inning with a pitch, and also allowed a single before getting a strikeout. He gave up another home run, and the score was 8-0, and so Bob Melvin brought in Evan Scribner. After another single, Scribner finally ended the inning with a 3-6-1 double play. The Rangers had a player reach base on an error by Eric Sogard, but the score remained 8-0 through the top of the sixth inning. Meanwhile, on offense, the A’s managed only scattered singles from Stephen Vogt, Mark Canha, and Brett Lawrie, and a walk from Eric Sogard through those first six innings. None of the players reached second base in that time. To start the top of the seventh inning, Scribner gave up a home run and a single before getting three consecutive outs to end his afternoon. He did give the A’s some innings. After we heard “Uptight” during the seventh inning stretch, the A’s came close to scoring a run when Billy Butler singled with one out, went to second base on a walk, and to third on a fly ball. However, Canha lined out to left to end that chance. R.J. Alvarez allowed a home run with his first-pitch fastball in the top of the eighth inning. He got the next three Rangers out with two strikeouts and a fly ball. The A’s finally scored in the bottom of the inning with a singled from Sogard and a double from Marcus Semien. Craig Gentry walked for the only other runner the A’s would have in the inning. Tyler Clippard pitched for the first time this season in the top of the ninth inning. After two outs, he almost allowed another run on a double and a walk, but a fly ball to left went for the last out. The A’s went down quietly in the bottom of the ninth inning, with Ike Davis, Tyler Ladendorf, and Mark Canha making the last outs. The final score was a forgettable 10-1. The game started at 12:37 and ended at 3:09. Attendance was 16.045. I hurried out of the stadium and to BART to get back to my office hour. I used the Internet to fill in the details of the game in my scorebook, and then I went out to face three students with their questions. I gave my brief lecture and passed out a quiz. I felt relief at the end of my work week, and I made my way home on the bus. I went over to the record store and bought a CD of The Beatles’ first recordings. I met up with one of my former co-workers who wanted to tell me about his retirement. We went over to a Mexican restaurant for conversation and a Warriors game on television. I ate a big burrito. We touched on the possibility of my visiting Ohio someday. I could take a road trip to see the A’s play the Indians in the future. We saw Stephen Curry make key plays at the end of the game to win the game against Portland, but we didn’t really talk about the retirement, except for the fact that there would be a farewell dinner soon. We thought back on fourteen years of conversations about A’s baseball and Eli Wallach. I returned home tired, and so I didn’t watch Jimmy Kimmel. I felt that I should have gone out to see “Dr. Strangelove,” which was Flashback Feature of the night. I wondered if the young generation of movie fans would like the satire and Peter Sellers’ silliness. I always loved the shot of Keenan Wynn getting squirted in the face with soda. The voice of Darth Vader was in the movie, too. Some of the people who died on April 10 include Auguste Lumière (1954), Michael Curtiz (1962), Linda Darnell (1965), Marjorie Main (1975), Nino Rota (1979), Natalie Schafer (1991), and Larry Linville (2000). Today is a birthday for Steve Seagal (63), John Madden (79), Omar Sharif (83), and Dolores Huerta (85). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 10, “A Man for All Seasons” won the Best Picture Oscar in 1967, while Elizabeth Taylor won the Best Actress Oscar for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” In 1968, “In the Heat of the Night” won the Best Picture Oscar. In 1972, “The French Connection” won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor, while the theme from “Shaft” won Best Original Song.

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