Eric O’Flaherty’s 11.37 ERA

I went out to work and discovered that it was a slow day. I dread being rescheduled, though. I walked over to Safeway to buy some strawberries and mango chunks. Back at home, I watched the Partridge Family episode called “A Man Called Snake.” The guest star was Rob Reiner. I went over to the BART station. I fell asleep for a while on the train, but it wasn’t enough to make me miss my stop. I walked over to the Coliseum box office, where I bought tickets for three July games. After I got to my seat, I had to deal with a group of obnoxious, bratty kids who were pestering the players for their autographs. The game turned out to be a display of good pitching for both teams, at least for the first nine innings. Scott Kazmir pitched seven innings for the A’s without giving up any runs to the Astros, and Evan Scribner and Tyler Clippard kept it going for the two innings that followed. The problems was that the A’s didn’t score any runs through nine innings, either. They had the bases loaded with one out in the third inning, but Ben Zobrist grounded into a double play. The Astros’ pitcher got nineteen consecutive outs starting with Zobrist. The A’s got only two hits through those first nine innings, both in that third inning. The first was Craig Gentry’s first hit of the season, which drew some applause from the crowd, and the second was a single from Marcus Semien. It looked as though the game would be over by 9:30, but then came the extra innings. A heavy mist blew into the stadium, making things unpleasant and ruining my cheer card. The Astros broke through against Dan Otero in the top of the tenth inning. After a double and an intentional walk, Otero gave up a huge hit that scored both runners, although the third out came on the play. It was so annoying to see Otero hesitating to pitch, especially as the weather was turning miserable. Since former A’s pitcher Luke Gregerson coming out to pitch for the Astros, there was hope for a comeback, since we remembered his past. Billy Butler made an out, but Sam Fuld pinch-hit and produced a single. Brett Lawrie predictably struck out, but Stephen Vogt got an infield single through hustle. Josh Reddick pinch-hit and came through, driving in the two tying runs. He tried to score when the throw to home plate got away, but he was out by a big margin. Eric O’Flaherty pitched the top of the eleventh inning and walked the first two batters, which the crowd really hated. No one had any confidence in him. After a sacrifice bunt, O’Flaherty gave up a hit to the Astros’ ninth batter, making the score 4-2. After an intentional walk, Bob Melvin brought in Fernando Abad, although the move seemed to come too late. Abad did get the second out on a good catch by Lawrie in foul ground stumbling into the bullpen mound. However, he allowed a hit that gave the Astros a crucial run before he got the last out with a ground ball back to Lawrie. Behind by three runs, it seemed too much to ask for another comeback in another inning. Eric Sogard singled, and Semien surprised us by hitting a home run over the left field fence. He’d hit the ball well his previous time at bat, but fly balls are dying out on the field because of the cold, damp air. Ike Davis came out of the dugout to pinch-hit, and he hit a single. The A’s pinch-hitters were very successful on this night. A wild pitch put Davis on second base, so there was even more hope. However, Zobrist made an out without advancing the runner, and Butler hit a fly ball to right field. After a pitching change, Fuld walked, and after another pitching change, Lawrie hit a fly ball to centerfield that was the last out of the game. I heard two girls say that it was a fun game. It started at 7:08 and ended at 10:44. Attendance was 18,205. Ruby Lopez was the in-game host because Kara Tsuboi was away, taking care of her baby, who was born on Wednesday. I saw the Banjo Man visit my section in the second inning. We saw a highlight from 1999 featuring Matt Stairs. Ruby gave away some bacon coupons to a lucky row. Rickey Henderson won the Big Head race, but it looked like Rollie Fingers wasn’t giving his best effort. I was eager to get out of that bad weather and return home. I got home in time to catch a segment with Biff Henderson on the Letterman show. I saw Jerry Seinfeld imitating Dave’s run across the stage before the show. I ate some strawberries before preparing to go to sleep. Some of the people who died on April 25 include Carol Reed (1976), Dexter Gordon (1990), Art Fleming (1995), Ginger Rogers (1995), Boris Pickett (2007), and Bea Arthur (2009). Today is a birthday for Talia Shire (69), Bjorn Ulvaeus (70), Al Pacino (75), and Meadowlark Lemon (83). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 25, the Jackson 5 had the Number One single in 1970, “ABC.” In 1981, Wings broke up with the departure of Denny Laine. In 1995, Ginger Rogers died at age 83.

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