Sonny Gray’s Deserving a Better Fate

I headed out to the office. One of the other teachers said that he was 76 years old, and he gave me a lesson on racism. I wondered why he was still teaching at his age. I walked over to Trader Joe’s. I needed to buy enough food to last until the next payday. I took the bus to the 19th Street BART station and arrived at the stadium after eleven o’clock. I was not in my usual seat for this game. A good thing was that I was in the shade all of the afternoon. I found myself surrounded by senior citizens and sitting in front of one of those restless young kids who couldn’t sit still. A group of four people asked me if I could move over two seats to make room for them. Two people arrived late to claim two of their seats, and they left the section altogether. Their dishonesty didn’t pay off. This was a day when A’s fans had hope for a second consecutive win because Sonny Gray was pitching. Of course, in order to win, you have to score runs. Sonny took the mound as “Come Together” played, and he had a clean first inning. In the bottom of the inning, Coco Crisp and Marcus Semien both walked. Josh Reddick hit a ground ball to first to move the runners, but then Billy Butler grounded out and Brett Lawrie flied out to end the inning without scoring any runs. There would be many missed chances before the game ended. In the top of the second inning, Gray allowed a single, and a wild pitch allowed the runner to take second base. With two outs, a high fly ball managed to drop in front of Crisp and behind Semien and Lawrie. It sure seemed like someone should have caught it. The Red Sox scored a run on the play. Gray would get 16 of the next 17 Red Sox batters out, giving up only one more single through the seventh inning. The A’s would have two runners on base with one out in the bottom of the second inning, but Eric Sogard and Coco Crisp both made outs. Marcus Semien led off the bottom of the third inning with a triple, but then Reddick swung at the first pitch and hit an infield fly. Butler hit a fly ball to right field that wasn’t deep enough to score Semien, and Lawrie grounded out. It was the most frustrating inning of the day. In the fourth inning, Josh Phegley doubled with one out, but neither Billy Burns nor Eric Sogard was able to get a hit to bring him in. In the fifth inning, Coco Crisp got his first hit of the season, but Semien followed with a double play ground ball. The bottom of the sixth inning began with a single from Butler and a walk from Lawrie. However, Mark Canha, Phegley, and Burns all followed with outs. I didn’t see the Big Heads before the game, but they had their race before the seventh inning, and Dennis Eckersley finally won for the second time this year. During the seventh inning stretch, we heard Ray Charles’ song from “The Blues Brothers.” The A’s did nothing in the bottom of the seventh inning. Evan Scribner replaced Gray in the top of the eighth inning, and he quickly gave up a single. Scribner caught a ball for the first out, but he hit the next Boston batter with a pitch. After a strikeout, it looked like Scribner might get out of this inning without any damage, but then he allowed an infield single. To make things worse, Semien made a bad throw to first base, allowing a run to score. Fernando Abad came in and got the third out. The A’s did nothing in the bottom of the inning. Tyler Clippard pitched in the top of the ninth inning. He gave up a single. Two ground outs moved the runner to third base. After a walk, Clippard got a strikeout to end the inning. It wasn’t looking like the A’s would come back with two runs the way this game was going. Bob Melvin had pinch-hitters to use in the bottom of the ninth inning, and he used three of them. Ike Davis hit the first pitch for a fly ball that went to center field, but for a long out. Max Muncy struck out on three pitches. Stephen Vogt drew a walk and moved to second base on a wild pitch. However, Sogard grounded out to end the game. One of the discouraging things about the series was that the Red Sox fans were generally louder than the A’s fans. I felt a bit of regret about taking the day off work just to witness a loss, and a shutout at that. On the radio, Vince Cotroneo said several times that Sonny Gray deserved a better fate. The game began at 12:38 and ended at 3:11. Attendance was 22,389. It took a while for me to get through the crowd and exit the stadium. Despite the weather forecast, it didn’t look like it was going to rain, so I went out to do my laundry. I sat down and read a chapter of my Tolstoy book. I browsed through the record store to think about what I should buy on a Thursday night. I finished watching the Rolling Stones DVD of the 1975 Forum concert. I thought one of the highlights was “Wild Horses.” I watched two episodes of the Big Bang Theory. Sheldon got drunk before making a speech, and he went crazy. He also had to work with Kripke. I fell asleep for a while, but awoke in time to see Julia Roberts on the Letterman show. The band played The Beatles’ “Julia” for her entrance. She said that “Pretty Woman” started off as a dramatic movie, but went through big changes. Paul Shaffer talked about James Brown. Paul performed “On Broadway.” It was one of the songs of my youth, used in a commercial for Radio Free Europe. Ryan Adams was the musical guest. Some of the people who died on May 14 include Emma Goldman (1940), Sidney Bechet (1959), Gary Cooper (1961), Billie Burke (1970), Hugh Griffith (1980), Rita Hayworth (1987), Lyle Alzado (1992), Harry Blackstone, Jr. (1997), Frank Sinatra (1998), Dave DeBusschere (2003), and Robert Stack (2003). Today is a birthday for Cate Blanchett (46), Tim Roth (54), David Byrne (63), Robert Zemeckis (63), and George Lucas (71). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 14, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” was first performed at Willow Grove Park in Pennsylvania in 1897. In 1957, Elvis Presley was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles after he accidentally swallowed a tooth cap. In 1982, the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “Conan the Barbarian” was released. In 1989, NBC aired the last episode of “Family Ties.”

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