Scott Kazmir’s Smoothness Over Eight Innings

I went over to the coffee shop and used the Internet to look at Wednesday’s A’s box score. I took a walk over to the optometry clinic. The woman who examined my eyes reminded me of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. I was just glad that all I needed was a new prescription. I returned home to have something to eat. I looked through the used clothing store and saw a Raiders shirt with the date of their London game last year. Remembering their wretched performance that day, I wasn’t eager to buy the shirt. I went into the record store and bought a Grand Theft Auto game. I did a little bit of searching for a place to buy my new eyeglasses. I had a late lunch at Bongo Burger and headed over to BART. I reached the Coliseum, and I was the second person in line outside the gate. I received a Sal Bando button, and I went to my seat. I listened to the radio, but I fell asleep for a while just before the game started. Harrison Barnes threw out the first pitch. He didn’t have the greatest throwing motion, but Josh Reddick indicated that it was a strike. It would be a great night for Scott Kazmir. He would get the first thirteen Mariners batters he faced out before giving up a double, and then he got another eight consecutive outs in reaching the end of seven innings. The A’s scored in the bottom of the first inning. After Billy Burns and Stephen Vogt made outs, Ben Zobrist drew a walk. Billy Butler followed with a double, but Zobrist didn’t score because Mike Gallego gave him the stop sign. I wondered if this was a mistake with two outs. Fortunately, Josh Phegley hit a double that scored two runs. Kara Tsuboi played Who Am I? with a fan, who correctly named Barry Zito, although the clues made the answer obvious. The A’s scored another run in the fifth inning when Marcus Semien hit a home run over the left field fence. He was having a good night playing defense, too. Before the next inning, we heard The Cars’ “Shake It Up” and saw fans doing the Chicken Dance, although many of them stop dancing when they saw themselves on the big screen. Kara Tsuboi played Name That Tune with a father and daughter. The father incorrectly said “Call Me Crazy.” During the seventh inning stretch, we heard Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.” The Mariners brought in a new pitcher, who gave up another run. After one out, Josh Reddick singled. On a ground ball, Reddick was out on a force play, not sliding because he apparently expected the throw to go to first base. Brett Lawrie, who was at first base, stole second base, and he scored on Mark Canha’s triple, which ended with a headfirst slide. The 4-0 lead looked comfortable with the way that Kazmir was pitching. In the top of the eighth inning, Kazmir gave up a single, but a 6-4-3 double play cleared the bases. Kazmir hit the next batter with a pitch on a 3-2 count, but a force play ended the inning. If the A’s do trade Kazmir, I think I might miss him. Billy Burns grounded out to begin the bottom of the eighth inning. He went 0-for-4 in the game. Stephen Vogt flied out to left field, and he also went 0-for-4 in the game. Ben Zobrist singled and Billy Butler walked, giving the A’s a last chance to score, but Josh Phegley’s hit into a force play. Edward Mujica and not Tyler Clippard would go out to the mound to pitch the top of the ninth inning. Mujica struck out the first batter, and then got the next two batters out on fly balls to Reddick. The game started at 7:07 and ended at 9:24. I enjoyed this quick game, which brought to mind Mike Mulder’s best days. The radio announcers indicated Kazmir’s smoothness in his pitching on this night when he was impressing the scouts in the stadium. This was the A’s 10th pitching shutout for this season, which was the best in the American League. Attendance was only 13,062, but they were pretty enthusiastic, and they went home happy. It was 10:20 when I got home. I got a phone message from Ohio, informing me about how different the culture is out there. I discovered that “The Last American Hero” with Jeff Bridges and Valerie Perrine was on television. The movie made me nostalgic for Jim Croce’s “I Got a Name.” I stayed up for Jimmy Kimmel’s This Week in Unnecessary Censorship. Some of the people who died on July 3 include Brian Jones (1969), Jim Morrison (1971), Ross Martin (1981), Jim Backus (1989), Larry Harmon (2008), and Andy Griffith (2012). Today is a birthday for Connie Nielsen (50), Tom Cruise (53), and Gloria Allred (74). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 3, The Andy Williams Show had its premiere on ABC in 1958. In 1965, Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger died in Hidden Ranch, California. In 1976, Paul McCartney’s “Silly Love Songs” was the Number One single. In 1985, “Back to the Future” was released. In 1993, Curly Joe DeRita, the last of The Three Stooges, died of pneumonia at age 83 at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.

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