Sonny Gray’s Two Big Mistakes

I watched the NUMB3RS episode “Checkmate” instead of the early morning news. Charlie had to go through an F.B.I. training program. When I saw the beginning of CBS This Morning, I noticed a difference in Norah O’Donnell’s hair. I went on to work. I went grocery shopping afterwards, and I bought some fried chicken and sandwiches. Back at home, I had a late lunch and watched the Partridge Family episode “Home is Where the Heart Was,” which showed Chris and Tracy running away from home. I walked on towards the BART station, and I went to the Coliseum. I should have browsed through the team store for new items, but I just took my seat. I listened to the radio and discovered that Ken Korach was back on 95.7 FM announcing the games. The Minnesota Twins were the opponent in this game. The A’s had Sonny Gray as their starting pitcher. He started the day with a 2.04 ERA. Things did not look good when he allowed a home run to the game’s first batter. He got the next three batters out. In the bottom of the inning, the A’s did nothing. Gray allowed a single and a walk in the top of the second inning but kept the score at 1-0. In the bottom of the inning, the A’s did nothing. Gray pitched clean innings in the third, fourth, and fifth. The A’s had one chance to score runs during that time. In the third inning, Brett Lawrie reached first base on an error. With one out, Marcus Semien singled, and with two outs, Stephen Vogt singled to load the bases. However, Ben Zobrist made an out to leave the bases loaded with the score still at 1-0. Before the fifth inning, Kara Tsuboi played Name That Tune with two fans, and the song was “Ice Ice Baby.” Before the fifth inning, she gave away some bacon coupons. Gray gave up a walk to the first batter, then a single to the next batter. I certainly had the feeling that Gray was getting into a lot of trouble. He got a strikeout for the first out, but then walked the next batter to load the bases. Gray had been flirting with disaster in this inning, and it came with the next Twins batter, who hit the field to left field for a grand slam. With the lackluster look of the A’s on this night, it didn’t seem as if they would be able to make up five runs in the rest of the game. The A’s got only a single from Zobrist in the bottom of the inning. Before the seventh inning, we saw a Big Head race, which ended with Rickey Henderson finishing far ahead of Dennis Eckersley and Rollie Fingers. Dan Otero replaced Gray on the pitching mound, and he got into a bit of a jam by giving up two singles, but three strikeouts saved him. In the bottom of the inning, the A’s got only a single from Lawrie, which was only their fourth hit of the game. Fernando Abad pitched the top of the eighth inning. He allowed a single with one out, but after Billy Burns caught a ball for the second out, the runner at first base was caught stealing. In the bottom of the inning, Billy Burns singled and stole second base. After Vogt lined out, Burns went to third base on a wild pitch as Zobrist drew a walk. Jake Smolinski, pinch-hitting for Reddick, lined out to center to end that threat. Before the ninth inning, I saw my face on the big screen on the scoreboard. Fernando Rodriguez pitched the top of the ninth inning, and things looked bad when Brett Lawrie made two errors on one play, sending the Twins runner to second base. However, Rodriguez got a pop fly and two strikeouts to end the threat. Five runs was too much for the A’s to make up. Billy Butler hit a fly ball to the wall in right field, but it ended up being caught. Mark Canha pinch-hit for Ike Davis, and he struck out. Brett Lawrie was the last hope, and he grounded out to end the game. The game started at 7:08 when the temperature at 67 degrees, and it ended at 9:50. Attendance was 23,462. For a team that had to string together some good games at this point in the season, this loss was a very bad sign. Billy Beane may need to make some trades. I was glad that today’s game wasn’t starting until six, although there may be a big crowd waiting to get their Hello Kitty bobbleheads. Because I didn’t want to stand around on the BART platform for 13 minutes, I took the San Francisco train and transferred twice to get home. That only meant that I had to board three crowded trains instead of just one, but I didn’t save any time. One man said that the game was a turning point for the A’s because the loss meant that the team would be sellers in the trade market. He predicted that Tyler Clippard, Ben Zobrist, and Scott Kazmir would be gone soon. When I got home, the Giants game was still on television. I played a bit of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and stayed up to see the beginning of the James Corden show. All I could think about was how tired I was. Some of the people who died on July 18 include Caravaggio (1610), Jane Austen (1817), Machine Gun Kelly (1954), and Nico (1988). Today is a birthday for Elizabeth McGovern (54), Richard Branson (65), Martha Reeves (74), James Brolin (75), and John Glenn (94). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 18, Elvis Presley made his first recording in 1953, “My Happiness.” In 1960, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters released “The Twist.” In 1966, Bobby Fuller was found dead in a car parked outside his Hollywood apartment. In 1992, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown were married at her mansion in New Jersey.

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