Kendall Graveman’s Rough Sixth Inning

After seeing “Ant-Man,” I went across the street to catch the 12 bus downtown. I took BART to the Coliseum and arrived there very early for the game. I looked through the team store. One of these days I’ll have to buy a new jacket. I went to my seat and found it hard to pick up 95.7 FM on my radio. The singers on the field sang both the Canadian and the American national anthem before the game because the Toronto Blue Jays were the visiting team. Kendall Graveman got through a clean first inning but gave up a home run to start the second inning. He allowed a double and a single in the third inning, giving the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead. He had a clean fourth inning. In the fifth inning, he allowed a single, two stolen bases, and a walk all with two outs, but he got out of that jam with a strikeout. On offense, the A’s were shut out during those five innings. They had one base runner in each of the first four inning. Only one of those got as far as second base, and that was Billy Burns in the first, on a single and a ground out. Josh Reddick and Marcus Semien started the top of the fifth with singles, but Burns lined out to right field, and Stephen Vogt lined out to shortstop for a double play. Before the sixth inning, Kara Tsuboi gave two fans root beer floats that they had to gulp down, overcoming brain freeze. Graveman got the first batter of the inning out, but then gave up a home run, making the score 3-0. He walked the next two batters, which seemed like a warning sign to me. The fateful pitch of the game came on a 2-2 count to the next batter. It went into the left field bleachers for three more runs and a 6-0 score. I didn’t understand why Bob Melvin left him out there that long, because Graveman was getting tired. It’s the walks that are the telltale sign. Dan Otero came in to get the last two outs on four pitches. The A’s finally scored a run in the bottom of the inning with a Ben Zobrist single and a Jake Smolinski triple. Brett Lawrie and Josh Phegley were unable to bring in Smolinski, however. Otero coughed up a run in the top of the seventh inning with a single and a double. Former A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson drove in the run. After Otero allowed a two-out walk, Fernando Abad came into the game to get the last out. After the seventh inning stretch, Billy Burns got his second hit of the game with two outs, but the A’s couldn’t score. Abad went out for the top of the eighth inning. He gave up a single and got two ground ball outs to Zobrist. He appeared to lose track of the outs, thinking the inning was over after the second out. He had to face two more batters, as he went to a 3-2 count before allowing a walk before getting the third ground ball to Zobrist in the inning for the third out. In the bottom of the inning, Zobrist walked, but Billy Butler hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Butler and Vogt both went 0-for-4 for the game. Smolinski struck out to end the inning. Evan Scribner pitched the top of the ninth inning and allowed a double before getting three consecutive outs. The A’s went down quietly in the bottom of the ninth. Phegley was 0-for-4 for the game. It was a forgettable 7-1 loss. The game began at 7:07 and ended at 9:45. The game time temperature was 60 degrees, and the attendance was 19,364.

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