Arnold Leon’s Grand Slam Pitch

After working on my writing, I headed for the BART station. I got to the stadium and took my seat in the shade. On the radio, I heard Susan Slusser talk about her book signings in Alameda and at the Coliseum. During an interview, Eric Sogard used the word “obviously” many times, to the point of distraction. When the Big Heads took their jog around the field, I saw that Rickey Henderson was missing. The A’s new player, Danny Valencia, was set to play third base, with Brett Lawrie shifting to second base. Coco Crisp was out of the lineup with a neck problem. The Orioles fans were annoying during the national anthem, as they yelled out “O!” The A’s starting pitcher was Kendall Graveman. Neither team did anything in the first inning. Graveman allowed a walk in the second inning, but a 6-4-3 double play ended the inning. Billy Butler started the bottom of the inning with a double, but Valencia couldn’t move him over to third, as he grounded out. Butler did take the base on a wild pitch, but Josh Phegley and Mark Canha both struck out. The Orioles did better with their double in the top of the third inning. They followed it with a single for the game’s first run. In the bottom of the inning, the A’s loaded the bases with a double from Ike Davis and walks from Marcus Semien and Billy Burns. Sam Fuld hit into a force play at home. Lawrie hit a sacrifice fly that scored Semien, although the play was reviewed. The throw to home plate was cut off, and the review was whether Burns was out on the throw to second base. Burns and Fuld succeeded at a double steal, and then Butler walked to load the bases again. Valencia could have made a positive impact with a big hit, but he struck out looking. Graveman had a clean fourth inning, with Semien making an impressive play for the first out. The radio announcers commented on Semien’s growing confidence playing shortstop. Phegley began the bottom of the inning with a walk, and Canha doubled, with Phegley getting to third base. Davis grounded out to first base, but Semien doubled to give the A’s a 3-1 lead. We were hoping that would be the difference in the game. Semien stole third base. Burns was not able to make contact with the ball in making an out, striking out. Semien was picked off third base for the last out. Graveman got through the top of the fourth inning for that shutdown inning, although he hit a batter with a pitch. The sixth inning did him in. With one out, he gave up a single. He got a fly ball to center for the second out. Three consecutive singles produced two runs, tying the score at 3-3, and prompting Bob Melvin to bring in Fernando Rodriguez, who struck out the next batter on a 3-2 count. In the bottom of the inning, the A’s again got a double, with Valencia’s first hit for the team. Again, the A’s couldn’t score, as Phegley and Davis struck out, and Davis fouled out. Rodriguez got two outs in the top of the seventh inning, but gave up a double. Drew Pomeranz came in and struck out a batter for the third out. Semien singled in the bottom of the inning, and after Burns struck out, he went to second base on Josh Reddick’s walk, but Lawrie and Vogt both struck out. Pomeranz pitched a clean eighth inning. In the bottom of the inning, Phegley singled with one out. He was forced at second base on Canha’s ground ball, and Canha was caught stealing. Edward Mujica pitched the top of the ninth inning. He allowed a single, but got a 6-4-3 double play ground ball. The third out was a fly ball to center. Coco Crisp pinch-hit for Davis in the bottom of the ninth, but he grounded out. Semien struck out. Burns singled, but Reddick grounded out, taking the game to a tenth inning. Earlier in the afternoon, the radio announcers talked about wearing down the starting pitcher to get to the soft spot in the opponent’s pitching roster. That seemed to happen in the top of the tenth inning, so it wasn’t the result the A’s were looking for. Arnold Leon came in to pitch for the A’s and got to a 0-2 count, but gave up a single. A 3-2 count turned into another single for the Orioles, with the runner going to third base. An intentional walk loaded the bases. After an infield fly for the first out, Leon gave up the grand slam on a 3-2 count. Too late, he got the second and third outs on a ground ball and a strikeout, respectively. Behind by four runs, it was hopeless. Lawrie struck out, Vogt grounded out, and Valencia also grounded out. The game started at 12:37 with the temperature at 74 degrees, and ended at 4:10. Attendance was 20,176. I went back to work until I was very tired. I ate a turkey burger and watched one of the movies of my childhood, “Snoopy, Come Home.” I would say that the fighting scenes might be disturbing to the parents of these times, but it was mostly a good movie. I liked the beach sequence. It was rather alarming to see the treatment of Snoopy at some moments. I saw that a boy did Peppermint Patty’s voice. Clara reminded me of Kathy Bates in “Misery.” I thought that if Snoopy had any real sense, he would stay with Lila. I wondered exactly what was in Snoopy’s record collection, and if he had the same tastes as Schroeder. There was an unusual amount of crying among the characters. I had forgotten about the way that Woodstock whistled. The movie was a failure at the box office in 1972, but I liked it years ago, and I still liked it, for the most part, when I saw it last night. Some of the people who died on August 6 include Preston Sturges (1959), Cedric Hardwicke (1964), Everett Sloane (1965), Harry Reasoner (1991), Jorge Amado (2001), Rick James (2004), John Hughes (2009), and Marvin Hamlisch (2012). Today is a birthday for Vera Farmiga (42), Michelle Yeoh (52), Catherine Hicks (64), and Peter Bonerz (77). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for August 6, The Beatles released their album “Help!” in the U.K. in 1965. In 1972, the Woody Allen movie “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex” was released. In 1993, the Harrison Ford movie “The Fugitive” was released. In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley made their first public appearance after their marriage.

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