Sonny Gray’s Outduelling of Dallas Kuechel

I had to go to a meeting before starting work. We got some food, and I talked about the Outside Lands Festival. I didn’t want to work the whole day because my plan was to go to a book signing. When I got more, I ate a late lunch and watched the Partridge Family episode “I Am a Curious Partridge.” Shirley spanked Danny, although it wasn’t shown. Laurie looked like she was having waffles and coffee, but I never saw her actually eat anything. I took BART to the Coliseum and sat on a bench until it was nearly time for the gates to open. The ticket taker said a welcome back to home, and I headed for the West Side Club. Susan Slusser was there to sign copies of her book, “100 Things A’s Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.” I was near the front of the line, but behind a very old woman who wanted to talk to Susan. I paid $15 for a book. Susan asked me how I spelled my name and how long I’ve been going to A’s games. I said 1984. I headed to my seat. I saw Mark Canha talk to someone who looked exactly like him. A lot of people wanted to watch Sonny Gray warm up. This game was an anticipated showdown between two of the best pitchers in the American League, Gray and Dallas Keuchel. Gray got seven consecutive outs to start the game. Meanwhile, on offense, the A’s would get a single and a walk in the first inning, but no runs. They started the second inning with consecutive singles from Josh Phegley, Marcus Semien, and Mark Canha. Sam Fuld struck out, but Billy Burns hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the game’s first run. Coco Crisp walked to load the bases again, but Brett Lawrie grounded out to end the inning. We had to question whether getting only one run in the inning would come back to hurt the A’s. Gray allowed two singles in the third inning but preserved the 1-0 lead. The A’s have had problems about left-handed pitchers all season, but on this night having Danny Valencia in the lineup paid off. He hit a home run to make the score 2-0. Gray had a clean fourth inning, but with two outs in the fifth inning, he gave up a home run, making the score 2-1. In the bottom of the inning, Brett Lawrie was hit by a pitch. Valencia singled, with Lawrie going to second base. Billy Butler hit into yet another double play, and again on the first pitch, although Lawrie went to third base on the play. Phegley came through with a double, so Lawrie came in to make the score 3-1. Semien got a hit, and Phegley attempted to score on the play, but was thrown out, 9-2. For the remainder of the game, only one A’s player would reach base, and that was Semien with a single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. After the Kiss Cam before the sixth inning, Gray got two ground ball outs that went 5-3. After allowing a single, he got the third out with a strikeout. After Dennis Eckersley surprisingly won the Big Head race, Gray had a clean seventh inning with the help of a good play by Valencia on a foul ball. After the chicken dance, Gray got an out before allowing a single in the eighth inning. A 5-4-3 double play ended the inning. With Drew Pomeranz warming up, Sonny Gray went out to the mound in search of a complete game. Ike Davis caught a foul ball for the first out. Gray got a strikeout for the second out. A 4-3 ground ball was the last play of the game. It was a good win for the home team. Gray lowered his ERA to 2.06. The game began at 7:08 and ended at 9:28. Attendance was 18,908. I heard Eric Chavez on the postgame radio show. I hurried out to the BART station. I took a San Francisco train, got off at West Oakland, board the Pittsburg-Bay Point train and transferred at 19th Street. I got home to discover a phone call from the Raiders ticket office on my answering machine. I don’t know what they wanted to talk to me about. Maybe I should ask them about my Super Bowl tickets. I watched a news report on people trying to sneak into Outside Lands. The Jimmy Kimmel show was a rerun. I was too tired to stay up and watch my usual NUMB3RS episode. Some of the people who died on August 8 include Shirley Jackson (1965), Cannonball Adderley (1975), Fay Wray (2004), Barbara Bel Geddes (2005), and Patricia Neal (2010). Today is a birthday for The Edge (54), Donny Most (62), Connie Stevens (77), Dustin Hoffman (78), and Mel Tillis (83). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for August 8, Brian Hyland had the Number One single in 1960, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.” In 1963, The Kingsmen released their classic record, “Louie Louie.” In 1986, David Crosby was released from prison in Huntsville, Texas after serving a three-year sentence for cocaine and weapons possession. In 2004, the bus driver for the Dave Matthews Band illegally dumped 800 pounds of human waste off the Kinzie Street Bridge onto a tour boat sailing the Chicago River.

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