Aaron Brooks’ Flat Performance

I went out to do some work. We had a discussion about Star Wars toys. I returned home and had a late lunch, and then I stepped into the record store and bought the new editions of Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and “Nebraska.” I shopped for some groceries and stopped at home to watch the Partridge Family episode “The Partridge Papers.” I thought this was one of Laurie’s best episodes. She was funny on the ladder and going through the air vent. I headed to the BART station. I went to the Coliseum not expecting too many fans to show up. The A’s starting pitcher was Aaron Brooks, but this would not be one of his most memorable performances. The game began with another error from Marcus Semien, but Brooks overcome that mistake partly through help from Semien on a double play. In the bottom of the inning, Billy Burns hit the first pitch he saw for a single, Mark Canha reached base on an error, Brett Lawrie singled, and Danny Valencia continued to be a hitting machine with a grand slam. Jake Smolinski would hit a single and Billy Butler would draw a walk later in the inning, but the A’s wouldn’t score any more runs in the inning. Brooks couldn’t shut down the Mariners in the next inning, as a walk on a 3-2 pitch, a single, and a sacrifice line drive to left field produced one run. In the bottom of the inning, the A’s answered with a Canha single and a Lawrie double to push the score to 5-1. The Mariners changed pitchers at that point. That actually would be the last true feel-good moment of the night, as Brooks wouldn’t get through the next inning. He allowed two doubles, a single that made the score 5-3, and another single before he got one out. After another single, Bob Melvin took him out of the game and brought in Pat Venditte. It was fun to watch him warm up, but his first pitch in the game went for a double for 2 RBI. He got to a 3-2 count on the next batter before he gave up another double for another 2 RBI. Suddenly the A’s were behind 7-5. Venditte went to another 3-2 before getting the second out on a fly ball to center, and he struck out the next batter to end the inning, finally. The A’s did nothing in the bottom of the inning. Fernando Abad pitched the top of the fourth inning and promptly gave up a single and a home run, giving the Mariners a 9-5 lead. He got the next three batters out all on fly balls to center. This game was taking a long time. We were reminded that the 20th game of the famous A’s winning streak was 13 years ago on this night. In the bottom of the fourth, we saw a pitcher named Tony Zych take the mound. He became the last player all-time alphabetically in the major leagues. The A’s got a walk from Burns, but he would be caught stealing. Abad got through the fifth inning without giving up more runs, but there was a 1-5-3 first out, a walk, and Josh Phegley throwing out the runner trying to steal second. The A’s got only a single from Valencia in the bottom of the inning. Kara Tsuboi played Name That Tune with two fans. After hearing “Big wheels keep on turning,” one fan confidently said “Proud Mary,” but it was actually “Sweet Home Alabama.” Sean Doolittle came into the game and gave the A’s their first clean inning. The A’s got back into the game in the bottom of the inning. Billy Butler doubled, Coco Crisp pinch-hit for Tyler Ladendorf and singled, and Marcus Semien tripled for two runs. Billy Burns singled to make the score 9-8, but he mistakenly tried to steal second base when Mark Canha was facing a 3-0 count. Naturally, Burns was thrown out, and Canha would draw a walk. Lawrie hit into a 5-4-3 double play, and so the chance to tie the game went away. In the Big Head race, Rollie Fingers impressively ran past Rickey Henderson down the stretch to win for the 21st time. The standings weren’t displayed on the scoreboard, though. I think that Rollie Fingers could win every race if he wanted to. Ryan Dull, who was described as anything but, pitched a clean seventh inning. A Giants fan caught one foul ball near me, prompting the fans to boo her. During the seventh inning stretch, he heard Ray Charles’ “Shake a Tail Feather.” In the bottom of the inning, the A’s got pinch hits from Stephen Vogt and Josh Reddick, but no runs. The Mariners used three pitchers in the inning, extending the length of this already long game. Fernando Rodriguez pitched the top of the eighth inning, and he allowed a single to the first batter he faced, but he got out of the inning without allowing any runs because Vogt threw out the runner at second. Drew Pomeranz extinguished hope for the A’s by replaying Abad’s performance and giving up a single and a home run. With the score 11-8 instead of 9-8, we were now thinking of tomorrow. Pomeranz got the next three batters out, but we’ve been unhappy with him for quite some time. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Vogt drew a walk for a glimmer of an opportunity to at least tie the game, but Smolinski hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Reddick struck out to end the game. The game began at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 63 degrees, and it ended at 10:45. Attendance was 16,382. The night was cold at this point, and I wished that I had worn a jacket. I got home before midnight. It was upsetting to spend more than three and a half hours watching a game that was an ugly loss. Some of the people who died on September 5 include Crazy Horse (1877), Georg Solti (1997), Mother Teresa (1997), and Allen Funt (1999). Today is a birthday for Michael Keaton (64), Raquel Welch (75), George Lazenby (76), Carol Lawrence (83), and Bob Newhart (86). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 5, “American Bandstand” was cancelled after thirty years. In 1990, B.B. King got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1991, R.E.M. won six MTV Video Music Awards. In 1999, Allen Funt died at age 83.

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