Sean Doolittle’s First Save Since September 19, 2014

I saw from the morning news that Michelle Griego was back from her maternity leave. She came back on Labor Day. I went over to the coffee shop and had a peach smoothie. I checked my messages and went out to the BART station to get to the Coliseum. Hardly anybody was in line. While I was standing around, I listened to two albums by The Raspberries, “Side 3” and “Starting Over.” I thought back to what the Bill Bixby Thanksgiving Special was like. Quite a long line formed behind us. I listened to Susan Slusser talk about Barry Zito, who wasn’t getting called back up to the major leagues. She also mentioned that players like Jesse Chavez and Josh Reddick were likely to be traded, and Billy Butler and Coco Crisp would be traded if there were any takers of their contracts. She said that the team could go with Marcus Semien at shortstop next season because of his improvement. I was glad to get the giveaway, which was a backpack. I would use it to put my stuff in once I got to my seat. The sun beat down on us and made me sleepy as the afternoon wore on. The A’s had lost five consecutive games and were facing a first place team in the Houston Astros. I didn’t have faith in the A’s starting pitcher, Felix Doubront, but he would keep the team in the game. He started the game by giving up a double. After a sacrifice bunt and a ground out, the Astros were ahead, 1-0. Doubront gave up another double, but he got a strikeout to finally get out of the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Mark Canha hit a home run to tie the score. Danny Valencia singled with two outs, but he was picked off first base, seemingly hypnotized by the pitcher. We heard the song “Dazz.” Doubront gave up a double and a walk to start the second inning, and after a ground ball out moved the runners over, a Houston run scored on a ball that Reddick caught. Brett Lawrie got close to Reddick and seemed to make it harder for Reddick to make the throw to home plate. We heard “Shake It Up” before the bottom of the inning. The A’s got a single from Lawrie but nothing else. Chris Carter made an error on a foul ball. We saw on This Date in MLB History that Trevor Hoffman got his 600th save in 2010, and we heard “Higher Ground.” Doubrant actually had a clean third inning, although it would his only one of the game. In the bottom of the inning, Billy Burns singled with one out, and he stole second, but Canha and Reddick both made outs to strand him there. Kara Tsuboi played the Capitol Corridor game, and we heard “Love Train.” Doubrant allowed only a single with one out in the fourth inning. We saw a Dot Race. In the bottom of the inning, Valencia drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch, and Lawrie followed with what looked like a single and an error, but was ruled a Coliseum triple to tie the score at 2-2. Billy Butler and Jake Smolinski both disappointed us by striking out with a runner at third score and fewer than two outs. Josh Phegley flied out to end the inning. We saw the shell game and heard “Shining Star.” In the fifth inning, Doubront gave up a single but would get the runner out on a 1-5-6-1 play. Ken Korach commented that the A’s fans in the stadium were great fans, loyal and supporting even though the team was in last place. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the A’s got only a walk from Mark Canha with two outs. We saw Kara Tsuboi with two fans playing a game of catch using backpacks. We heard “Superstition.” Doubront allowed a single with one out, but kept the score at 2-2 going to the bottom of the sixth inning. At that time, the A’s made their move. It came after the Big Cut Cam and “Frankenstein.” Valencia walked on a 3-2 pitch, and Lawrie walked on four pitches. After a pitching change, Billy Butler singled to load the bases. Coco Crisp came out to pinch hit for Smolinski to the roar of the crowd. He delivered with a hit that went over the right fielder’s head for a big double for two runs, putting the A’s ahead, 4-2. Butler, with his slow feet, couldn’t score from first base on a double. Phegley grounded out. Semien walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases again, and Burns came up with a big single for two more runs and a 6-2 score, with Semien going to third base. Canha came through with another hit to make the score 7-2. After another pitching change, Josh Reddick walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases yet again. After yet another pitching change, Valencia hit into a force play, but Burns came home to make the score 8-2. Lawrie struck out to end the inning, but A’s fans were thinking that this was a win. In the Big Head race, we saw Rollie Fingers barely hold off Dennis Eckersley to win for the 22nd time this season. Unfortunately, Doubront didn’t have another inning in him. After a home run and a single, Bob Melvin took him out of the game and brought in Fernando Rodriguez with “Money for Nothing” blaring as he took the mound. Rodriguez struck out his first batter but walked his second. A fly ball to right field brought Rodriguez close to escaping the jam, but then he surrendered a home run that brought the Astros to within 8-6. We heard the Los Lobos version of “La Bamba” during the seventh inning stretch. In the bottom of the inning, Billy Butler walked on four pitches. After Crisp made an out, Phegley impressed us with a home run, pushing the score to 10-6. Semien walked and reached second base on Burns’ ground out, but Canha struck out to end the inning. It was one long inning, with 11 men coming up to bat and the songs “That’s the Way I Like It” and “YMCA” playing during breaks in the action. We also saw a fan in a banana costume dancing around. Drew Pomeranz came into the game to pitch the top of the eighth inning. We would hear “Working for the Weekend.” Unfortunately, Lawrie committed an error on a fly ball that he seemed to lose in the sun. Pomeranz did get the next two batters out, but then he made a mistake that went over the fence for three runs and an alarming 10-9 score. A young fan took a seat in my row and couldn’t sit still, shaking his legs and making the seats to shake. The woman in front of him was irritated with him, but he was totally oblivious. I think that A’s fans would like to see Pomeranz gone from the team. Edward Mujica took over for Pomeranz, and he took three pitches to get the third out on a foul ball to Canha. Melvin went to Sean Doolittle to get the save. Doolittle’s first pitch was a fly ball that sent Lawrie backpedaling to catch it. The same thing happened with Doolittle’s second pitch. Doolittle quickly got the count to 0-2 to the third batter, and then struck him out to end the game. Doolittle threw five pitches for five strikes, three outs, and his first save of the season, and his first save since September 19, 2014. We were all exhausted at the end. The game began at 1:07 and ended at 5:00. That was a long time for a game that went eight and a half innings. We were happy to go home with our backpacks having seen a win. The train ride home was delayed because of some person walking along the tracks. It took the police a long time to get to him. Back at home, I ate leftovers and watched the old Match Game from 1964. The women celebrities were Joan Fontaine, Peggy Cass, and Betty White. The first episode of the Match Game from 1973 had Bert Convy, Arlene Francis, Jack Klugman, Jo Ann Pflug, Richard Dawson, and Betty White. The second episode had Michael Landon, Vicki Lawrence, and Anita Gillette. During the night, I heard the news of the deaths of Martin Milner and Jude Carne. Some of the people who died on September 8 include Richard Strauss (1949), Dorothy Dandridge (1965), Zero Mostel (1977), Jean Seberg (1979), and Brad Davis (1991). Today is a birthday for Pink (36) and Heather Thomas (58). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 8, the first Star Trek episode, “The Man Trap,” aired on NBC in 1966. In 1973, “Star Trek: The Animated Series” made its debut. Also in 1973, “Super Friends” had its premiere. In 1986, Oprah Winfrey’s television aired nationally for the first time. In 1988, “Earth Girls Are Easy” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

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