Sean Doolittle’s Backbreaking Home Run Ball

The day was Beverly Cleary’s 100th birthday.  I put effort into assembling a homework assignment for my class and then grading some papers.  I returned home for lunch and watch a half hour of television before I took a walk to the Cupcakin’ Bake Shop, where I bought an English toffee cupcake.  I went back to the office and completed some work.  I sat around not talking to students during my office hour.  I gave a short lecture and gave a quiz to one student.  After that, I took BART to the Coliseum.  Kendall Graveman was the starting pitcher for the A’s.  He would pitch a clean first inning, and the team would score one run for him in the bottom of the inning when Billy Burns walked, stole second base, went to third on a fly ball, and went home on a hit from Josh Reddick.  They had the potential for more, but Billy Butler grounded into a double play.  Graveman allowed one run to the Angels in the top of the second inning.  Allowing a walk to start the inning hurt him, as a single and a double play ground ball tied the score at 1-1.  The third inning was a good one for the home team, as Marcus Semien started things off with a home run.  Billy Burns scored one of those Billy runs, with a single, a ground out, a stolen base, and a ground ball hit to first base.  Graveman pitched well after giving up the run, getting clean innings in the third and sixth, and allowing only two more hits.  One of the Angels doubled with one out in the fourth inning and reached third base with two outs, but Graveman got a ground out to first to keep the score at 3-1.  The fourth inning was the bacon inning, and someone in my section was able to name seven superheroes in fifteen seconds, which was two more than Sean Doolittle was able to come up with, and so I was one of the winners of a bacon coupon.  In the sixth inning, we saw the Michael Jackson Cam, but no one had any real dance moves to speak of.  John Axford pitched the top of the seventh inning, and he held the line, giving help from a double play that started with Reddick catching a line drive.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”  With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Marcus Semien took a good swing at a 2-2 pitch, and the ball went over the left field fence for a home run and a 4-1 score.  Things were looking pretty good.  However, in the top of the eighth inning, Ryan Madson encountered problems after getting the first out.  He gave up two singles and had to face Mike Trout.  He got the strikeout, but then faced Albert Pujols.  Despite having the count at 0-2, Madson gave up a double, suddenly making the score 4-3 and making the crowd uncomfortable.  Madson got a ground ball to first to end the inning.  In the bottom of the inning, Josh Phegley and Josh Reddick made outs, but Danny Valencia singled.  After a pitching change, however, Billy Butler struck out.  Butler sure had a tough game.  Sean Doolittle took the mound for the top of the ninth inning.  A fly ball to left field was the first out.  However, he gave up a walk to a pinch-hitter, and then a home run, making the score 5-4.  The crowd felt that the game was over at that point.  The second out was a ball that Lowrie caught.  Doolittle gave up another hit, a double, before getting the last out.  In the bottom of the ninth inning, the A’s went down quietly, with Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, and Stephen Vogt making the last outs of the game.  It was frustration and unhappiness for the home fans, with the team blowing a 4-1 with two innings left.  The game began at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 58 degrees, and it ended at 9:48.  Attendance was 13,492.  What I got out of the night was a coupon for bacon.  I hurried home.  I was tired and had to use the toilet.  The night was getting cold.  The Tonight Show rerun from 1981 featured Robin Williams, but I didn’t watch all of it.  I just wanted to sleep comfortably for a while.  There wasn’t much time before I would go back to the stadium for an afternoon game.  I saw that Kara Tsuboi tweeted that this loss was reminiscent of last year.  The big local sports story was the Warriors trying to win their 73rd game.  Some of the people who died on April 13 include Boris Godunov (1605), Wallace Stegner (1993), Muriel Spark (2006), Bruce Snyder (2009), and Günter Grass (2015).  Today is a birthday for Caroline Rhea (52), Garry Kasparov (53), Ron Perlman (66), and Al Green (70).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 13, “Casino Royale” had its London premiere in 1967.  In 1968, Bobby Goldsboro had the Number One single, “Honey.”  In 1974, Elton John had a Number One hit with “Bennie and the Jets.”  Also in 1974, Paul McCartney had the Number One album on the charts, “Band on the Run.”  In 1980, “Grease” ended its original Broadway run after 3388 performances.

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