Eric Surkamp’s Struggle

I spent a little bit of time answering a question about my blog, and then I set out for the baseball game.  I took the train to the Fruitvale BART station, and I got to the stadium with a group of elderly people already in line.  I took a walk around the stadium but decided not to buy a hot dog.  Perhaps I should have visited the deli.  Eric Surkamp was the starting pitcher for the A’s, and he certainly wobbled through the first inning, loading the bases with a double, a walk, and a hit by pitch.  He wiggled out of that mess, though, to keep the Angels from scoring.  The A’s did nothing in the bottom of the inning.  After we heard Sam and Dave’s “Soul Man,” Surkamp took the mound for the second inning, and he gave up two walks and threw a lot of pitches, but still escaped with no runs allowed.  The A’s got two runners on base in the bottom of the inning with Danny Valencia’s single and Billy Butler’s walk, but Yonder Alonso lined out.  Surkamp ran out of luck in the third inning, as he allowed a single to Mike Trout, and after a stolen base and two outs, another single that scored the Angels’ first run.  In the bottom of the inning, Coco Crisp reached base on an error, but that was it.  Surkamp had thrown 70 pitches through the first three innings, but he had a clean inning in the fourth, getting the outs with only 8 pitches.  After a Dot Race, the A’s got only a walk from Valencia in the bottom of the inning.  Surkamp got the first batter of the top of the fifth inning out, but then he allowed a double to that Mike Trout.  A wild pitch put Trout at third base.  Surkamp did get Pujols out on a fly ball to right field, but then he walked the next batter, and allowed a single to give the Angels a 2-0.  Surkamp was taken out of the game for relief pitcher Ryan Dull.  He had thrown 96 pitches and hadn’t completed the fifth inning, which is why the game felt like it was taking forever.  He did give up only two runs, however.  Dull would get the next four Angels batters out, and Fernando Rodriguez would follow with four consecutive outs, so in the seventh inning the game was still within reach.  However, during the fifth through seventh innings, the A’s managed only a walk from Marcus Semien.  Meanwhile, a fan had difficulty with a history question involving Ulysses S. Grant.  You can’t expect these fans who have the time for an afternoon game to have much of an education.  In the Big Head race, Rickey Henderson unexpectedly and suspiciously fell flat on his face a short distance from the finish line, allowing Rollie Fingers to win yet again.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Start Me Up.”  In the eighth inning with one out, Rodriguez allowed a double and a single for another Angels run, making the score 3-0.  It looked like this game was slipping away.  Rodriguez did finish the inning.  In the bottom of the inning, Marcus Semien gave us the highlight of the afternoon for the home team, hitting a home run.  He has been on a home run binge the last few days, becoming one of the American League home run leaders, even if it is only the second week of the season.  Billy Burns, Coco Crisp, and Josh Reddick made outs, so the home run wasn’t the start of an unstoppable momentum.  Liam Hendriks took the mound for the top of the ninth inning, which made me nervous because of the runs he’d given up previously.  After getting his first batter out, he allowed four consecutive singles.  After a wild pitch, the third of these hits resulted in two more runs.  That was the end of any hope for the home team.  Marc Rzepczynski was brought in to get the last two outs.  Getting two runs in the ninth would have been difficult enough for this A’s team.  Four runs was a near impossibility.  Stephen Vogt grounded out.  Danny Valencia singled and took second base.  Jed Lowried flied out to center.  Billy Butler did not inspire confidence, and he hit a ground ball that went 1-4-3 for the last out of the game.  This was a discouraging series after what the A’s did in Seattle.  The A’s home record was now a poor 1-6.  Two more games, and the A’s would be one-ninth of their way through the home schedule.  The game began at 12:37 with a game time temperature of 63 degrees, and the game ended at 3:40.  Attendance was 11,216.  It was a shame that we had to see a loss on such a beautiful afternoon.  Eric Surkamp took the loss, but the team as a whole didn’t have much life.  The Hendriks runs were discouraging.  Burns, Crisp, Reddick, Vogt, Coghlan, and Alonso did not reach base safely at all.  Butler reached base by a walk.  Many of the fans in the stands were wearing Warriors shirts, as local sports fans were excited about seeing a 73rd win of the season next door.  I took my time leaving the stadium, and I was glad that the commuters hadn’t started boarding the trains yet.  I stopped for a hamburger on my way to Trader Joe’s.  I browsed through the record stores before I settled down at home to listen to the basketball game on the radio.  I tried to watch “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” on DVD, but the disc would play correctly.  I watched a Terminator movie on Blu-ray, but the whole thing was rather forgettable.  It was good for me to take the day off from work.  During the night, I heard rain fall on the roof.  I heard that Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his last NBA game.  I wanted to get through my last day of class for the week.  Some of the people who died on April 14 include George Frideric Handel (1759), Rachel Carson (1964), Frideric March (1975), Burl Ives (1995), Ellen Corby (1999), Anthony Newley (1999), and Don Ho (2007).  Today is a birthday for Brad Garrett (56), Pete Rose (75), and Loretta Lynn (84).

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