Rich Hill’s Eighth Win and 2.25 ERA

I woke up and watched CBS Sunday Morning.  I wanted to see the segment about the Monkees.  Michael Nesmith did appear in it.  My parents phoned me.  I went out grocery shopping before I took the bus out to the Fruitvale BART station.  I got my wiffle ball and bat, which was the day’s giveaway.  I was glad that the afternoon didn’t get too hot.  Since Rich Hill was pitching, many A’s fans were expecting a win. He struck out the first three batter of the game, which was a good sign.  In the bottom of the inning with two outs, the A’s got singles from Stephen Vogt and Danny Valencia, but Khris Davis swung at the first pitch and fouled out.  In the second inning, the Tigers got one run on three singles.  We saw This Date in A’s History, which was a highlight of Randy Velarde making an unassisted triple play against the Yankees in 2000.  In the third inning, Hill walked the first two batters, and on a double play, the runner took third.  Hill gave up a single, making the score 2-0.  Hill pitch a clean fourth inning and a clean fifth inning, and he allowed only a single with one out in the sixth.  Meanwhile on offense, the A’s had a single from Coghlan with two outs in the second inning, a single with two outs in the third inning, and nothing else until the sixth inning.  Jed Lowrie walked, but Stephen Vogt hit into a double play, and so the inning looked dead.  However, Danny Valencia and Khris Davis followed with singles.  Yonder Alonso looked like he had hit the inning-ending ground ball, but the second baseman committed an error, with a run scoring on the play.  After a wild pitch, Marcus Semien walked to load the bases.  The Tigers made a pitching change, and Billy Butler came in to pinch hit for Coghlan.  The centerfielder couldn’t catch the short fly ball that Butler hit, and two more runs scored for the A’s, giving them a 3-2 lead.  Burns, who has been cold as of late, struck out.  Rickey Henderson won the Big Head race.  Rollie Fingers looked like he didn’t have much life in his legs.  Hill started off the seventh inning with a walk.  He struck out the next better and had a 1-2 count on the third batter when he was taken out of the game with an apparent injury.  Ryan Dull replaced Hill and got the batter out with one pitch with a ball that Lowrie caught.  Dull got a strikeout to end the inning.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Kung Fu Fighting.”  The A’s were quiet in the bottom of the inning.  Coco Crisp’s hitting streak was ending, and Lowrie and Vogt both struck out.  Ryan Madson pitched the top of the eighth inning.  He got help from Lowrie, who made a good catch, and Madson had a clean inning.  In the bottom of the inning, Valencia singled for the third time in the game, and Davis doubled.  Alonso hit the ball hard, but right to the first baseman for an out that didn’t score a run.  Semien was walked intentionally.  Jake Smolinski, who had entered the game as a pinch-runner for Butler, came up to bat and hit a sacrifice fly, and so the A’s had a bit of a cushion going into the ninth inning.  Sean Doolittle entered the game with his loud Metallica music.  He got the first out with one inning on a fly ball to centerfield.  He struck out the second batter, and he got the third out on a ball that Lowrie caught.  Rich Hill got his eighth win.  His ERA went up a bit, from 2.18 to 2.25.  The relief pitchers got ten consecutive outs to end the game.  Crisp, Alonso, and Burns went without hits in the game, and Hill’s departure was of some concern.  It was a good day for the time otherwise.  The sea gulls made their appearance in the stadium at about 3:53.  The game started at 1:07 with a game time temperature of 73 degrees, and it ended at 3:55.  The attendance was 20,522.  I nearly left the stadium without my windbreaker and went back to get it.   I listened to the radio postgame show.  I returned home and went to Mad Monk to look for vinyl records.  I bought a Roy Buchanan album and two Beatles singles.  I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN.  He played songs from the Paul Simon that will be released on June 3, along with bits from an interview with Simon.  It sounds like it will be a pretty good album. The Columbo episode on Me TV was “Forgotten Lady” with Janet Leigh.  It was one of my favorites.  I did wonder why she didn’t have a better copy of her movie for the projection room.  The world of 1975 feels quite distant now.  Some of the people who died on May 30 include Milton Bradley (1911), Dooley Wilson (1953), Boris Pasternak (1960), Claude Rains (1967), Sun Ra (1993), and Mark Harris (2007).  Today is a birthday for Wynonna Judd (52), Tom Morello (52), and Gayle Sayers (73).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 30, 17-year-old Lesley Gore made her American Bandstand debut in 1963, singing “It’s My Party.”  In 1965, “The Sound of Music” was the Number One movie at the box office.  In 1967, Claude Rains, who appeared in “The Invisible Man” and “Casablanca,” died in New Hampshire at age 77.

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