Yonder Alonso’s Game-Saving Catch

I went out to Trader Joe’s before I caught the bus to the Fruitvale BART station.  I got to the Coliseum in good time, but I didn’t realize that they wouldn’t open the gates until 11:30.  The Twins were the visiting team, but this didn’t feel like 2002.  The A’s starting pitcher was Kendall Graveman.  “Sweet Home Alabama” played as he took the mound.  Graveman allowed a single to the second batter of the game, but then he got a double play to end the inning.  In the bottom of the inning, Coco Crisp excited the crowd by hitting the second pitch he saw for a home run over the right field fence.  Jed Lowrie followed with a single, but Stephen Vogt hit into a double play.  Graveman was unable to hold down the Twins in the second inning, as they scored one run on three hits.  He got some help from Khris Davis, who made a sliding catch on a foul ball.  Graveman allowed one-out walks in both the third and fourth innings, but kept the score at 1-1.  Lowrie ended the fourth inning by tagging out a runner and throwing to first base for a double play.  On offense in the second, third, and fourth innings, the A’s got only a walk from Alonso and a Coliseum sun single from Valencia, who should have taken two bases on the play.  In the fifth inning, Graveman surrendered a run on two singles and a sacrifice fly on which Coco Crisp and Chris Coghlan collided.  The A’s got the run back in the bottom of the inning.  Alonso singled, and Marcus Semien hit the ball off the outfield fence.  Alonso scored, but Semien was out at third base after a review of the play.  Graveman had a clean sixth inning.  In the Big Head race, Rollie Fingers won at the wire ahead of Dennis Eckersley.  The radio announcers had been talking about Eckersley during the afternoon because it was the anniversary of his no-hitter.  John Axford replaced Graveman on the mound and got into a jam by allowing singles to his first two batters.  After a sacrifice bunt, he got a big strikeout.  Sean Doolittle came into the game.  A hard line drive looked like a double and two runs and the lead for the Twins, but Alonso made a great catch to end the inning.  The play sure seemed like it saved the game for the A’s.  During the seventh inning stretch, Michelle Doolittle sang “God Bless America.”  We also heard “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.”  In the bottom of the inning, Alonso struck out, Semien flied out, and Coghlan grounded out.  Doolittle continued into the eighth inning and had a clean inning with two strikeouts.  Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo told us that Doolittle was his old self again, throwing as hard as ever.  Coco Crisp singled in the bottom of the inning, but he was caught stealing.  Lowrie and Vogt struck out, so Ryan Madson had only a one-run margin to work with in the top of the ninth inning.  He struck out the first two batters, and then Alonso caught a foul ball to end the game.  It seemed appropriate that the last out would end up in his glove, since he made the key play of the game.  The game began at 1:07 with a game time temperature of 68 degrees, and it ended at 3:39.  The attendance was 17.248.  The Twins haven’t been a very good team this season with only 15 wins so far.  On our way out to the BART station, we saw Warriors fans going in the opposite direction.  Bernie Sanders was making a campaign appearance in downtown Oakland at five o’clock.  I was wanted to go home and get something to eat.  I had some pizza and listened to the Warriors game on the radio.  Their ability to make three-point shots carried them.  When the score was 90-86, there was a slight bit of doubt, but six quick points later, the game was out of reach.  The team that moved out of Seattle should be cursed forever, as far as I’m concerned.  I received an e-mail about a pre-sale of tickets for the finals.  Perhaps I should make an effort to get tickets for one of the games.  I don’t know how many more chances I will get.  I watched Ray Bolger on The Judy Garland Show.  I read that the show was on during the 1963-1964 season.  The Jim Nabors Hour was on Get TV, too.  That show was aired from 1969 to 1971.  One other show that was on Get TV was The Merv Griffin Show.  Allen Ludden and a dark-haired Betty White were guests.  I didn’t want to watch everyone talking about astrology.  Some of the people who died on May 31 include Tintoretto (1594), Joseph Haydn (1809), Billy Strayhorn (1967), William Castle (1977), Arlene Francis (2001), and Jean Stapleton (2013).  Today is a birthday for Lea Thompson (55), Joe Namath (73), and Clint Eastwood (86).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 31, “Funkytown” by Lipps, Inc. was the Number One single in 1980.  In 1991, “Soapdish,” starring Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey, Jr., Cathy Moriarty, Whoopi Goldberg, Elisabeth Shue, and Teri Hatcher, was released.  In 1998, Ginger Spice announced that she was leaving the Spice Girls.  John Bonham, the drummer for Led Zeppelin, would have turned 68 today.

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