Sean Manaea’s Improvement

After I watched some television, I took the bus into Emeryville to buy a pair of ear buds at Best Buy.  I went on to the Fruitvale BART station, and then on to the Coliseum.  It was a beautiful afternoon.  I caught a T-shirt that the big-headed Rollie Fingers threw into the stands.  The big-headed Dennis Eckersley was missing.  I wondered if he was stuck in traffic, or if he slept late.  Sean Manaea was the starting pitcher for the A’s.  He had an ERA of 7.03, but looked like he was improving.  In the first inning, he allowed a single and a walk, but he kept the Twins from scoring.  In the bottom of the inning, Danny Valencia continued his hot hitting with a double, but the A’s did not score.  Manaea got into a bit of difficulty in the second inning, giving up two singles, but he held the Twins back.  Billy Butler started off the bottom of the inning with a double, which was a nearly shocking sight, considering the way he runs the bases.  After Josh Phegley and Marcus Semien made outs, Jake Smolinski walked.  The two runner advanced on a wild pitch, although a throw to get Butler out at third base was close.  Billy Burns singled on a 3-2 pitch, and Butler scored.  Smolinski tried scoring all the way from second base but was thrown out at home plate.  Manaea allowed a double with one out in the top of the third inning, but he did manage the shutdown inning.  In the bottom of the inning, singles from Jed Lowrie, Danny Valencia, and Billy Butler produced one run.  The A’s were putting up a picket fence on the scoreboard.  Manaea pitched a clean fourth inning, which was encouraging because the fourth seemed like a deadly inning for him in the past.  The A’s scored one run in a third consecutive inning when Jake Smolinski hit a home run in the bottom of the fourth.  Manaea pitch a second clean inning in the fifth, which seemed incredible.  He got two strikeouts.  The A’s scored another run in the bottom of the inning.  Lowrie singled, Valencia doubled, and Khris Davis hit a foul ball out to right field, and Lowrie scored.  Butler was intentionally walked, which was something else that was unbelievable.  Yonder Alonso wasn’t able to bring in Valencia from third base, and he in fact hit into a double play.  The score was 4-0 at the end of five innings, but Manaea would put that lead in jeopardy in the sixth inning.  After the impressive two previous innings, he gave up two walks and a single to load the bases with no outs.  A sacrifice fly gave the Twins one run, but then Manaea got through the inning with two strikeouts.  The A’s did answer that one with another of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Semien singled, stole second base, went to third on a one-out ground ball.  Coco Crisp came through with a two-out single on a 3-2 pitch, making the score 5-1.  The A’s had scored single runs in each of the innings from the second through the fifth.  I saw the Banjo Man in the fourth inning, but I didn’t think he was bringing the team any luck.  Where was he on some of those tough nights with the Mariners?  In the Big Head race, Rollie Fingers kept winning, edging Dennis Eckersley.  It’s puzzling why Rickey Henderson has been finishing in third, but he does look shorter than in the past.  Ryan Dull pitched the top of the seventh inning.  He surprisingly gave up a hit to his first batter, which he hasn’t been doing at all this season.  A walk got him into a bit of trouble, but he got through it without giving up a run.  The A’s didn’t do anything in the bottom of the inning against a new Twins pitcher, as they went down with three strikeouts.  Sean Doolittle pitched the top of the eighth inning.  The radio announcers took the chance to again say that the old Doolittle was back, throwing hard and apparently with great confidence.  It was a clean eighth inning with two strikeouts.  The A’s again did nothing in the bottom of the inning.  The picket fence was five boxes in width.  Ryan Madson went out to the mound in the top of the ninth inning.  He walked the first batter.  He then got a force out, and then a 5-4-3 double play to end the game.  The A’s had won their fifth consecutive game, although after all that work, their record was only 25-29.  The fans were leaving with a good feeling, though.  I didn’t see the sea gulls that had appeared in earlier games.  The game had begun at 12:27 with a game time temperature of 69 degrees, and it ended at 3:10.  I headed home to do my laundry and browse through the record stores.  I heard some news about a police shooting.  I watched a little bit of “Heaven Can Wait.”  Just before eleven o’clock, some idiot set fire to the trash in a dumpster outside the apartment building, creating a lot of smoke and a situation that the fire department had to deal with.  It seemed like a shameful waste of resources.  The neighborhood has dangerous characters all around.  The smell of smoke was rather frightening.  A cop knocked on my door and asked me if I had seen anything.  After the horrible fire of five years ago, I wouldn’t want to experience another.  I don’t know what motivates people to do such stupid things.  I’m starting to feel afraid of leaving my apartment.  Some of the people who died on June 2 include Lou Gehrig (1941), Stephen Boyd (1977), Jim Hutton (1979), Andres Segovia (1987), Jack Gilford (1990), Rex Harrison (1990), Ray Combs (1996), Imogene Coca (2001), Freddie Blassie (2003), Bo Diddley (2008), and Richard Dawson (2012).  Today is a birthday for Dana Carvey (61), Jerry Mathers (68), and Charlie Watts (75).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 2, Island Records its first single, “Twist Baby” by Owen Gray, in 1962.  In 1990, Rex Harrison of “My Fair Lady” died of pancreatic cancer at age 82 at his home in Manhattan.  In 1996, game show host Ray Combs at age 40 hanged himself in the closet of the psychiatric ward in the Glendale Adventist Medical Center.  In 2008, Bo Diddley died of heart failure at age 79 at his home in Archer, Florida.

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