Eric Surkamp’s Punishment for Mistakes

I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a magazine about the Eagles.  I returned home and watched some television, and I went over to the cupcake shop to buy a key lime pie cupcake.  I went on to buy groceries, and then head out to the bus stop.  I took the 1 bus out towards the Coliseum, and I fell asleep for a few minutes.  It was Pride Night, but I went straight to my seat.  The night would get rather cold, so I wished I had dressed more warmly.  I suspected that this A’s team could not follow up a big 14-5 win with another win, and the choice of starting pitchers, Eric Surkamp, was not encouraging.  When I first saw him pitch against the Giants, I thought he was promising, but he wouldn’t be able to repeat this performance.  He had a record of 0-3 with an ERA of 6.41.  He got into immediate trouble in the first inning when he gave up a walk and a single before getting the first out of the game, which was a force play that got a runner to third base.  A sacrifice fly gave the Rangers the first run of the game.  Surkamp got the last out on a ground ball, and so he minimized the damage by allowing just the one run.  The A’s started the bottom of the inning with singles from Billy Burns and Jed Lowrie.  Danny Valencia hit a line drive that was caught for the first out.  Khris Davis continued producing runs against the Rangers, getting a double. Burns scored, but Lowrie was out at home plate, as the play went 9-4-2.  Davis took third base on the play, but Billy Butler followed with an out on a deep fly ball, and so the score was tied at 1-1 after one inning.  Surkamp got the first batter in the second inning out, but then he gave up a walk.  It looked like the next batter got an extra strike, but ultimately he got a single.  Surkamp then gave up a home run to the ninth batter on a count of 0-2.  The guy’s batting average was .190.  Surkamp would give up one more hit, but the inning would end with the score 4-1.  On offense, the A’s went quiet after the Davis doubled.  Through the end of the fifth inning, they would get only a double from Billy Burns.  Surkamp faced four batters in the third inning, getting only one out, before Bob Melvin took him out of the game.  First, he surrendered a home run, giving the Rangers a 5-1 lead.  After a single, he took a strikeout, but after another single, Melvin went to the mound to put an end to his night.  Marc Rzepczynski came in and couldn’t prevent the runners from scoring.  A single made the score 6-1, and then two consecutive walks made the score 7-1.  The next batting hit into a force play that was ruled a double play after review.  The scoreboard mistakenly showed a score of 8-1 into the next inning.  This Day in A’s History showed Reggie Jackson against the Red Sox in 1969, when he had 10 RBI.  The A’s could have used someone like Reggie on this night.  Rzepczynski pitched the top of the fifth inning and allowed a walk with one out, but he kept the Rangers from scoring in a fourth consecutive inning.  Fernando Rodriguez pitched a clean fifth inning, and Ryan Dull also pitched well, producing clean sixth and seventh innings.  The A’s radio announcers talked about potential A’s All-Stars.  The names they discussed were Rich Hill, Ryan Dull, Khris Davis, and Danny Valencia.  The A’s made their bid to get back into the game in the sixth inning.  After Billy Burns grounded out, Jed Lowrie, Danny Valencia, and Khris Davis all singled, with the third hit producing a run.  Billy Butler hit a sacrifice fly, scoring another run, and Josh Phegley doubled, making the score 7-4.  However, Marcus Semien grounded out for the last out.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard Cher’s “Believe.”  In the bottom of the inning, Jake Smolinski singled, but the A’s got nothing else.  In fact, after that hit, the A’s would make six consecutive outs.  Instead of using relief pitchers like John Axford, Sean Doolittle, or Ryan Madson for the eighth and ninth innings, Bob Melvin went with Daniel Coulombe and Zach Neal, who both pitched on Monday night.  They gave up the runs that put the game out of reach.  Coulombe gave up a home run, making the score 8-4 in the eighth inning.  In the ninth inning, Neal gave up hits to four of the first five batters, including two doubles, and the score was 10-4 after the last out.  We saw the Flex Cam, although on Pride Night, I thought it was going to be the YMCA Cam.  In the bottom of the ninth inning, Josh Phegley was hit by a pitch, and he was taken out for Tyler Ladendorf to pinch run.  Marcus Semien singled.  Smolinski struck out.  Yonder Alonso doubled for two runs, making the score 10-6.  Billy Burns grounded out, with Alonso moving to third base.  Jed Lowrie struck out looking for the last out of the game, although he disagreed with the call.  Earlier in the game, I saw him shaking his head about something as he made his way into the dugout.  I wondered if he was disgusted at the way this season was going.  One of the radio announcers, possibly Vince Cotroneo, said that the Rangers punished Surkamp for each of his pitching mistakes.  The game began at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 62 degrees, and it ended at 10:15.  The attendance was 13,101, although it looked like there were more people in the stands than on Monday night, when the attendance was 13,453.  The night was cold and windy, and I was eager to get home.  On the radio, Chris Townsend expressed disbelief that Surkamp was sent out to pitch this game.  When I got home, I saw William Holden on The Dick Cavett Show from 1972.  Sammy Davis, Jr. was another guest on the show.  Some of the people who died on June 15 include James Knox Polk (1849), Art Pepper (1982), Victor French (1989), Ella Fitzgerald (1996), Hume Cronyn (2003), Casey Kasem (2014), and Daniel Keyes (2014).  Today is a birthday for Ice Cube (47), Helen Hunt (53), and Jim Belushi (62).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 15, the remake of “Stagecoach,” starring Ann-Margret, Bing Crosby, Slim Pickens, and Keenan Wynn, was released in 1966.  In 1974, the John Denver album “Back Home Again,” featuring “Annie’s Song,” was released.  In 1988, “Bull Durham” was released.  In 2007, Bob Barker’s final appearance as the host of “The Price is Right” aired on CBS.

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