Sonny Gray’s Elevated Pitches

I went out to do my laundry.  I bought patches for my jeans and took a nap.  I watched the TMZ television show and listened to them talk about Richard Simmons.  I almost forgot about my estimated tax payments, but I sent them off before I took the bus out to the Coliseum.  I didn’t want to see any rain on a June day.  It was about 6:15 when I got to my seat.  I listened to the radio.  Vince Cotroneo was talking with Rollie Fingers about the 1972 World Series.  Sonny Gray was pitching for the A’s, so fans of the home team were hopeful of seeing a win.  Gray got six of the first seven Rangers batters out, allowing a single with one out in the first inning.  Meanwhile, the first six A’s batters of the night all made outs.  Gray allowed two singles in the top of the third inning, but a double play helped him out, so the score was still 0-0 going to the bottom of the third.  That was the point where the A’s scored their first runs of the night.  Marcus Semien singled in front of Jake Smolinski’s home run.  Billy Burns doubled with one out, and he went to third base on a throwing error.  He scored on Danny Valencia’s single, making the score 3-0.  The A’s were unable to score any more runs in the inning, with Khris Davis and Billy Butler making outs.  Before the fourth inning, Kara Tsuboi gave a fan a trivia question about the Mona Lisa, which turned out to be a lead-in for a marriage proposal.  The woman didn’t say no.  Gray allowed a walk with two outs in the top of the fourth inning, but Josh Phegley threw to first base to catch the runner too far from the base for the third out.  In the bottom of the inning, the A’s scored two more runs.  Phegley and Smolinksi walked, and with two outs, and after a pitching change, Billy Burns doubled for one RBI.  Another run came in on an error by the Texas centerfielder.  As it would turn out, for the rest of the game, the A’s on offense would get only a Butler double in the fifth inning and a single from Alonso with two outs in the sixth inning.  Stomper showed up near my seat before the start of the fifth inning.  He danced on top of the seats.  I should have taken out my phone to get a good photo, but I haven’t reached the point where I want to document everything.  Gray pitched a clean fifth inning.  However, the sixth inning was a different matter.  He allowed a home run on a 1-2 pitch, making the score 5-1.  He then gave up two consecutive doubles, which made the score 5-2.  There was some concern at this point.  Gray got the first out on a ground ball, but the runner at second went to third on the play.  A sacrifice fly made the score 5-3.  Gray then gave up a single and then a home run, so suddenly the score was 5-5.  The radio announcers said that Gray’s pitches were elevated.  Gray did get the last out on ball that went to centerfield.  John Axford started the top of the seventh inning.  He got the first batter out, but then gave up a home run, so now the Rangers were ahead, 6-5.  After a walk and a strikeout, Bob Melvin brought in Sean Doolittle, who got a strikeout.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.”  Doolittle pitched the top of the eighth inning and got the first two batters out before allowing a long home run on a high fastball that players weren’t supposed to hit.  The score was now 7-5.  Ryan Madson pitched the top of the ninth inning.  He allowed a walk with two outs but kept the Rangers from scoring in a third consecutive inning.  He was the only A’s pitcher of the night not to have surrendered a home run.  Bob Melvin sent Coco Crisp to pinch hit for Smolinksi in the bottom of the night, but the A’s went down to defeat quietly.  Billy Burns made the last out on a ground ball.  This sure was a deflating loss.  The game had started at 7:07 with a game time temperature of degrees and ended at 10:15.  I just wanted to get home quickly so that I could get something to eat and go to sleep.  Weather reports called for rain in the morning, but I hoped that would not be the case.  I watched Robert Mitchum on the Dick Cavett Show in 1971.  He gave no indications of being a racist.  He said that he hadn’t seen the movie “The French Connection.”  Some of the people who died on June 16 include George Reeves (1959), Brian Piccolo (1970), Nicholas Ray (1979), Mel Allen (1996), Susan Tyrrell (2012), and Tony Gwynn (2014).  Today is a birthday for John Cho (44) and Laurie Metcalf (61).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 16, the War album “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” was released in 1975.  Also in 1975, Peter Frampton played the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, the first of the concerts to be recorded for the “Frampton Comes Alive!” album.  In 1978, “Jaws 2,” starring Roy Scheider but not directed by Steven Spielberg, was released.

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