Eric Surkamp’s Progress

I woke up and watched CBS Sunday Morning.  My parents phoned me and talked about the heat wave. I walked out to Trader Joe’s.  They were out of pepperoni pizzas.  I waited for a bus to take me to the Coliseum.  I got to the season ticket holder line just as the gates were opening.  The giveaway was a pack of baseball cards, although I wasn’t really interested in the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The starting pitcher for the A’s on this Father’s Day was Eric Surkamp, whose record was 0-4 with an 8.07 ERA, so we weren’t expected much, but we would be pleasantly surprised.  We saw Zach Neal’s father, Stephen Vogt’s father, and Marcus Semien’s grandfather throw out the first pitch.  We also saw Stomper walking around the stadium with his father Stanley.  Surkamp gave up a single and a walk to start the game.  A fly ball to right field advanced the runner at second base to third, and a force out that wasn’t quite a double play scored the run for the Angels.  Surkamp allowed a single to start the second inning, but a double play helped him out.  He allowed a walk and a single in the third inning, but also got two strikeouts in keeping the score at 1-0.  Surkamp had a clean inning in the fourth.  He made a mistake with a home run to start the fifth inning, although he didn’t fall apart.  He got the three outs, allowing a single with two outs.  He gave the A’s a sixth inning.  He got two outs before allowing a single, but then he picked off the runner.  That was how his afternoon ended.  The Big Head race was a strange one, with a short Rickey Henderson jumping out to a huge lead with Rollie Fingers and Dennis Eckersley standing around.  Eck made it close at the finish line, but Rickey still was the winner.  Liam Henrik returned to the team and pitched two clean innings in the seventh and eighth.  Ryan Madson pitched the top of the ninth inning and allowed just a single with one out.  There weren’t any real highlights on offense for the A’s.  I counted 11 A’s batters who made outs on the second pitch, with one double play in there.  Two A’s batters made an out on the first pitch.  They had only four men on base during the entire game.  Stephen Vogt walked with two outs in the first inning, Yonder Alonso singled with one out in the second inning, and Billy Butler singled twice, leading off the fifth and eighth innings.  The first Butler hit was a wasted hit because he tried to stretch it to a double and was thrown out.  He is a very slow runner and shouldn’t have gambled.  Ultimately, it didn’t make a difference.  The A’s played a lackluster and forgettable game.  They were shut out for the third time this season.  If Graveman and Surkamp can continue to improve and also be consistent, then this losing weekend wasn’t all for naught.  The game began at 1:07 with a game time temperature of 82 degrees, and it ended at 3:26.  It went quickly because the A’s didn’t get anyone on base, and there were no pitching changes in the middle of innings.  As I made my way to the BART station, plenty of Warriors fans were heading in the opposite direction for Game 7 against the Cavaliers.  I listened to a Paul McCartney album on the day after his birthday.  I watched a Beach Boys special on the day before Brian Wilson’s birthday.  I watched all of the basketball game.  Draymond Green made a lot of three-point shots.  Late in the game, Stephen Curry tried one of those bad behind-the-back passes and also missed two three-point shots.  The Cavaliers got a nearly fatal three-point shot, and LeBron James delivered the dagger with a free throw.  The final score was 93-89, and the Warriors were the first team in history go from a 3-1 advantage to lose in seven games in the NBA Finals.  I don’t have to worry about buying more championship hats and shirts, or making my way through victory parade traffic on Tuesday.  Sports fans here were devastated.  I found this loss sad and upsetting, but I won’t go through a two-week depression or anything like that.  Some of the people who died on June 20 include Bugsy Siegel (1947), Estelle Winwood (1984), LeRoy Neiman (2012), and Andrew Sarris (2012).  Today is a birthday for John Goodman (64), Lionel Richie (67), and Brian Wilson (74).

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