Daniel Mengden’s Fumble

I took the bus out to the Coliseum.  It was a good afternoon for baseball.  The A’s starting pitcher was Daniel Mengden, and the visiting team was the Milwaukee Brewers.  Mengden pitched a clean first inning for a promising beginning.  In the bottom of the inning, Coco Crisp doubled with one out, but neither Jed Lowrie nor Danny Valencia could bring him in.  In the second inning, Mengden allowed a walk with one out, but a line drive to Yonder Alonso at first base ended the inning with a double play.  The A’s did nothing in the bottom of the inning.  Mengden gave up three singles in the third inning, which loaded the bases with one out.  A fly ball didn’t score a run, and Mengden escaped the jam by striking out the next batter.  The A’s again did nothing in the bottom of the inning.  Mengden pitched a clean fourth inning.  Coco Crisp scored the game’s first run when he swung at the first pitch in the bottom of the inning for a home run.  Valencia would hit a single with one out, but no more runs came.  Mengden could not produce the shutdown inning in the fifth.  He struck out the first batter, but then gave up a double, and Coco Crisp’s throwing error let the runner get to third base. The next batter bunted, but Mengden couldn’t handle the ball to catch the runner between third base and home.  The play went as a sacrifice bunt and a fielder’s choice and no error.  It would be a key play in the game, because after a ground out, Mengden gave up a home run, and suddenly the score was 3-1.  The A’s went down quietly again in the bottom of the fifth inning.  Mengden pitched the sixth inning and got three strikeouts, although he did allow a single with two outs.  That was the end of his afternoon on the mound.  The A’s got a walk from Coco Crisp with one out in the bottom of the inning, but that was all.  We saw a Big Head race, and Rickey Henderson won handily.  I had to wonder if I was seeing the same Rollie Fingers as in the past.  Fernando Rodriguez pitched the top of the seventh inning, and he allowed a single with two outs, but the Brewers didn’t score.  After the seventh inning stretch, the A’s did so something, scoring one run with two singles, one each from Yonder Alonso and Max Muncy.  Arismendy Alcantara went into the game as a pinch runner for Muncy, and he stole a base.  However, Stephen Vogt, pinch hitting for Josh Phegley, struck out.  The score was 3-2.  Liam Hendriks entered the game in the top of the eighth inning, and he got the first two batters out, but then he gave up a damaging home run that gave the Brewers a 4-2 lead.  After giving up a single on a 3-2 pitch, Hendriks was taken out, and Marc Rzepczynski took over.  He allowed a hit on his first pitch.  How many times did that happen with the relief pitchers recently?  Rzepczynski did get the third out on his second pitch, however.  Billy Burns was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the inning, but Crisp, Lowrie, and Valencia all made outs.  Rzepczynski faced two batters in the top of the ninth inning.  He got one out and then allowed a single, so Bob Melvin brought in Ryan Madson, who allowed a single to the first batter he faced, although it wasn’t on the first pitch.  Madson got out of the inning with a double play ground ball.  In the bottom of the inning, Khris Davis grounded out, and Yonder Alonso hit a ball that the Brewers’ shortstop caught in foul ground.  Marcus Semien extended the inning with a walk on a 3-2 pitch.  Billy Butler came in to pinch hit for Alcantara, and he swung at the first pitch and sent the ball to the left field wall, momentarily giving the home fans some hope.  However, the fly ball descended before it could reach the fence for the last out of the game.  Chris Townsend on the postgame radio show would say that the play was representative of the team’s performance this season, always falling short of success.  The game began at 12:37 with a game time temperature of 66 degrees, and it ended at 3:31.  The attendance was 13,586.  Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, and Josh Phegley were the starting players who were unable to get on base during the game.  This was certainly a forgettable game from a team that looked like it didn’t have much.  The team may improve somewhat with Josh Reddick and Rich Hill set to return, but I would have to think that trades are coming in the near future.  I was hungry and tired.  I stopped to buy a hamburger on my way home.  I had the television on and saw five of The Brady Bunch on the Family Feud from 1983.  I also saw Match Game from 1973 with a panel that had Bob Barker, Arlene Francis, Michael Learned, Richard Thomas, and Della Reese.  “Rosemary’s Baby” was on one of the movie channels, and I wanted to stay up to see the end of it again.  Fred Astaire was on The Dick Cavett Show.  Some of the people who died on June 23 include Jonas Salk (1995), Shana Alexander (2005), Aaron Spelling (2006), Ed McMahon (2009), Peter Falk (2011), and Dick Van Patten (2015).  Today is a birthday for Joss Whedon (52) and Randy Jackson (60).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 23, George Harrison’s “Living in the Material World” was Number One on the album chart in 1973.  In 1976, “Logan’s Run” was released.  In 1980, David Letterman’s daytime talk show debuted on NBC.

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