Daniel Mengden’s So-So Numbers

I woke up and watched CBS Sunday Morning.  I was interested in the segment on Weird Al Yankovic and David Edelstein’s review of “The BFG.”  I went out to walk by the library and then Trader Joe’s I thought I’d buy a pizza for the holiday.  I listened to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on the radio as I took the bus out to the Coliseum.  The giveaway was a tote bag.  I saw Sonny Gray using one out on the field.  The A’s were trying to salvage the last game of this three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Ken Korach on the radio kept describing the Pirates as an athletic team.  I thought that the A’s were supposed to be the athletic team.  Daniel Mengden was the starting pitcher for the A’s, and he did well in the first four innings, keeping the Pirates from scoring.  He allowed one hit in each of the first three innings, and one walk in the third inning.  He had a clean inning in the fourth.  We heard “All Right Now” before the A’s came to bat in the bottom of the first inning.  They did nothing in the first inning, but they score two turns in the second inning.  With one out, Khris Davis singled and Billy Butler doubled for the game’s first run.  Jake Smolinski’s single moved Butler to third base, and Matt McBride’s ground out scored Butler.  The 2-0 score held up until the top of the fifth inning.  Mengden gave up a double and a walk to get into trouble.  Mengden picked up a bunt and threw quickly to third base to get the force out.  He hit the next batter on a 3-0 pitch to load the bases, and a single produced two runs for the Pirates.  The A’s did respond in the bottom of the inning.  McBride doubled.  Tyler Ladendorf grounded out, and was unable to move the runner over.  Coco Crisp singled, giving the A’s the lead again at 3-2.  Marcus Semien hit a ball that hit the security guard’s chair and was ruled a ground rule double so that Crisp couldn’t score.  The ground rule double was strangely prevalent in this series.  Josh Reddick and Danny Valencia both flied out, unable to bring in more runs.  Valencia was having a bad series.  Mengden couldn’t come up with the shutdown inning.  He started the sixth with a walk.  A force play wasn’t a double play because of Ladendorf’s throw to first base, and a triple tied the game at 3-3.  A walk on four pitches, along with a pitch count that was nearing 100, seemed to indicate that Mengden was tiring.  Mengden was facing a batter whose average was .079.  Mengden couldn’t field a ground ball, and it went for a single and another Pirates run.  That was the end for Mengden, and Ken Korach would say that this was the first time this season that he had so-so numbers.  Marc Rzepczynski intentionally walked the next batter, then got a strikeout.  Bob Melvin made another pitching change to Liam Hendricks, who got a strikeout to finally end the inning.  In the bottom of the inning, Khris Davis doubled.  Yonder Alonso, pinch-hitting for Butler, hit a fly ball to center, moving Davis to third base.  Smolinski walked.  Stephen Vogt pinch hit for McBride and hit a line drive, but it went to first base for a double play.  Rickey Henderson was back for a Big Head race, but Rollie Fingers won for the 35th time.  Hendriks got through the top of the seventh inning facing only three batters.  He was helped by Semien on a 6-3 double play.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard Katy Perry’s “Firework.”  In the bottom inning, Ladendorf managed a hit.  His batting average to start the day was .080.  Crisp also singled, and Ladendorf went to third base on the play.  It was a big opportunity to at least tie the game with a runner at third base and no outs.  However, Marcus Semien struck out, Josh Reddick hit a fly ball that the second baseman caught, and Danny Valencia struck out.  These wasted opportunities indicated why the A’s were a losing team.  Fernando Rodriguez came out to pitch the top of the seventh inning.  He got the first out on a ground ball, but had to leave the game after a 1-2 pitch to the next batter.  This looked like bad news after Sean Doolittle and Josh Phegley were both placed on the disabled list.  John Axford came in and gave up a single.  After a fly ball to right, he gave up a home run that Ken Korach described as a potential backbreaker.  Axford sure hasn’t been pitching too well.  He allowed another single before getting the third out.  The score was 6-3, and the A’s had two innings to score three runs.  In the bottom of the eighth inning, Davis struck out, but Alonso singled.  Smolinski hit into a double play.  Daniel Coulombo was the losing pitcher on Saturday night, and he flirted with some trouble in this ninth inning by getting to a 3-2 count to the first two batters, but he had a clean inning with two strikeouts and a fly ball to right.  In the bottom of the inning, Vogt hit a ground ball back to the pitcher for the first out.  Melvin didn’t send in a pinch-hitter for Ladendorf, who hit a line drive back to the pitcher for the second out.  I took a photo of Coco Crisp stepping into the batter’s box because I wouldn’t be seeing the team again until the 15th.  Crisp struck out to end the game.  The game had started at 1:07 with a game time temperature of 69 degrees, and it ended at 4:42.  It was a long game for one that went nine innings.  The attendance was 21,831.  I hurried home to listen to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN.  He played tracks for a new edition of Van Morrison’s “It’s Too Late to Stop Now” album.  I watched a 60 Minutes segment on Michael Caine.  I tried to watch the Columbo episode “The Conspirators,” but I fell asleep.  Some of the people who died on July 4 include John Adams (1826), Thomas Jefferson (1826), James Monroe (1831), Marie Curie (1934), Eva Gabor (1995), Charles Kuralt (1997), and Barry White (2003).  Today is a birthday for Geraldo Rivera (73), Bill Withers (78), Gina Lollobrigida (89), and Eva Marie Saint (92).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 4, Diana Ross began her first solo world concert tour at Giants Stadium in The Meadowlands, New Jersey in 1982.  In 1983, Wayne Newton replace The Beach Boys at an Independence Day celebration.  In 1995, Eva Gabor died in Los Angeles of respiratory failure and pneumonia at age 76.

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