Daniel Mengden’s Command Issue

I went out to the office and did a bit of work before taking the buses out to the Coliseum.  In the BART station, someone handed me two bags of potato chips, and on the BART bridge, someone gave me two popsicles.  The coconut popsicle was not my favorite.  I made it over to my seat and used some sunscreen.  Daniel Mengden was the A’s starting pitcher going against the Astros.  Most of his problems happened in the first two innings.  In the first, he allowed two singles and a walk with one out to load the bases.  He couldn’t quite get a double play as a run scored.  In the second inning, Smolinski did a mini-leap to catch a fly ball for the first out.  I noticed that on the radio, Ken Korach likes to use the term “mini-leap.”  Vince Cotroneo sometimes talks about a “learning curve.”  Mengden got a strikeout, and then allowed a walk to the ninth batter, whose average was only .218.  A double made the score 2-0.  A walk and a single loaded the bases, and a third walk made the score 3-0.  Mengden got three consecutive outs before allowing another single, and then got four consecutive outs, which included a clean fourth inning.  He got through the fifth inning with the score still at 3-0, although he gave up another walk and hit a batter with a pitch.  Mengden threw 100 pitches in five innings.  On offense, the A’s got a runner to second base in each of the first three innings, but they didn’t score.  They did nothing at all in the fourth and fifth innings.  Daniel Coulombe replaced Daniel Mengden in the top of the sixth inning, and he had a clean inning.  In the Big Head race, Dennis Eckersley won for the 20th time.  I thought that Rollie Fingers and Rickey Henderson had shrunk.  Coulombe allowed a walk to start the seventh inning, and then Marcus Semien made a troubling error.  He’s been showing signs of the old Marcus Semien, the one who didn’t play defense very well.  Coulombe got two strikeouts and a ground ball to get out of the jam.  On offense, Reddick hit a fly ball that dropped to the ground in a crowd of three Astros for a hit, and Vogt singled with two outs, but the A’s couldn’t break through for a score.  After we heard James Brown during the seventh inning stretch, Ryon Healy walked, but Smolinski hit a fly ball to center, and Arismendy Alcantara hit into a double play.  Alcantara had a name that everyone seemed to mispronounce.  Patrick Schuster came into the game to pitch the top of the eighth inning.  He threw ten pitches to the first batter before he gave up a double.  After getting an out, he went to another 3-2 count before allowing a walk.  He struck out the next batter, so he had a chance to get out of the inning without damage, but then he gave up a walk to load the bases, and then a single to give the Astros a 5-0 lead.  In the top of the ninth inning, he again got two outs, but then allowed a triple to make the score 6-0, and then a double to make the score 7-0.  He finally got the third out on a ball hit to Semien.  What the A’s did on offense in the last two innings was nothing.  Crisp, Semien, and Alonso all struck out, and Reddick, Davis, and Vogt all flied out to right.  The Alonso strikeout ended the game.  Crisp, Semien, and Davis were all 0-for-4 in the game.  Alcantara was 0-for-3.  Alonso also made three outs, but drew a walk.  Vogt was 1-for-4.  Healy made two outs but drew a walk.  Smolinski was 1-for-3.  Reddick had two hits, reached on an error, and flied out.  The A’s had only four hits in the game, with Reddick’s single and double, Vogt’s single, and Smolinski’s single.  They got only two walks, one from Alonso and one from Healy.  After the wild victory on Tuesday night, the A’s looked flat.  It was one of the forgettable home games of the year.  The game started at 12:37 with a game time temperature of 65 degrees, and it ended at 3:43.  The attendance was 20,231.  I made my way to Target in Emeryville, where I looked for school supplies.  I bought four notebooks and a pack of dry erase markers.  I walked over to Barnes and Noble, where I bought the Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition of “The In-Laws.”  I stopped for a hamburger on my way home.  In front of my door, I had a UPS package which had my Cal football tickets.  I watched the end of the Twilight Zone episode “The Little People,” and then the Star Trek episode “Tomorrow is Yesterday.”  One program was about the moon landing.  “Fun with Dick and Jane” with Jane Fonda and George Segal was on one of the movie channels.  After the game on Sunday, I’ll have to catch up on my movies.  I was interested in “Ghostbusters,” “Microbe and Gasoline,” “Café Society,” and “Star Trek Beyond.”  I didn’t want to hear any more news about Ted Cruz getting booed.  Some of the people who died on July 21 include D.W. Griffith (1948), Jimmie Foxx (1967), Basil Rathbone (1967), Dave Garroway (1982), Alan Shepard (1998), Robert Young (1998), Jerry Goldsmith (2004), Mako (2006), Theodore Bikel (2015), and E.L. Doctorow (2015).

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