Zach Neal’s Location

I woke up and watched CBS Sunday Morning.  I saw segments about matchbooks and Chinese food containers.  I heard Charlize Theron talking about Christian Dior.  My parents phoned me.  I went out to the coffee shop for a pineapple smoothie, and then I went out to the BART station.  When I got to the Coliseum, plenty of season ticket holders were already in line to get onto the field.  Bob Melvin, various A’s players, and the three Big Heads were shaking hands, signing autographs, and posing for photos.  The day’s giveaway was a Sonny Gray car sunshade.  I did see Sonny Gray on the field briefly, wearing a BillyBall T-shirt and signing autographs.  Zach Neal was the starting pitcher for the A’s.  In his previous game, he gave a good effort against the Orioles, but the Mariners were playing better on this afternoon.  Neal gave up a single to the first batter of the game, but then he got the next three out.  Neal gave up a big home run to start the second inning, but then got the next three Mariners out with the help of a good catch by Khris Davis in left field.  Marcus Semien got a double in the bottom of the first inning, but the A’s didn’t score until one out in the second, when Ryon Healy hit a home run to tie the score at 1-1.  Neal couldn’t shut down the Mariners in the third inning, as he allowed two doubles and a single, which produced two runs.  The second out was a play that was reviewed and overturned.  Tyler Ladendorf had the ball in his glove for an instant before trying to transfer the ball to throw and complete a double play.  In the fourth inning, Neal hit the first batter with a pitch.  After an out to right field, the A’s appeared to get a double play to end the inning, but the play was reviewed, and the runner at second base was ruled safe.  I thought that conclusive proof was required to overturn a play, but it wasn’t clear to me that Ladendorf’s back foot was not on the base.  This judgment was costly to the A’s, because Neal gave up a hit and a run to the next batter, making the score 4-1.  Neal gave up a single and a walk with two outs in the fifth inning, but got the last out on ground ball.  He started the sixth inning with a ground out to first, but then allowed a single, prompting Bob Melvin to call for Daniel Coulombe.  Coulombe proceeded to walk his first batter on four pitches, which not only had to drive Bob Melvin crazy, but also set up the disaster that decided the game.  Coulombe gave up a single to load the bases, and then a double for three runs.  The runner was caught between second and third, or else the inning could have been worse.  The play went 8-4-3-5-6.  The A’s had been doing nothing on offense since the Healy home run, except for a single by Davis and a walk by Healy in the fourth inning.  In the sixth inning, the A’s got a couple of runs back on a single by Danny Valencia followed by a home run by Khris Davis, his 30th of the season.  That made the score 7-3.  In the Big Head race, Rollie Fingers barely won with Dennis Eckersley right at his side.  Coulombe pitched a clean seventh inning.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.”  In the bottom of the inning, the A’s got a bit closer when Brett Eibner hit a home run, making the score 7-4.  However, Ladendorf, Maxwell, and Semien all followed with outs.  After we heard Van Halen’s “Jump,” Coulombe allowed a single.  The runner would steal second base, take third base on a ground out, and come home on a single.  Jake Smolinski made a good catch of a fly ball to end the inning.  In the bottom of the inning, Valencia and Butler singled, and Yonder Alonso came in to pinch-hit for Healy, but he struck out of the third out.  That was the last real chance for the A’s in this game.  We heard “The Twist” before the ninth inning started.  Chris Smith took the mound, and he walked the first batter on four pitches.  After seeing him on the field with his family on the field before the game the other day, I wanted to see Smith get out of the inning without giving up any runs.  He got two fly balls and a strikeout to keep the score at 8-4.  In the bottom of the ninth, Eibner couldn’t repeat his magic, and he grounded out.  Ladendorf had started the day with a .070 batting average, and he had already made three outs, but he hit a single this time.  Stephen Vogt came in to pinch-hit for Maxwell, but he flied out.  Semien hit a ball to third for the last out of the game.  This game began at 1:07 with a game time temperature of 65 degrees, and it ended at 3:58.  The attendance was 21,203.  The A’s record on the homestand was only 4-6, but the Angels had lost ten consecutive games, so the A’s were in fourth place.  I headed home, listening to Elton John’s “Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player” along the way.  I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN.  He played tracks by Jason Isbell, Parker Millsap, Bonnie Raitt, Chris Stapleton, Alabama Shakes, and Margo Price.  I watched the Columbo episode “Short Fuse.”  I saw an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour with Richard Long and Anne Francis.  One of the episodes had Bob Newhart and Jane Withers, and I thought it was hard to believe that Bob Newhart could be a murderer.  Some of the people who died on August 15 include Macbeth (1057), Will Rogers (1935), Artur Schnabel (1951), René Magritte (1967), and Jerry Wexler (2008).  Today is a birthday for Jennifer Lawrence (26), Debra Messing (48), and Rose Marie (93).

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