Kendall Graveman’s Bump in the Road

I awoke and watched CBS This Morning and the chef segment.  Daniel Bruce’s signature recipes include Wild mushroom polenta, Pan-seared diver scallops and cider butter sauce, Native sweet corn pudding, Roasted harvest vegetables, Raisins on a log, and Indian summer.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on September 6, 1975 were “One of These Nights,” “Could It Be Magic,” “Fight the Power (Part 1),” “Fame,” “Jive Talkin’,” “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” “At Seventeen,” “Get Down Tonight,” “Fallin’ in Love,” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”  After doing some grocery shopping, I took the bus out to the Fruitvale BART station and went to the Coliseum.  A’s fans were hoping for a good pitching performance from Kendall Graveman against the Mariners, but it didn’t happen.  He allowed a double and a single to the first two batters of the game.  He got a double play ground ball, although it scored a run.  However, another double and another single gave the Mariners a second run.  The third out came on that last hit when the runner was caught in a rundown that went 9-2-6-3-6.  Felix Hernandez had 22 wins against the A’s over the years.  He allowed singles by Joey Wendle and Stephen Vogt in the bottom of the first inning, but he escaped without allowing any runs.  Graveman got out of the second inning with the score unchanged, giving up only a two-out single.  In the bottom of the inning, Danny Valencia walked, but Ryon Healy hit into a double play.  That was unfortunate, because Bruce Maxwell and Jake Smolinksi both followed with singles.  Wendle hit a ball that went for a 1-4-3 out, so the A’s still hadn’t scored a run yet.  Hernandez clamped down and allowed only a two-out single by Healy and a two-out double by Alonso through the rest of his six innings for the day.  Ken Korach on the radio repeated the saying about pitchers that you have to get to them early.  He also talked about Vin Scully’s career that lasted eight years in Brooklyn and 58 years in Los Angeles.  This game was decided in the top of the third inning when nine Mariners batted.  Graveman allowed a walk, a single, and another walk to load the bases with no outs.  Curt Young went out to the mound to say something to Graveman, but whatever it was, it didn’t work, because Nelson Cruz hit Graveman’s first pitch for a double and two runs.  After a strikeout and an intentional walk to load the bases again, Graveman allowed a single for another run.  A force out gave the Mariners another run before a ground ball to Yonder Alonso at first base finally ended the inning with the Mariners ahead, 6-0.  Graveman had a clean inning in the fourth, and he allowed a single but no runs in the fifth.  However, he allowed two singles to the Mariners’ eighth and ninth hitters, and then double for two more runs, prompting Bob Melvin to bring in J.B. Wendelken.  It was frustrating to see Graveman give up two hits to a player whose batting average to start the day was .083.  Since that last runner took third base on a throw to home plate, and there were still no outs, it looked as though Graveman would be charged another run before the inning was over, but Wendleken got two strikeouts and another out on a good catch of a line drive by Alonso.  Graveman had allowed eight runs in six innings.  His ERA was 3.81 to start the day, but now was 4.13.  Rickey Henderson was missing from the Big Head race, and Dennis Eckersley finished ahead of Rollie Fingers.  While Wendleken had prevented one run from scoring, he immediately gave up one of his own with a home run to start the top of the seventh inning.  After a walk and a single, he got a strikeout, but then he allowed two singles and a walk before Melvin took him out.  Chris Smith came in and allowed a walk and a single before getting the last out.  After all of this, the score was 14-0.  With Hernandex out of the game, the A’s managed to score a run in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Healy and Maxwell singled.  After Smolinksi popped out to shortstop, Wendle hit a ground ball that went for an error by the third baseman, but the run scored.  That got an empty cheer from the crowd, as the score was now 14-1.  After letting three runs come in, Smith got seven consecutive outs to end the game, getting clean innings in the eighth and ninth.  Maybe the Mariners were just tired at this point.  The A’s did get more runs in the eighth inning.  With two outs, Max Muncy walked and Ryon Healy hit a home run to make the score 14-3.  In the ninth inning, the A’s went down quietly, as Chad Pinder, Joey Wendle, and Arismendy Alcantara all made outs.  The game had started at 1:07 with a game time temperature of 65 degrees, and it ended at 4:10.  The attendance was 18,438.  Stephen Vogt had a video message saying that he would be out by third base after the game to talk about the Lord.  I heard that they set up some boards to have people demonstrate some karate chops, too.  I couldn’t hang around because I didn’t have the special ticket.  Ken Korach called this performance by Kendall Graveman a “bump in the road.”  On my way home, I listened to Elton John’s “Blue Moves” album.  Some of the people who died on September 11 include Lorne Greene (1987), Peter Tosh (1987), Jessica Tandy (1994), Kim Hunter (2002), Johnny Unitas (2002), John Ritter (2003), Jim Carroll (2009), Larry Gelbart (2009), Harold Gould (2010), and Kevin McCarthy (2010).  Today is a birthday for Moby (51), Virginia Madsen (55), and Lola Falana (74).

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