Jharel Cotton’s Brilliant Six Innings

I went to work, and the hot afternoon drained me of all my energy.  I shopped at Trader Joe’s and returned home to have my late lunch and take a nap.  I went to the office briefly to wrote on notes before taking BART over to the Coliseum.  Nobody was anxious to see this losing team in the A’s.  The field looked like it was in better shape than expected a day after a football game.  Jharel Cotton was the very promising pitcher for the A’s, and he worked a very strong six innings, throwing 75 pitches and allowing only two Astros to reach base.  With one out in the second inning, he gave up a home run, and with two outs in the fourth, he allowed a single.  The A’s didn’t do much on offense.  In the first inning, Joey Wendle walked, but Valencia followed by grounding into a double play.  In the second inning, Ryon Healy tied the score with a home run.  Bruce Maxwell also hit a home run, putting the A’s ahead, 2-1.  In the third inning, Valencia walked with two outs.  Stephen Vogt appeared to reach base on an error, but after a review of the play, the call was overturned.  The A’s did nothing in the fourth and fifth innings.  In the sixth inning, Valencia doubled with one out.  He moved to third on Vogt’s ground out, but Khris Davis couldn’t bring him in. Ryan Dull pitching the top of the seventh inning, and he had a clean inning.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Shake a Tail Feather.”  In the bottom of the inning, the A’s did nothing, although Maxwell hit the ball well in lining out to center.  Bob Melvin went to Daniel Coulombe to start the eighth inning.  Coulombe got the first batter out, but then allowed a single.  Melvin brought in Zach Neal, who allowed a double to tie the score at 2-2.  After a walk and a force out, Melvin called for Ryan Madson, who played a good play on a ground ball, throwing the ball to first for the last out and preserving the tie.  In the bottom of the inning, Matt Olson drew a walk with one out.  Arismendy Alcantara came in to pinch-run and he stole second base.  Wendle grounded out, with Alcantara moving to third base.  Somehow, I doubted that Danny Valencia could come up with the big hit, and he didn’t, grounding out to end the inning.  Madson had a rough time in the ninth inning.  A hit dropped in front of Danny Valencia, reminding us of how good Josh Reddick was in right field.  Another single went through the right side of the infield, with Wendle moving to cover second base.  After an intentional walk to load the bases, still with no outs, Madson gave up the fateful hit that gave the Astros two runs.  Madson certainly has not been one of my favorite pitchers this season.  He went to a 3-1 count to the next batter, but got a 5-4-3 double play, and the following batter grounded out to Healy at third base.  In the bottom of the inning, Vogt struck out on three pitches.  Khris Davis also struck out.  Healy was unable to get on base, popping out to second to end the game.  It wasn’t too discouraging a loss, with Cotton pitching so well and Healy coming up with a big hit.  The offense was quiet, with only three hits and three walks.  The A’s couldn’t carry their winning ways on the road trip over to the Coliseum.  This game began at 7:06, one moment before the time changed to 7:07, with a game time temperature of 72 degrees, and it ended at 9:48.  The attendance was 10,072.  Jharel Cotton maintained his 1.50 ERA.  I hurried on home.  I watched sports highlights.  The Giants blew another game in the ninth inning, losing 2-1.  The Eagles won their game.  I watched some Match Game before going to bed.  Two of the people who died on September 20 include Jean Sibelius (1957) and Jim Croce (1973).  Today is a birthday for Sophia Loren (82).

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