Sonny Gray’s First Win of 2017

I went over to the office and did some work before I took a lunch break.  I looked around the record store and bought the Diana Ross with “Love Hangover” on it for fifty cents.  I did some grading of papers before heading to the BART station to the Coliseum.  The giveaway was a beanie with the A’s and San Jose Sharks logos in the Sharks colors.  The two mascots hung out together a lot during the night.  I went over to the Curveball Sliders food truck.  It was pretty good food.  I bought a Creamsicle shake from Lexie’s and headed for my seat.  Sonny Gray was the A’s starting pitcher.  The team had just returned from another tough road trip during which they lost five out of six games.  The Red Sox had traveled from St. Louis, where they had won an extra-inning game.  Gray had a rough first inning.  He gave up singles to the game’s first two batters, although the second was a ground ball that Trevor Plouffe charged and couldn’t come up with.  Annoyingly, the runner took third place on the play.  There was no error on the play.  A single gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead, and then Gray walked the next batter to load the bases.  A sacrifice made the score 2-0, and then a ball to left field ended the inning.  Gray did throw 31 pitches in the inning.  The A’s did answer in the bottom of the inning.  Rajai Davis singled, although he was thrown out trying to steal second base.  After Matt Joyce walked, Jed Lowrie hit a home run to tie the score, and Khris Davis followed with a strong swing on a 0-2 count for another home run.  Gray pitched clean innings in the second and third, with some defensive help from Joyce and Adam Rosales.  In the fourth inning, Gray allowed a home run to tie the game at 3-3.  He walked a batter with one out, and the runner stole second base, but Gray got the next two batters out.  The A’s again answered in the bottom of the inning.  Ryon Healy singled, and after Stephen Vogt made an out, Trevor Plouffe doubled, with Healy going all the way around the bases for a run.  Chad Pinder swung at the next pitch and hit a home run, making the score 6-3.  Gray finished his night on the mound with a flourish, pitching clean innings in the fifth and sixth innings.  In the bottom of the sixth inning, the A’s scored again.  Stephen Vogt walked and Trevor Plouffe singled.  They moved up the bases on a wild pitch, but Pinder struck out.  Rosales brought in Vogt with a single, and Plouffe scored on a force play that wasn’t quite a double play on Rajai Davis’ ground ball.  This made up a bit for Rajai’s baserunning, as he doubled in the third inning but was thrown out at third base on the pop-up slide.  He had trouble staying on the base on two plays during the game.  The play was frustrating because Joyce and Lowrie followed it with two singles.  Instead of a Big Head race, we saw video of Randy Johnson’s perfect game, which happened thirteen years ago on this date.  Liam Hendriks pitched a clean seventh inning.  In the bottom of the inning, Khris Davis singled with one out, but the A’s did not score.  Frankie Montas took the mound in the top of the eighth inning.  Ken Korach on the radio said that Montas was fun to watch as he threw hard with pitches at 99 mph.  He got the first batter out, but then allowed a single and a walk before getting a strikeout.  A home run could have made the score 8-6, but Bob Melvin sent Daniel Coulombe to the mound, and he got a ground ball for the last out.  In the bottom of the inning, Plouffe doubled for his third hit of the game, although he wouldn’t score, as Pinder, Rosales, and Rajai Davis all struck out.  Everyone in the A’s starting lineup had at least one hit during the game except for Vogt, who did draw a walk and score a run.  Matt Joyce, Ryon Healy, Chad Pinder, and Adam Rosales all had one hit each.  Rajai Davis, Jed Lowrie, and Khris Davis had two hits.  Trevor Plouffe had three hits.  Ryan Madson went out to pitch the top of the ninth inning.  He gave up a single to the first batter.  A line drive to Plouffe almost went for a double play.  Madson went to a 2-1 count on the next batter before getting a ground ball that did go for a 6-4-3 double play that ended the game.  The game began at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 67 degrees, and it ended at 10:16.  The attendance was an unimpressive 12,016.  It was Sonny Gray’s first win of 2017 and his first win against the Boston Red Sox.  Three Red Sox fans sat next to me all night.  I heard that there would be a book signing before tonight’s game.  I listened to the postgame radio show.  They interviewed Sonny Gray, who had just won his first game of the season.  I made it home in time to catch the sports highlights on the eleven o’clock news.  I watched the first half of the Stephen Colbert show.  I didn’t really want to watch him continually joking about Donald Trump.  Some of the people who died on May 19 include Anne Boleyn (1536), Nathaniel Hawthorne (1864), T.E. Lawrence (1935), Booth Tarkington (1946), Charles Ives (1954), Coleman Hawkins (1969), Ogden Nash (1971), Daphne du Maurier (1989), Henry Morgan (1994), Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1994), and Morley Safer (2106).  Today is a birthday for Grace Jones (69) and Pete Townshend (72).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 19, “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” was released in 1958.  In 1962, Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy.  In 1965, Pete Townshend wrote “My Generation” on his 20th birthday.  In 1977, “Smokey and the Bandit” premiere in New York.  In 1989, “Road House” was released.  In 1995, “Die Hard with a Vengeance” was released.  In 2006, the movie version of “The Da Vinci Code,” starring Tom Hanks, opened.

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