Sonny Gray’s Six Strong Frames

I had the day off from work.  I took the buses out to the Fruitvale BART station and got to the Coliseum before eleven o ‘clock.  I heard a couple of people complain about the confusion at the season ticket holder line.  Some motorcycle racers were in the plaza promoting Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2017, which was happening this weekend.  I went over to the team store and saw that someone had bought the gray Stephen Vogt jersey which was marked 70 percent off, so I bought the expensive Reggie Jackson jersey.  I headed to the food trucks and bought a fish po’ boy.  Vince Cotroneo bought a lot of food from Mario’s French Dips and posted a photo of it on Twitter.  I made my way to my seat.  The stands were fairly empty for this afternoon game with the A’s and White Sox, despite the presence of groups of kids.  Yonder Alonso received his All-Star jersey, and Jed Lowrie clapped briefly during the presentation.  We heard James Brown’s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” before the start of the game.  Sonny Gray got seven consecutive outs to start the game before he allowed a single on a ground ball that looked like it would end up in Lowrie’s glove.  Gray got the next two batters out before he allowed a double to start the fourth inning on a ball that sent Jaycob Brugman on a strange route to the centerfield wall, according to Ken Korach on the radio.  A line drive back to Brugman was the first out, and a line drive double play ended the inning.  While Sonny Gray was keeping the White Sox from scoring during the first four innings, the A’s were building a lead.  Matt Joyce started the first inning with a double.  Jed Lowrie singled to move Joyce to third base, and Khris Davis hit into a 4-3 double play, but Joyce scored on that play.  In the third inning with one out, Lowrie singled for the second time.  After Khris Davis made an out, Yonder Alonso walked, and then Bruce Maxwell doubled to make the score 3-0.  With one out in the fourth inning with one out, Brugman hit a 3-2 pitch over the fence, just to the left of the 388-foot marker in left center field.  After a pitching change, Rajai Davis singled and stole two bases, and Matt Joyce walked and stole second base, setting up the chance for Jed Lowrie to drive in two runs, which he did with his third consecutive single.  I turned to my left and saw a fan working on a crossword puzzle, which I couldn’t understand.  Why pay for a ticket for a seat if you’re going to do puzzles?  Khris Davis hit into a second double play, and that ended the fourth inning.  Sonny Gray’s ERA had gone down from 4.09 to 3.87 during the first four innings, but in the fifth, we walked the first batter and got to a 2-1 count to the second before giving up a home run.  He did recover to get five of the next six batters out with one walk to get through the sixth inning with 98 pitches.  He allowed two runs and two walks, and had five strikeouts.  His ERA at the end was 4.00.  We saw a pie-eating contest before the sixth inning.  The two contestants used their hands to put the plates up to their faces, and the winner had a big beard that got very messy.  In the middle of the inning, we saw Sean Doolittle trying to name ten Star Wars characters in fifteen seconds.  He just made it when he mentioned Chewbacca at the buzzer.  In the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs, the scoreboard said that Rajai Davis’ guilty pleasures included candy and cornbread.  Rajai singled and stole two bases again, but was left at third base when Matt Joyce grounded out.  In the Big Head race, Dennis Eckersley again tugged at Rollie Fingers’ jersey, allowing Rickey Henderson to win.  Liam Hendriks took over for Gray and had a clean inning with three strikeouts.  Ken Korach told us that the A’s record for stolen bases in a game was five, done by Bert Campaneris on May 25, 1977 and Rickey Henderson on July 29, 1989.  Ryan Madson pitched the top of the eighth inning and had a clean inning with one strikeout.  After each strikeout during the game, the stadium organist played little bits that the fan to my right said were rude.  Ken Korach told us that on this date in A’s history in 1996, the A’s scored 13 runs in the first inning against the Angels.  Bruce Maxwell started the bottom of the eighth inning with a walk on a 3-2 pitch.  After a pitching change, Franklin Barreto and Matt Chapman both made outs on balls hit to centerfield.  Jaycob Brugman singled, and Maxwell went to third base on the play.  The A’s got a gift with a run on a wild pitch, making the score 7-2.  Rajai Davis didn’t get the chance for more stolen bases, as he struck out to end the inning.  Sean Doolittle had pitched a dazzling inning on Tuesday, according to Ken Korach.  Doolittle struck out the first batter of the ninth inning, but then allowed a single on a 1-2 pitch.  He got to a 1-2 count again and got a strikeout, prompting the organist to play the Jaws theme.  The count was 0-2 to the next batter, and the crowd was rooting for the strikeout to end the game, but Doolittle gave up a home run, making the score 7-4 and pushing his ERA up to 4.00.  Doolittle got to a 1-2 again, for the fourth time in the inning, but this time he did get the strikeout to end the game.  I felt a bit sad to see the homestand end.  It was a bit tiring at times, with a 12-inning loss and a fireworks night followed by an early afternoon game.  We saw a near no-hitter and a walk-off home run.  The giveaways were a bobblehead and a tote bag.  Barry Zito and Ramon Hernandez made a return visit to remember the 2002 season.  This game started at 12:37 with a game time temperature of 68 degrees, and it ended at 4:01.  The attendance was 13,813.  I pondered the mystery of the seagulls.  I didn’t see any, even as the hour approached four.  Maybe they were unimpressed with the attendance.  Jed Lowrie and Sonny Gray increased their trade value with this game, if that is what fate has in store for them.  I slowly headed to the BART station, and I stopped at Target to buy some Tide detergent.  I went home and ate a bean burrito before doing my laundry.  I watched the Avengers episode “The Gravediggers,” and then the Hitchcock movie “Torn Curtain” with Paul Newman and Julie Andrews.  I thought it looked good in high definition.  Newman did math on a chalkboard in one scene.  I don’t know how Newman and the woman could use gas on that one guy without getting affected themselves.  Also, tripping Newman as he was going down the stairs seemed incredibly risky.  It wasn’t the very best Hitchcock film, but it brought back memories of my childhood.  I’ll always remember the ending with the characters swimming in the water.  Something along those lines also happened in Charlie Chaplin’s “A Countess from Hong Kong.”  Some of the people who died on July 6 include Kenneth Grahame (1932), William Faulkner (1962), Louis Armstrong (1971), Otto Klemperer (1973), Van McCoy (1979), Roy Rogers (1998), John Frankenheimer (2002), and Buddy Ebsen (2003).  Today is a birthday for Geoffrey Rush (66), Sylvester Stallone (71), and Burt Ward (72).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 6, John Lennon met Paul McCartney for the first time when the Quarrymen played at a church garden party in 1957.  In 1971, Bjorn Ulvaeus married Agnetha Faltskog the they before they formed ABBA.  In 1973, Queen released their first single, “Keep Yourself Alive.”  In 1984, the Jacksons began their Victory tour at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.  In 1985, Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” was the Number One single.  In 1990, “Jetsons: The Movie” was released. In 2002, John Frankenheimer, the director of “The Birdman of Alcatraz” and “The Manchurian Candidate,” died at age 72.  In 2003, Buddy Ebsen died of respiratory failure at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California at age 95.

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