Jharel Cotton’s Learning Experience

I watched the news reports on the death of Glen Campbell, and then I took the buses out to the Fruitvale BART station.  I went on to the stadium.  I went to the food trucks and bought a cheese steak sandwich, and then a strawberry lemonade Italian ice.  I took my seat.  Jharel Cotton was the starting pitcher for the A’s on this afternoon.  The Mariners would give him trouble from the first inning.  The first batter of the game singled, and then Cotton got an out.  After giving up another single on a 0-2 pitch, he got the second out on a foul ball that Matt Olson caught.  Cotton couldn’t escape the inning, however, as on a 1-2 pitch he gave up a home run.  He allowed two more singles before finally getting the third out.  The A’s did answer in the bottom of the inning when Matt Joyce hit a 2-0 pitch for a home run.  Jed Lowrie reached third base on a walk and a wild pitch, but the score remained 3-1 going to the second inning.  Cotton did manage a shutdown inning in the second, which was a clean inning for him.  In the bottom of the inning, Matt Olson singled, and Jaycob Brugman walked with two outs, but the A’s didn’t score.  In the third inning, Cotton gave up a single on his first pitch, and then he went to a 3-0 count before giving up another big home run.  The score was now 5-1, and it was looking gloomy on this afternoon, both on the scoreboard and in the sky, which was overcast.  Cotton did get the next three batters out, but his ERA had increased from 5.48 to start the game to 5.81.  The A’s did come back a bit in the bottom of the inning when Khris Davis hit a home run with two outs, his 31st home run of the season, making the score 5-2.  Cotton did get the shutdown inning again, as the fourth inning was not quite a clean inning, with a walk with two outs.  Cotton’s ERA did go down to 5.74.  Matt Chapman singled with one out in the bottom of the inning, and he went to second base on a ground out, but Brugman struck out to end the inning.  Cotton continued to alternate good innings with not-so-good innings, as he gave up a third home run with one out in the fifth, making the score 6-2.  Matt Joyce started off the bottom of the inning with a single.  Marcus Semien hit a ball that looked like it had a chance to be a home run to change the game, but it was an out on a good catch at the wall.  Jed Lowrie doubled for a run.  The A’s got no more, however, as both Khris Davis and Ryon Healy grounded out, so after five innings, the score was 6-3.  Cotton certainly didn’t pitch well in this game, but after the third home run, he did get five consecutive outs to end his afternoon.  His accomplishment was getting through six innings when the manager wanted some innings out of him.  Cotton’s ERA was 5.72 at this point.  In the Big Head race, Dennis Eckersley finished just ahead of Rickey Henderson.  Simon Castro pitched a good seventh inning with help from Brugman with a good catch in center field.  Josh Smith pitched a clean eighth inning, getting the third out on a 3-2 pitch.  We heard “Never Gonna Give You Up” before the ninth inning, and then we saw Smith allow a walk before getting the next three batters out.  Joyce made a little leap on the catch for the second out.  What had the A’s been doing on offense all this time?  After Lowrie’s double for the A’s third run, eleven of the next twelve batters made outs, with only Marcus Semien getting a double with two outs in the seventh inning.  We heard Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” before the bottom of the ninth inning.  The danger zone seemed to be an impending loss for the home team.  Matt Chapman struck out looking for the first out.  He ended the day with a single and three strikeouts.  Bruce Maxwell got to a 3-2 count before drawing a walk.  Brugman hit a ball to right field for the second out, and Joyce struck out to end the game.  This game began at 12:37 with a game time temperature of 63 degrees, and it ended at 3:35.  The first four and a half innings took 107 minutes to play, so at that point, I projected that the game would go 214 minutes and end at 4:11.  These were the kinds of thoughts that ran through my mind during a forgettable game when the score was 6-2.  The attendance was 14,989.  I listened to the postgame radio shows as I left the stadium.  Chris Townsend said that he was excited about Jharel Cotton before the season, but he certainly hasn’t produced good results.  These games might be a learning experience for Cotton, but the question is how much he is learning.  It seems like he’s going to a bad high school where the students goof off too much.  Townsend also said that next season would be critical for Kendall Graveman, who should be entering the prime of his career.  I heard a discussion about health inspections at major league stadiums, noting food storage, presence of vermin, and hand washing among the factors.  The Coliseum ranked 27 out of 28 in the survey, which was troubling.  Maybe we should all eat at the food trucks until the new stadium opens.  I heard a lot of Gianna Franco during the afternoon.  I headed to Best Buy to use my gift card to buy the Addams Family DVD box set.  I was looking for a place to buy an Icee but found only a gas station.  I was looking for a special 50th anniversary cup that no one seemed to have.  I got to the theatre a half hour too late for the last matinee showing of “The Little Hours,” so I used my time to do my laundry.  I watched the first Addams Family and the first hour of “The Great Escape.”  Some of the people who died on August 10 include Robert Goddard (1945), Tony Wilson (2007), and Isaac Hayes (2008).  Today is a birthday for Antonio Banderas (57), Rosanna Arquette (58), and Ian Anderson (70).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for August 10, the original Rin Tin Tin was nearly 14 years old when he died in 1932.  In 1970, “Diary of a Mad Housewife,” starring Richard Benjamin, Frank Langella, and Carrie Snodgress, was released.

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