Kendall Graveman’s Rebound

I watched CBS Sunday Morning, as I usually do on Sunday mornings.  I got a phone call from my parents.  I listened to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on the radio as I took the bus over to the Fruitvale BART station.  This episode was recorded in front of a San Francisco audience, and Jerry Rice was a guest.  I arrived at the Coliseum after eleven o’clock, and I went over to the food trucks and bought sliders with tater tots and a chocolate malt.  I took my seat and heard songs like “Drive My Car” and “More Than a Feeling,” and “Centerfield” just before the A’s took the field.  Caroline Sky sang the national anthem.  Kendall Graveman was the A’s starting pitcher facing the Orioles this afternoon, and he struck out the first batter of the game.  He then gave up a triple that Matt Joyce in right field couldn’t catch as he dived.  Graveman then allowed a single that gave the Orioles their first run.  Graveman got a fly ball to center and a strikeout to end the first inning.  Graveman allowed a double and a single in the second inning, giving the Orioles a second run.  After a double play, Graveman allowed another single before Matt Olson caught a foul ball to end the inning.  Graveman allowed two more singles to start the third inning, making it seven hits after twelve batters, and before he recorded his seventh out of the game.  However, Graveman would have his best stretch of the afternoon, getting nine consecutive outs with clean innings in the fourth and fifth.  The A’s on offense were quiet through the first three innings, getting only single from Ryon Healy with one out in the second inning.  Before they batted in the second inning, we saw highlights of This Day in A’s History, which were from August 13, 2002, a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays that was the first game of their famous 20-game winning streak of that season.  The score in this game was 2-0 in the fourth inning when the A’s finally started scoring runs.  Marcus Semien singled, and after Jed Lowrie made an out, Khris Davis walked.  Ryon Healy doubled for the A’s first run, and a fielder’s choice on Matt Olson’s ground ball tied the game at 2-2.  Matt Chapman then hit a home run over the left field fence for three more runs.  For the watch contest, a fan had to point a camera at Stomper standing in the second deck, and afterwards, we heard “I Can See Clearly Now.”  Before the bottom of the fifth inning, we heard “Good Times.”  We then saw Matt Joyce hit a double and then steal third base.  The scoreboard said that Marcus Semien’s favorite ice cream flavor was vanilla.  Semien hit a sacrifice fly, bringing in Joyce to make the score 6-3.  Before the sixth inning, we heard “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”  Graveman got into a bit of trouble in the inning with a single and a walk, but Semien helped him out, as he picked up a ground ball hit to him to start a 6-3 double play.  A three-pitch strikeout stranded the runner at third base.  We saw some kids taking home run swings for the Home Run Cam, and we heard “Frankenstein.”  In the bottom of the inning, Healy walked, but Olson hit into a double play.  The scoreboard told us that Chapman’s favorite baseball movie was “The Sandlot” before he struck out.  Rickey Henderson won the Big Head race again, as Rollie Fingers kept bringing up the rear.  Ray Fosse said that he couldn’t win a Big Head race because he couldn’t walk much less run.  Kendall Graveman finished his seven innings strongly, with a clean seventh inning for five consecutive outs.  His ERA had increased from 4.97 to 5.20 after the Orioles’ second run of the game, but after the seventh inning, it had decreased to 4.70.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Wooly Bully.”  Bruce Maxwell started the bottom of the inning with a single.  Boog Powell hit into a force play, but then Matt Joyce swung at the first pitch for a home run, making the score 8-2.  Ryan Dull replaced Graveman in the top of the eighth inning.  He gave up a home run to the first batter before getting the next three out.  Khris Davis struck out to start the bottom of the inning, and Ryon Healy flied out to the second baseman.  The Orioles made a pitching change, and we heard a Bill King highlight, which was a triple by Eric Byrnes to complete a cycle in San Francisco.  Matt Olson came up to bat, and he hit a home run for the third consecutive game, making the score 9-3.  All three A’s players named Matt had hit a home run in this game.  Chapman would reach base on an error by the pitcher, but Maxwell grounded out to end the inning.  Santiago Casilla has not been a fan favorite this season, but no one thought that he would blow a six-run lead.  He struck out the first batter in the top of the ninth inning.  He went to a 2-0 count to the second batter, but then he got an out on a line drive out to centerfield.  He couldn’t get the clean inning, as on a 3-1 pitch, he gave up a double.  However, he did strike out the next batter to end the game.  This game had started at 1:07 with a game time temperature of 68 degrees, and it ended at 3:40.  It was good to get this game in under three hours for a change.  I listened to the radio and the discussion of the 50 greatest A’s players.  I read Danny Bonaduce on Twitter, and he said he celebrated his birthday with a breakfast burrito and root beer at the Burbank Airport.  I thought he told us to avoid food like orange juice because it had sugar.  I had the time to visit the record store, which I bought used vinyl albums by Chuck Berry, Glen Campbell, Henry Mancini, Leon Redbone, and Jonathan Winters.  I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN.  It was about Woodstock, and the songs I enjoyed hearing again were “Pinball Wizard” and “Purple Haze.”  I went to Taco Bell to buy a chalupa and watch the ninth inning of the Yankees game.  Aroldis Chapman blew the save with a home run in the top of the ninth inning, and the Red Sox would get the winning run in the tenth inning.  I watched the end of a Columbo episode about a dentist, and Kochalk: The Night Stalker, with a story about a robot with a survival instinct.  Channel 9.2 had a program about learning to play the ukulele.  Channel 5.2 was showing Ironside episodes until four o’clock.  Some of the people who died on August 14 include Johnny Burnette (1964), Dorothy Stratten (1980), Gale Sondergaard (1985), Roy Buchanan (1988), Czeslaw Milosz (2004), Bruno Kirby (2006), Phil Rizzuto (2007), and Ron Palillo  (2012).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for August 14, The Beatles made their final appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, performing the songs “I Feel Fine,” “I’m Down,” “Act Naturally,” “Ticket to Ride,” “Yesterday,” and “Help!”  In 1973, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” was moved to the Chelsea Classic Cinema on Kings Road in London.  In 1995, the Foo Fighters made their network television debut on the Letterman show.

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Sean Manaea’s One-Out Night

After seeing “Detroit,” I briefly thought of going to Taco Bell, but I just took the buses out to the Fruitvale BART station.  Apparently, the buses had stopped making detours because of the marathon, so my path was straight and not confusing.  When I arrived at the Coliseum, I saw the food trucks and bought the BBQ Nachos and a snow cone in a color-changing cup.  I headed to the gate, and on my way to my seat, I saw a few people lined up for Liam Hendriks’ t-shirt and autograph.  I thought about getting into that line, but I felt that I wasn’t invited.  Someone tossed some packages of baseball cards into the stands.  I couldn’t quite get one.  Some superstitious people think that the A’s are cursed on fireworks nights because they seemed to play badly in those games.  This game had a rotten first inning for the home fans, as something appeared to be wrong with Sean Manaea.  Having to face the Baltimore Orioles made things worse for him.  The first batter was a bad sign for him, as he went to a 3-2 before giving up a walk.  From that point, Manaea gave up six consecutive hits, alternating doubles with singles.  The one out that he got he didn’t really get, as it came on a hit with a very good 7-6-2 play at home plate.  Both starting pitchers entered the game with a 4.15 ERA.  Manaea left after seven batters with a 4-0 score, and his ERA would end up at 4.59.  The reason for that was that the Orioles still weren’t done with their scoring in the inning.  Michael Brady replaced Manaea, and after four pitches, he got the first out of the game on a force play, although the Orioles scored another run on the play.  Brady gave up a single with his next pitch, and then a double which gave the Orioles another two runs for a 7-0 score.  The eleventh batter of the game finally made the third out with a strikeout.  The game figured to be over already, but the crowd was still going to hang around through the end because of the fireworks.  It’s like we had to suffer before we would get our reward.  The A’s did answer back in the bottom of the inning somewhat, as the new A’s player Boog Powell walked on four pitches, and after two outs, Khris Davis hit a home run to make the score 7-2.  Brady would pitch two clean innings in the second and third, which at least picked up the pace of the game after the first half-inning took nearly thirty minutes.  A fan played a jersey number game with Kara Tsuboi, and he didn’t know that Jason Giambi’s number was 16 and not 26.  A look at the board would have shown him that 26 wasn’t one of the choices in the first place.  After the game, we heard the song from the 1980s, “867-5309.”  Matt Olson hit a home run to start the bottom of the second inning, making the score 7-3.  With two outs, Marcus Semien walked and Powell singled, but Chad Pinder flied out to right field.  In the third inning, the A’s got a single from Ryon Healy with two outs, but nothing else.  Brady couldn’t hold down the Orioles in the fourth inning, as he hit the first batter with a pitch and then gave up a double.  Brady got the next two batters out with two balls hit to Jed Lowrie at second base, but then he allowed a single that brought in two runs.  The score was now 9-3.  In the bottom of the inning, Matt Chapman doubled, but then Bruce Maxwell struck out, Marcus Semien flied out to right field, and Boog Powell struck out.  It was annoying that they didn’t even move Chapman over to third base.  We saw the Bongo Cam again.  Brady gave up a hit to start the fifth inning, but the play ended with an out, as the runner tried to stretch the single into a double, and Boog threw to Olson at second base for the unusual 8-3 out.  Brady then got two strikeouts to end the inning.  The bottom of the fifth inning was almost a duplicate of the bottom of the third, as the A’s got only a two-out single, but this time from Khris Davis.  Brady showed signs of tiring in the sixth inning, as he gave up singles to the first two batters.  After a 5-4-3 double play gave him a chance to end the inning, he hit the next batter with a pitch, and so Bob Melvin sent Liam Hendriks out to the mound.  Hendriks struck out the hitter to end the inning.  We saw a highlight on This Date in MLB History which seemed more like a lowlight, as it was a brawl between the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves in 1984.  In the bottom of the sixth inning, Chapman walked with one out, and Maxwell followed with a single, but Semien and Powell both struck out.  Dennis Eckersley won the Big Head race again, as Rollie Fingers this year seems hopelessly slow.  For the fourth consecutive inning, the leadoff hitter for the Orioles reached base, as Hendriks gave up a single to start the seventh inning.  However, he would allow only a walk with one out in getting through the rest of the inning.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard Katy Perry’s “Firework” in anticipation of the fireworks show we would see after the game.  The A’s went down 1-2-3 for the first and only time in the game in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Josh Smith pitched the top of the eighth inning, and he ran into a bit of trouble with two outs, as he allowed a walk and a single, but Olson caught a foul ball for the third out.  The crowd annoyingly began doing The Wave at about 8:32, and they continued for a fairly long time, about ten minutes.  The A’s scored again in the bottom of the eighth inning.  Healy singled, and after Olson made an out, Chapman doubled.  Maxwell hit a sacrifice fly to score Healy and move Chapman to third base. Semien then singled to make the score 9-5.  We were left to think about the two two-run hits with two outs that Brady allowed.  Boog struck out for the third consecutive time to end the inning.  We heard a Bill King highlight from August 30, 2001, which was a three-run home run that Eric Chavez hit against the Orioles.  Someone tried to sneak into the row into in front of me, but the usher escorted him away.  I saw him stuffing a liquor bottle into his back pocket.  Daniel Coulombe pitched the top of the ninth inning.  He allowed a double, and then a single for a run.  A 5-4-3 double play looked like it would limit the damage, but then gave up two more doubles and another single for two more runs.  Finally, he got a strikeout to end the inning.  Coulombe’s ERA was 3.03 at the start of the inning and 3.66 at the end.  A’s pitchers had given up 12 runs on 20 hits in this game.  In the bottom of the ninth inning, Chad Pinder reached base on an error, but Dustin Garneau, pinch-hitting for Lowrie, hit into a 1-4-3 double play.  Khris Davis prolonged the inning with a walk on a 3-2 pitch, but Healy made the last out of the game on a fly ball to center.  The game started at 6:07 with a game time temperature of 63 degrees, and it ended at 9:27.  Ken Korach was not on the radio for this game.  The Raiders game was going on at the same game, and they didn’t do well, either.  I lined up to get onto the field for the fireworks show.  Stomper fired his t-shirt gun, which is exceptionally powerful, so much so that it should be considered a deadly weapon, as many of the shirts end up in the third deck.  Someone in a Simpsons episode died in this manner.  I took a photo of myself sitting in front of the A’s dugout and send it to a couple of people.  I didn’t see any of the players sitting on the grass to take in the fireworks.  I didn’t recognize the songs during the show.  My knowledge of pop music after 1989 isn’t so good.  Before I went home, I stopped for frozen yogurt.  I had no energy to watch the end of the Svengoolie movie on television, and so I just went to bed.

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Detroit

I woke up and watched the chef segment of CBS This Morning.  Some of Greg Vernick’s signature recipes include Mustard roasted bone-in leg of lamb with herbs and spices, Tomato tart, whipped ricotta, basil, Grilled romaine lettuce with stone fruits and buttermilk dressing, and Corn and quinoa salad with blue cheese.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on August 14 1976 were “Turn the Beat Around,” “Kiss and Say Goodbye,” “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty,” “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” “Love is Alive,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” “Let ‘Em In,” “You Should Be Dancing,” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”  I watched about ten minutes of “Journey with Dylan Dreyer” before I went out to the bus stop.  I discovered that many of the buses were on detour because of a marathon, so I had to go to a temporary bus stop to make a transfer to get to Emeryville.  I thought I might miss the beginning of my movie, but I did get there.  “Detroit” was showing at 11:05.  The movie hasn’t attracted as many people as expected.  It did feel timely and powerful, although a problem with it is that it’s a reconstructed story when the actual story was never clearly determined.  The filming style makes the movie feel realistic, as it is really happening in front of you, like “The Hurt Locker” applied to racism and police brutality.  I’ll have to say that this style gives me headaches with the camera movement and quick editing.  I had to close my eyes a lot through at least half of the movie.  One of the powerful performance was by Will Poulter as a police officer named Krauss.  He was in “The Maze Runner.”  In this movie, he literally looks like a white devil, and his character is so despicable that I would fear for his safety in real life.  I’m almost shuddering in thinking about what will happen to his career.  The interrogation sequence is grueling, and it feels like it came out of a war movie like “The Deer Hunter.”  John Boyega, who is Finn in the Star Wars movies, is a security guard who gets called an Uncle Tom for his efforts to work with the authorities and nearly gets pinned for the murders that happened on this fateful night, which was July 25, 1967.  The members of the singing group The Dramatics ended up involved in the incident.  The suggestion that Motown is white people’s music while gospel is the real thing is arguable.  Some people have seen this movie that thought it was powerful but superficial.  I wouldn’t fault Kathryn Bigelow for this.  You can show that acts of hate and racism, but it’s difficult to show what is inside people through film.  The reviewer for RogerEbert.com gave the movie two stars, one criticism being that the point of view of black women was skipped over.  No movie can be definitive.  The movie had to have some type of focus, otherwise it would be thin and limp.  I have the feeling that people will find this movie more meaningful as the years pass and they see it again.  They will continue to see meaning in it.  One of the police officers was shown as being rather stupid.  I do wonder what the Detroit Police think of this film.  As I was leaving the theatre, I overheard a few people talking about Will Poulter, and how they didn’t think they wanted to ever see him again in a movie.  They couldn’t come up with his name.  I couldn’t, either, as I had to look up his name on IMDB.  “Detroit” felt like a long movie, as it was nearly 2:00 when I left the theatre.  Some of the people who died on August 13 include H.G Wells (1946), Jane Darwell (1967), Mickey Mantle (1995), Julia Child (2004), Les Paul (2009), and Edwin Newman (2010).  Today is a birthday for Danny Bonaduce (58) and Kevin Tighe (73).

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Chad Pinder’s Second Chance

I was sleepy when I went off to work, so when I returned home, I took a nap.  I watched the Partridge Family episode “Soul Club.”  I wondered what they did with all the food they had in one scene.  I didn’t see anyone eating during the block party.  I took BART out to the Coliseum and saw the food trucks out in the parking lot.  I took a seat in the shade as I waited for the gates to open.  As I entered the stadium, I was handed a Sonny Gray trading card and a Ryon Healy cheer card.  I thought about buying a chicken sandwich with tots but just took my seat.  The radio announcers said that Paul Blackburn was the A’s most consistent starting pitcher of recent weeks, but this wouldn’t be one of his best performances.  Boog Powell, the player the team got in the trade of Yonder Alonso to the Mariners, was originally set to play in this game, but was scratched from the lineup due to a mysterious illness.  Before the game began, we heard “Come and Get Your Love.”  The Orioles had a hot hitter leading off, and he hit Blackburn’s first pitch of the night for a single.  Blackburn’s second pitch was a line drive hit to Jed Lowrie at second base, which became a double play with a throw to first base.  A fly ball to right field was the third out.  Blackburn gave up a home run on a 1-2 pitch in the second inning, but then got six consecutive outs to get through the second and third innings.  Meanwhile, what was happening with the A’s on offense in the first three innings was a lot of strikeouts.  Eight of the first eleven batters struck out, with only Matt Joyce and Chad Pinder avoiding the strikeout.  Joyce had flied out to left field and walked, and Pinder had the A’s first hit, a single.  For This Date in A’s History, we saw Jason and Jeremy Giambi hit home runs in the same game for the third and final time in 2001.  We also heard “Groove is in the Heart.”  Blackburn teetered in the fourth inning, as he allowed a double, two singles, and two walks, although only one run.  The run scored on a double play, and Blackburn got out of a bases-loaded jam with a ground ball to Lowrie.  After a Dot Race, the A’s replied in the bottom of the inning.  Lowrie doubled, and Khris Davis followed with another double for the A’s first run of the game.  Pinder struck out, but Matt Olson hit a home run that put the A’s ahead, 3-2.  Matt Chapman struck out, the tenth A’s batter to strike out in the game, and Bruce Maxwell grounded out.  We heard “Born to Be Wild” before the start of the fifth inning.  Blackburn couldn’t hold down the Orioles, as with one out, he gave up two singles and a double for two runs, giving the Orioles the lead again at 4-3.  At this point, Blackburn had increased from 2.60 at the start of the game to 3.10.  In the bottom of the inning, Rajai Davis singled and stole second base, but was stranded there.  Blackburn gave up a single to start the sixth inning, but then got the unusual 3-5-3 double play.  After giving up another single, Blackburn was out of the game, Bob Melvin bringing in Simon Castro.  Castro got the third out on one pitch with a fly ball to right field.  In the bottom of the inning, Pinder singled with one out, but after a pitching change, Olson hit into a double play.  In the Big Head race, Rickey Henderson held off Dennis Eckersley for a win, closing in on Rollie Fingers’ 50 wins.  Castro pitched a clean seventh inning.  The bottom of the seventh inning was almost a repeat of the bottom of the sixth inning.  With one out, Bruce Maxwell singled, but Rajai Davis swung at the first pitch and into a double play.  The first out was a strikeout, Matt Chapman’s third of the game, and the A’s twelfth of the game.  Santiago Casilla took the mound for the top of the eighth inning.  He got to a 3-2 count to the first batter before getting a strikeout and going on to a clean inning.  We heard about another bit of A’s team history from Ken Korach, who said that on this date in 2003, Tim Hudson pitched a two-hit shutout against the Boston Red Sox, throwing only 93 pitches.  We also heard a Bill King highlight from April 30, 2000, a triple from Adam Piatt.  Matt Joyce started off the bottom of the eighth inning with a double.  Marcus Semien followed with a single on a 3-2 pitch.  Jed Lowrie hit a ball that initially looked like it might be a home run, but it bounced on the track over the wall for a ground rule double, but it did tie the score at 4-4.  Khris Davis hit a fly ball out to left field that was not far enough to score the run.  Chad Pinder hit a foul ball that looked like it was going to be caught, but it was an error by the first baseman on the play.  With the second chance, Pinder hit a fly ball to right field.  The throw to home plate was very strong, making the play closer than expected, but Semien was still safe with the A’s fifth run of the game.  Lowrie was now at third base, but Olson grounded out to end the inning.  Blake Treinen entered the game to pitch the top of the ninth inning.  He made a good play on a ground ball right hit to him, as the out went 1-3.  He struck out the next batter, and he went to a 3-2 count on the third batter before getting a 6-3 ground ball to end the game.  It was the end of a three-game losing streak, all three of those games at home.  Jed Lowrie was leading the American League with 36 doubles on the season.  The game had started at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 66 degrees, and it ended at 9:55.  The attendance was 14,330.  We had heard the radio announcers discussing the A’s 50th anniversary season next year and talking a bit about the A’s 50 greatest players.  I will have to compile my own list, which will be the definitive list.  Some of the people who died on August 12 include Thomas Mann (1955), Ian Fleming (1964), Henry Fonda (1982), Loretta Young (2000), and Merv Griffin (2007).  Today is a birthday for Mark Knopfler (68) and George Hamilton (78).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for August 12, Ian Fleming died of a heart attack at age 56 in 1971.  In 1983, “Cujo,” the movie based on a Stephen King novel, was released.  In 1985, Kyo Sakamoto, who had a hit with “Sukiyaki,” died in the crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123.  In 2007, Merv Griffin died of prostate cancer at age 82

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Chris Smith’s Four Home Run Stings

During the night, I watched “The Great Escape.”  I thought about how the escape would have gone better if the one guy hadn’t become too impatient in waiting for the signal to go up the ladder.  Also, Gordon Jackson made that huge mistake in blurting out in English.  I went over to the Grand Lake Theatre to see “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” in 3D for the last time.  I won’t say that it was a great movie, although I did enjoy it a little bit more the second time.  I thought Cara Delevingne at least had some potential in the movies.  I took the buses over to the Fruitvale BART station.  I arrived at the Coliseum early, and so I found a place to sit as I waited for the gates to open.  I went to the food trucks to buy crab fries and a creamsicle shake.  Chris Smith was the A’s starting pitcher, and he was still trying to get his first win of the season.  The game looked like a struggle right from the beginning, as Smith allowed a triple to the first batter of the game.  Could Rajai Davis had done better on that play, as the ball bounced off the wall and away from him.  A ground out to third gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead.  In the bottom of the inning, Rajai walked.  He was caught between first and second base, but the first baseman made a bad throw to second base for an error, putting Rajai at third base, and he score on a sacrifice fly by Jed Lowrie.  Smith gave up a double to start the second inning, and he walked a batter with two outs, but he kept the score at 1-1.  He had a clean third inning, but he allowed a home run on a 3-2 pitch in the fourth inning, and another home run on the following pitch.  Smith then had a pretty good stretch of getting seven out of eight batters out into the sixth inning before he did the same thing, giving up a home run on a 3-2 pitch, and another home run on the next pitch.  Smith wasn’t throwing hard.  He did get the next two batters out, finishing the sixth inning to end his night allowing five runs on seven hits, which included two doubles, one triple, and four home runs.  The A’s were quiet on offense during these innings, not scoring any runs.  They wasted Jed Lowrie’s double in the fourth inning, as he was only able to get to third base on Chad Pinder’s single.  Mark Canha and Marcus Semien walked in the fifth inning, and Ryon Healy reached second base on an error in the sixth inning, and that was it.  Ray Fosse had said that Rickey Henderson had better win the Big Head race for the night, but instead of that race, we saw a Bongo Cam segment.  Liam Hendriks replaced Smith for the top of the seventh inning, and after one out, he gave up a double.  After an error by Semien, another double gave the Orioles a 7-1 lead.  A strikeout came one batter too late.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Shake a Tail Feather.”  Daniel Coulombe pitched the top of the eighth inning and allowed only a single with one out, as he got two strikeouts.  Ken Korach talked a bit about this date in A’s history.  Dave Kingman in 1985 hit his 400th home run.  In 1986, his last season in the major leagues, he would hit 35 home runs.  The A’s had a promising bottom of the eighth inning when Semien singled, Lowrie doubled for the run, and Khris Davis walked on four pitches.  However, Ryon Healy was out on a 3-2 pitch that was a questionable strike that he argued, and then Pinder hit into a double play.  Ryan Dull took the mound for the top of the ninth inning.  He went to a 3-2 count to the first batter, but he ended up pitching a clean inning.  His ERA went from 4.95 to 4.71 with those three outs.  It was highly unlikely that the A’s could come back from a 7-2, especially after Matt Olson struck out to start the bottom of the ninth inning.  Canha singled and Dustin Garneau doubled, so there was a chance at two more runs.  After a pitching change, Matt Joyce came up to pinch-hit for Rajai Davis but struck out.  Marcus Semien walked on a 3-2 to load the bases.  With the save situation, the Orioles brought in a new pitcher.  Lowrie hit a ball to right field for the last out of the game.  After the good game on Sunday, the A’s had lost three consecutive home games.  This game had started at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 64 degrees, and it ended at 10:16.  The attendance was 11,357.  We had seen a blinking contest, which Stomper won.  Outside the stadium, someone was trying to sell sunglasses for the eclipse for five dollars. He probably didn’t understand the cheapness of A’s fans.  It was too early to try to sell these things to this crowd, anyway.  Who among them plans anything eleven days in advance?  One of the topics on the postgame radio show was the fan survey about a new ballpark.  Some people complained that it took thirty minutes to fill it out.  Chris Townsend said that he didn’t like having thirty-year-old players on the A’s when they’re in the middle of a youth movement, but Chris Smith was an exception because he was a grinder, determined to get his first win as a starting pitcher at 36.  There may be a Bull Durham quality to him.  When I got home, Stephen Colbert was joking about Guam and the fact that no one seemed to know where it is.  These nuclear threats are starting to have the ring of Dr. Strangelove.  I saw that the A’s website said that Chris Smith was stung by the Orioles’ home runs.  Some of the people who died on August 11 include Edith Wharton (1937), Jackson Pollock (1956), Anne Ramsey (1988), Peter Cushing (1994), Mike Douglas (2006), and Robin Williams (2014).  Today is a birthday for Viola Davis (52), Hulk Hogan (64), Steve Wozniak (67), and Ian McDiarmid (73).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for August 11, “American Graffiti” was released in 1973.  In 1979, “Get the Knack” was Number One on the album chart.  In 2014, Robin Williams committed suicide at age 63.

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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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Josh Smith’s Loss

I took the buses out to the Fruitvale BART station, and from there I took the train to the Coliseum.  The train was crowded and stuffy.  I took a seat on a bench near one of the gates to the stadium.  I went to a food truck and bought a waffle burger.  One of the workers in the truck recognized me and knew my name.  I bought some frozen custard and went to my seat.  We observed a moment of silence for Don Baylor, who was with the A’s in 1976 and in 1988.  Kendall Graveman was back, pitching for the first time at the Coliseum in quite some time.  He started off well, with seven consecutive outs against the Mariners.  Meanwhile, the rest of the team provided him with some early runs.  In the bottom of the first inning, Rajai Davis swung at the first pitch he saw for a double, and Marcus Semien walked.  After Ryon Healy struck out, Khris Davis hit his 30th home run of the season to give the A’s a 3-0 lead.  In the third inning, the Mariners started coming back, as a hit and an error by Semien put a runner at second base with one out, and the runner went to third base on a single, and then scored on a ground out.  The A’s scored again in the bottom of the inning.  Healy singled and Khris Davis tripled for one run.  After Chad Pinder lined out, Matt Chapman hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-1.  Graveman didn’t get the shutdown inning in the fourth, as with one out, he gave up a walk.  After a force out, two consecutive singles gave the Mariners one run for a 5-2 score.  After a dance-off between two fans, one wearing a mask, Graveman came up with a clean fifth inning.  In the bottom of the inning, Healy hit a home run to give the A’s a 6-2 lead, but this was the last good moment for the home team.  Graveman couldn’t make it through the sixth inning, as he got the first out, but then allowed two singles and a double for two runs.  Those last runs seemed crucial, as a two-run lead wasn’t so comfortable a margin for the relief pitchers.  Ryan Dull came into the game and got the last two outs of the inning on ground balls.  We didn’t get a Big Head race on this night.  Instead, the Slow Dance Cam showed us people in the crowd, including a woman in the row in front of me.  Liam Hendriks started the seventh inning by getting an out on a line drive to right field, but then he allowed a hit, and Matt Joyce made an error that allowed the runner to go to second base.  After allowing another single, Bob Melvin brought in Daniel Coulombe to face one batter.  Coulombe got the out, and Melvin called on Santiago Casilla, who showed why he isn’t a fan favorite by giving up a single that gave the Mariners another run.  He did get the strikeout that ended the inning, but the score was now a precarious 6-5.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard Martha Reeves’ “Dancing in the Street.”  Simon Castro was called upon to preserve the one-run lead to get to Blake Treinen.  Unfortunately, Matt Chapman made a bad, rushed throw to first for an error, putting the runner at second base with no outs.  A ground out moved the runner to third base.  Danny Valencia, former A’s player, pinch-hit and hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 6-6.  Castro then got the fly ball to end the inning.  Treinen pitched the top of the ninth inning and flirted with disaster, but he alternated walks with outs to get out of the bases-loaded jam with the score still at 6-6.  What had the A’s been doing on offense as the Mariners were coming back?  After the Healy home run, they got a single from Mark Canha with one out in the sixth inning and a single from Ryon Healy with two outs in the seventh inning, and that was it.  Before the A’s came up to bat in the ninth inning, we heard “Call Me Maybe.”  The A’s made three quiet outs, so it was on to a tenth inning.  Ken Korach on the radio reminded us that the Mariners were a tough team in one-run games.  Josh Smith was the last of the A’s relief pitchers not to appear in the game, and he went out to the mound for the tenth inning.  He got the first two batters out, but then surrendered a big home run on one of those hanging breaking balls to the ninth hitter in the batting order with a .171 batting average to start the game.  Korach said that the home run came from the unlikeliest of sources.  A fly ball to right field was the third out.  Marcus Semien started off the bottom of the tenth inning with an out to center field.  Matt Olson singled, and Jaycob Brugman came in to pinch-run for him.  Khris Davis walked, so the tying run was at second base with one out.  However, Chad Pinder struck out, and Matt Chapman flied out to right field to end the game.  It certainly was an ugly game with three errors and two four-run leads that went down the drain.  The game had started at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 64 degrees, and it ended at 10:27.  The attendance was 12,354.  The night had turned pretty cold, and so I was glad that I was wearing my jacket, and I was eager to return home.  I missed the eleven o’clock news with Trump’s threats to North Korea.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for August 9, concert officials at the Sunbury Jazz and Blues Festival in England in 1967 asked Jerry Lee Lewis to leave the stage because the crowd had gotten too wild.  In 1969, Sharon Tate and four other people were found murdered in Los Angeles.

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