Games » Oakland AthleticsSep14
So this is how the other half lives. The Royals came up with more bombs than an Iraqi weapons inspector and scored 11 runs. The game’s start was worrisome (yeah, that’s a word I use ALL the time). Zack Greinke gave up a single to Oakland leadoff hitter Coco Crisp and then another to the two-hole hitter, Daric Barton.
Alex Gordon came up with Barton’s single and threw to third, the wrong base in this case. He told me afterward that Coco was stealing on the play, so he was going to make third easily and the throw should’ve gone to second to keep Barton at first. That would’ve kept the double play in order (kind of a big deal in baseball).
Zack buckled down and struck out Kurt Suzuki for the first out. He then semi-worked around Jack Cust with first open (which loaded the bases and set up the double play) and voila, (another word I use all the time…usually when coming out of the shower) got his double play. Simple as 1-2-3 (Greinke to Pena to Ka’aihue).
After that, Zack and the Royals were long gone. If you don’t get the good pitchers early, you usually don’t get them at all.
P.S. The A’s did get him for three runs in the sixth when Zack apparently decided to set the world’s record for throwing nothing but fastballs (19 in a row at one point). He then started mixing up his pitches again and got them in order in the seventh.
Someone made a mistake and it wasn’t Kila…
Considering my track record, you’d think I’d be better at judging mental mistakes. In Monday’s game, I gave one to Kila Ka’aihue for not coming off the bag to block Mike Aviles’ wild throw from second. According to Kevin Seitzer (who gets slightly better seats than I do and had a better look), the throw was too far off-line for anyone to block. We’ll knock that mental mistake off Kila’s record and add one to mine.
Speaking of Aviles…
Before the game, Mr. Congeniality (Mike admits he’d talk to a fencepost if he were bored enough…hence, our conversation)…OK, let me start again: Before the game, Mr. Congeniality walked by and I said, “413 feet? (The distance of Monday’s home run.) Where you been hiding that?”
Mike made a muscle and pointed to his bicep (but he was laughing pretty hard while he did it). He then got serious and said since his elbow injury, he’d cut down on his swing. He was just trying to get base hits and wasn’t taking too many “gangster hacks.”
I have no idea what a “gangster hack” is, but he apparently took another one. Mike hit a home run 397 feet in this game. Ned Yost said it was because Mike was starting to keep his rear end under him, but I like the “gangster hack” explanation more.
It’s the little things that don’t count…
When a catcher’s trying to take time off his throws to second, the smallest adjustments have an effect. I asked Brayan Pena where he’d shaved the few tenths of a second off his delivery time and he told me it was the transfer.
The transfer is the period between catching the ball and getting it into the throwing hand. Brayan had been removing the ball out front and then drawing his arm back. Now he’s taking the glove to the ear and removing the ball there. He said it was almost like a quarterback’s throw.
The difference between success and failure in this game is measured in milliseconds and fractions of inches…unless you play like I do. Then the difference is measured with a wall calendar and a Stanley tape measure.
Whatever he’s doing, it’s working.
Enjoy your new I.Q….
After the game I asked Chris Getz how he was doing. While stealing a base in Chicago he got hit in the head with a catcher’s throw and had to come out of the game. Chris hasn’t played since, and he’s still foggier than London on a bad day.
When he came out, the trainers asked Chris to name the months and he got as far as April. I said, “Dude, don’t worry about it…this is what it’s like for stupid people every day.” I made him laugh…but will he remember?
(By the way, is it politically incorrect to use the term “stupid people”? And if it is, am I exempt if I confess that upon unexpectedly bumping into Clint Eastwood in Carmel, Calif., I said, “Do you know who you look like?”…C’mon, haven’t you ever seen someone famous and assumed it couldn’t be them?…By the way, Clint said he was fairly aware of who he looked like.)
I told Dusty Hughes the next time he had a good outing, I’d come talk to him. (Now there’s a thrill for a big-league pitcher.) Dusty’s point that middle relievers only get noticed if they blow the game is well-founded, so next time somebody has a good outing (and he did in this game), give them a round of applause. Just a polite round of applause…they deserve it.