OK, in a nice scoreless tie game, Sweeney draws a walk. OBP!
Next up, Milton Bradley. Last at bat, he lashed a double down the line. Ex-Cub Chad Gaudin warming up in the bullpen. With Milton batting right (by far his stronger side—he's a switch-hitter in name only), can Anderson get out of this no-out jam?
Oh, double play. Guess Milton shoulda tried to draw the walk. . .
UPDATE: Kotchman draws the walk—OBP!—and advances to second on a wild pitch. Could one run win this game? Sure, why not.
A second WP sends Kotchman to third. One more and M's score!
OOPs, never mind, shoulda watched more closely: that was a Hit Batsman, only men on first and second. Time for ex-NL Central suckmeister Jack Wilson to come through.. . with a FC forceout at second. Inning over.
So much squandered hope. . .
UPDATE One of the joys of the MLB all-game cable thing is that you get the feeds from the home team. The sound isn't on, but seeing Jay Buehner just now reminds me of a game I went to at the Kingdome back in the mid-90s sometime. Me and a pal from grad school walked down and bought what we were told were "box seats" which were all the way out the left field line, with terrible sightlines. We spent an inning or two bitching, then decided to move up to better seats. I spotted a section between home and third that was mostly empty, and my buddy went for beers while I moved down. Did the old trick of looking at my ticket and then the seats, as though to say, Yes, here is MY seat, how convenient. I noted that I was getting the stink-eye from EVERYONE in the section, and they all were very tanned women with lots of jewelry and makeup, and just as the usher came up to eject me, I realized: I was in the player's wives' section. Shit. The joke back at Chez Sauvage was that if I was going to pass for anyone's wife, it'd be Jay Buehner's.
UPDATE M's manage to hold the A's scoreless, but Ichiro—who is a God—strikes out. One down in the 7th.
Chone doubles, A's go to the bullpen. Ziegler's coming in, and this might be the end of this post, as I gotta get up tomorrow and, you know, do my job of teaching. And as Slake has pointed out, I cannot just show up and give bad pedagogy, since only ballplayers get to do that Slow Start thing.
FUCK—almost a wild pitch from the side-armer, Chone breaks for third and is WAAAY out thanks to an acrobatic cartwheel/throw by the A's catcher Suzuki. Man. Great defensive play, never seen that before (the cartwheel part). The throw was right in Kouzmanoff's glove as Chone slid into it. That's why baseball is the best game—you can watch it carefully for years, decades, and still see things that you'd never seen before.
UPDATE: Ok, just one more beer and one more inning. Gotta stick around to see Milton.
Lopez leads off with a single that Ziegler tried for a foot-save on. Good way to go on the DL. Sweeney, can you come down out of the treetops (Irish literary reference) and advance the runner? One run can win this well-pitched and well-defended game.
Ziegler is putting on a clinic showing why there are so few side-armers pitching in MLB. Any miss is a potential WP or PB, advancing the runner.
Or if you miss enough, just a walk. Pinch runner in for Sweeney in case Milton comes through. Eric Byrnes. Needs a haircut. Milton is up left-handed, a mistake. But he will probably try to draw the walk rather than actually hitting.
I take it all back (and am posting this even though I could go back and revise my prediction here) 3 run homer for Milton, he is king of the world, Ma!
UPDATE: Love the Soundtransit ads. With the pie graph about saving the world v. saving money. Can't we do both?
Again, no volume on the TV here (only I give a shit about this game in Chicago) but the camera keeps focusing on Milton, who's sitting alone at the end of the bench, not looking very happy despite his homer. Will this game give him the psychological boost that everyone thinks he needs?
Walk looks bad, double-play looks good, four-pitch walk reminds me that Aardsma is the very first man listed in the Baseball Encyclopedia, and shouldn't he play for the A's at some point in his career, just for the alphabetical fun of it? . . 0-2 count, let's strike this guy out and get it over with
Or a pop up to first will do. M's win.
Now, gotta run. The sun also rises tomorrow, and I've got some novel by Hemingway to teach. . . .