Hey, remember when Oakland was in playoff contention? Right before the All Star break, when they were just a couple games out of first? Yeah, those days are long gone. Since July 11th, the A's are just 2-11 and have fallen into third place in the AL West, thirteen whole games behind the Angels. As for the Royals, they haven't been in playoff contention since the Achille Lauro hijacking, so a potential sweep over Oakland would be absolutely terrific for their huge sportsblogger fanbase.
Oakland will send new kid Sean Gallagher out to prevent said sweep. He's seeking his second AL win in his fourth start. The Royals will counter with Joe Posnanski's favorite pitcher Brian Bannister, whose ERA has ballooned to 5.40 after finally admitting he cannot, in fact, read or write.
Does this game mean anything for the playoff push? Probably not. Is it worth glogging? Any professional baseball game is worth writing pithy remarks about. Enough with the chit-chat, let's get glogging! After the jump, natch.
3:25PM: Your announcers today are Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo. I have no idea who these people are.
3:32PM: So we're about to get underway here. There's some starting lineups or whatever over at the MLB Gameday thinger.
3:35PM: Just heard a commercial for a bail bondsman, so I'm positive I'm listening to the Oakland radio feed. Hey, the game's about to start! Really! Here's second baseman Mike Aviles to lead off.
3:38PM: The first pitch is a strike by Sean Gallagher. You know what that means, right? Six more weeks of winter. Aviles grounds out.
3:41PM: Mark Ellis is playing in his 721st game at second base, tying him with Dick Green for all time mark for most games played at second base by an Oakland A. Hooray for longevity and hooray for mediocrity! Someone named Mitch Maier struck out; Alex Gordon draws a walk.
3:42PM: Jose Guillen is up now, but nobody really knows if he wants to be up. No matter, he grounds out to Gallagher. Let's head to the all-important bottom of the first!
3:47PM: Ryan Sweeney, Kurt Suzuki, and Carlos Gonzalez will face Brian Bannister here. Our radio pals are telling us that Bannister has a shit fastball and hasn't won since June. YOU'RE NOTHING LIKE YOUR FATHER FLOYD! Sweeney grounds out.
3:50PM: Kurt Suzuki is Hawaiian, not unlike Shane Victorino, Don Ho, or ukuleles. He also knows how to draw a walk and does so off Mr. Bannister.
3:53PM: Carlos Gonzalez strikes out swinging, bringing up ladykiller Jack Cust. (FULL DISCLOSURE: JACK CUST HAS NEVER KILLED A LADY). Cust has 50 career homers. Oh he just walked, bringing up Emil Brown. Hey that's two first inning walks for 'control specialist' Brian Bannister. JOE POSNANSKI'S GONNA BE SORE!
3:56PM: Emil Brown looks at strike three and I'm just not funny enough to think up a joke here. Two strikeouts and two walks make for a slow inning.
4:00PM: Mark Teahen, Billy Butler and Ross Gload will hit this inning against Gallagher. Teahen scorches one to left and Emil Brown makes an acrobatic catch, sticking the landing on a sore ankle, and is carried off the field by his ursine coach. Here's DH Billy Butler, with a cringe-inducing .700 OPS....and he strikes out flailing.
4:00:30PM: Gload flies out to Carlos Gonzalez, ending the inning. Carlos needs a clever nickname. I propose: CarlGonzo the Garbanzo.
4:04PM: Mark Ellis, Jack Hannahan, and Booby Crosby will hit in the second. Ellis singles, Hannahan follows with a long single into the gap. First and third, none out.
4:06PM: These announcers are turning my brain to jelly. Crosby pops up behind Aviles at second, he ranges back to catch it and he makes an oopsie. The ball falls in, Ellis scores, Hannahan scoots to second, Aviles' throw goes over Pena's head, and the A's have runners on first and second with none out, still.
4:10PM: Wes Bankston strikes out looking. Sad trombone would be nice here but YouTube hates me. Here's Ryan Sweeney. How many Sweeneys are playing baseball for the A's nowadays anyways? Does Julia need work? THERE WE GO...they just referred to Bannister as a sabermetrician. Ray Fosse's in the booth and he has NO idea what that means. Probably lost 35% of his brain capacity after Pete Rose knocked him the fug out. Sweeney singles, driving in Hannahan. 2-0 Oakland.
4:14PM: Bannister brings the 'heat' inside and knocks Suzuki down. That was an 88 MPH pitch. Man up, Kurt. Suzuki pops out because he's afraid of his own success. Here's CarlGonzo the Garbanzo, who pops out to end the inning. Let's go to the third!
4:18PM: Today was Mug Root Beer Float Day presented by Pepsi, and Ray Fosse and Rickey Henderson were on hand to scoop out the ice cream. Fosse had a longer line than Rickey. Rickey probably spent 7 minutes discussing Rickey's career highlights instead of GETTING TO THE GODDAMN SCOOPING. Miguel Olivo leads off with a double.
4:22PM: Tony Pena Jr strikes out and no one is surprised. Mike Aviles dubbles and the announcer guy WHOSE NAME I DO NOT KNOW BECAUSE OAKLAND IS FAR AWAY FROM ME calls him "Mike Alives". Olivo scores, it's 2-1 Oakland. Aviles, Olivo. Olivo, Aviles. Maier hits a single to right driving in Aviles, tying the game at 2, and then gets caught in a rundown. 9-2-6-4-5-3 if you're scoring at home. Shoot yourself if you are.
4:25PM: Alex Gordon walks and the wheels are falling off the Sean Gallagher train. LOOK OUT THERES A COW ON THE TRACKS!
4:29PM: Guillen flies out to Carlos Gonzalez and...HOLY SHIT THE YANKEES JUST TRADED FOR IVAN RODRIGUEZ.