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Thursday, May 01, 2008

LIVE BLOGGING ADENHART'S DEBUT: INNING 2 

Here comes Big Frank, the greatest hitter Nick Adenhart has ever faced. Fastball way outside, then he grooves one that The Hurt fouls back. Brings the fastball back in a couple of times and Thomas breaks his bat and ground out to third. Some nice action on that fastball, and I like the coming inside against Frank Thomas there.

Emil Brown can't hurt a curveball, so Adenhart starts him off with one. It goes about 55 feet. A fastball evens it up, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Angel advance scouts saw Brown struggle with curveballs and thrive against fastballs, because our guys have just been feeding him charlies all series.

Naturally, on 1-1 Adenhart comes up and in with a fastball and Brown shoots it the other way through the 3/4 hole.

Jack Cust will present another test, with his patience. Takes a fastball away, and then another one that only barely misses. And another one up and away and not close -- this is Adenhart's first PA from the stretch, and it's a four-pitch walk.

Napoli on the mound. I spot a small gesture toward the infielders. Wanna bet the message was "Just keep it down, in the zone, and let them hit it. You've got Erick Aybar out there for God's sake." He hits the outside knee against Crosby for strike one, and Napoli points in encouragement. The second pitch misses just a bit low and the ump gets some catcalls from the stands.

The 1-1 curve goes about 55 feet again, then the next one finishes up and in as he overcompensates on the release point. His slowish movement toward home may encourage him to open up that left shoulder early. This draws out Mike Butcher.

Incidentally, some of the things I'm saying here are being said by Phys and Rex, too, almost simultaneously with my typing, so I'm perfectly willing to admit that I'm wrong on everything.

Napoli does Adenhart no favors by declining to block a fastball in the dirt with this Hannahan character up. Then the next fastball misses way high.

This is not good. He's only thrown one curve in the zone, has missed badly on three, and just threw a changeup up at blimp level. The A's can sit on his fastball, which he now misses with way high and away to issue a walk and load the bases.

Now Chone Figgins will talk to him. How many people are going to talk to this kid? Is it going to help? Send me a chopper, Artie, I'll get out there and talk to him.

He starts off Ryan Sweeney with a curve in the zone. It was the top of the zone, though, not necessarily a pitch you want to throw. And then he misses with two straight fastballs, then a curve just outside. A high fastball walks in a run, and he's walked four straight guys, with a wild pitch (that should have been blocked) thrown in for fun. Moseley gets up in the pen.

Adenhart sticks with the stretch. I'd go to the windup here. It's not like the A's are gonna steal home. Wind up and get back to what you know.

He finally puts a couple heaters in the zone, but the second one Suzuki puts on the ground and it eats Quinlan up. 4-0, and Quinlan is about as graceful as Amy Winehouse out there.

Another two high strikes on curves to Mark Ellis. A third one misses down and away, but in the place where you want to miss. Then the fastball misses away, but not a bad miss on 1-2. A high change gets a force play.

Look, if he gets out of the inning, let him stay in. See how he bounces back from a tough inning. I'm not saying run up his pitch count on the day, but let's see him be resilient.

First pitch to Barton -- and I have to go for now. To be continued.

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