Number twenty-eight in a series.
Broadcast: Oakland A’s on Comcast Sportsnet-Bay Area, A’s at Minnesota, 8/18/08; Announcers: Glen Kuiper (play-by-play), Ray Fosse (analyst)
Perhaps it had to do with the collapse of the A's season -- they're currently 19 1/2 games behind the Angels in the AL West and have traded away three pitchers who were in the starting rotation at the beginning of the season -- but this was a pretty low-key broadcast. So, as you’ve probably figured out by now, I rather enjoyed it. This was another game where I didn't have to write down a whole lot of notes.
Glen Kuiper (brother of the Giants’ Duane Kuiper, by the way) and Ray Fosse for the most part kept the focus on the game. While they joked around some, none of it made me cringe.
Fosse also had some good observations. In the first inning he noticed early on that A’s starter Justin Duchscherer was flexing or shaking his right leg from time to time as if he were hurt. Duchscherer ended up leaving the game during the bottom of the third with a right hip injury.
In the 8th, with Oakland up 3-0, Minnesota’s Joe Mauer tripled to left-center to score a run, and when the throw from the outfield hit a sliding Mauer and the ball went out of play, Mauer scored. Fosse pointed out that A’s pitcher Brad Ziegler went to back up the play at home instead of third, though there was no chance there would even be a throw home. Had Ziegler gone to back up third, he could’ve kept the ball from leaving the field.
Fosse also had a curious comment on the recent benching of Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton for failing to run hard on a ground ball (as I mentioned in my reports on the Rays and Rangers). Fosse gave credit to Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who benched 2007 NL MVP Jimmy Rollins earlier this season for failing to run out a grounder. I’d like to think that Rays manager Joe Maddon didn’t need inspiration from elsewhere, that he would’ve benched Upton anyway.
The production crew has to be given credit for finding a replay which explained why Twins shortstop Adam Everett left the game in the sixth. It turned out Everett was hit in the right hand by a foul ball, and a camera caught Everett running towards the tunnel into the clubhouse holding his hand. Grade: B. -- Joe Guckin