5/10/14 at the Oakland Coliseum

After a horrible month of April and start to May, I was hoping to get on track ballhawking on this beautiful Saturday evening in Oakland.

This game was once again myself and my dad and the NATIONALS were in town. Yeah! A’s BP was taking place when the gates opened. Thankfully, it was a Saturday game, so the A’s were still taking BP when gates open.

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Daric Barton didn’t hit any out.

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But Brandon Moss DID. And he crushed them!

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He hit a ball more or less directly at me. However, I misjudged it and it flew over my head. Thankfully, someone deserving got it. You might have heard of him… It was none other than Rick Gold! He was in town for his one Oakland homestand of the season.

After 15 or 20 minutes, the A’s left and the Nationals started BP. Guess who is with the Nats? Former Atheltic Jerry Blevins!

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Left Field wasn’t too crowded when Washington BP got underway. 
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Nobody on the Nationals really hit it out. It was kind of lame.IMG_4876

However, I did get one ball and it was from Craig Stammen.
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He kind of just tossed a ball up, not really intending it for anyone and I grabbed it after it bounced into an empty seat.

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Like I mentioned, BP was nothing special. Rick ended up catching a ball off the bat of Ian Desmond and a few others landed in the seats, but it was nothing special.
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These were the four main guys that patrolled left field during Nats BP. Note that former Athletic Gio Gonzalez was with them. It was great to see Gio back at the Coliseum!

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Not many guys tossed balls up either, I was very lucky to have gotten one. Most of BP was just this…

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… and this.

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One thing tat my dad caught during BP, but I saw later in the game was this make-shift sun shade that the right field camera operator made for himself.
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Eventually, everyone jogged off the field.

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And the cage was pulled off the field.

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I had talked with Rick on and off throughout BP, but after batting practice, Rick and I spent about 20 minutes catching up and talking ballhawking and baseball and such.

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And then I got a photo with Rick for the MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt.

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It was nice to visit left field for a while!
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On the mound for Oakland was Sonny Gray.
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Tanner Roark was on the bump for the Nationals.

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This game was “Journey Night.” The post-game fireworks were to the music of the band Journey. A few members played the national anthem and one threw out the first pitch.
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Both starting pitchers were very good in this game. Roark pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing just 2 hits.

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Sonny Gray pitched 7 innings and allowed 6 hits.IMG_5905
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Now it is time for me to share with you some of my favorite photos from the game…
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Why is a giant Dennis Eckersley standing behind the left field wall? Because of the Hall of Fame Mascot race!
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Despite taking an early lead, Eck did not do well…

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He finished last…

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By a lot…

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What a disappointment!

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Like I mentioned, Tanner Roark pitched a great game for the Nationals! The only run he allowed was a John Jaso home run in the 3rd inning.

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At one point in the game, Jerry Blevins got loose in the bullpen, but he never came into this game.

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Josh Reddick led of the 8th with a single for Oakland, but he was unable to score and the game was 3-1 in favor of the Nationals going into the 9th inning.

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Sean Doolittle came on to pitch for Oakland, which meant it was time to headbang!

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Doolittle pitched a 1-2-3 9th to send the game to the bottom half of the inning to give the A’s the chance to push some runs across the plate.

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After John Jaso singled, Jed Lowrie ripped a double to left field to score Jaso and bring the A’s within 1.

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Josh Donaldson then singled to center field to score Lowrie and tie the game at 3-3 with NO OUTS.
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Despite the fact that there was a runner on base with no outs, Brandon Moss, Yoenis Cespedes, and Josh Reddick were all unable to push across JD, sending the game into extras.

Doolittle came back on for the 10th inning, once again getting Washington in order 1-2-3.

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Alberto Callaspso singled to lead off the bottom of the 10th for Oakland.

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After Eric Sogard failed to lay a bunt down, Daric Barton flied out…

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This brought John Jaso to the plate…

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On the first pitch of his at-bat, Jaso ripped a double to right-center that ALMOST was a home run.
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Pinch runner Nick Punto came around to score.

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And it was an Athletics victory!

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And of course Jaso was pied!IMG_7000

This game was huge for me. After several rough games ballhawking-wise, it felt good to get back into the swing of things and snag a ball. Thanks for reading!

Remember, I’m publishing a new blog entry every day!  If you click on the game title, it will take you to a link that WILL NOT GO LIVE UNTIL THE ENTRY IS PUBLISHED. If you click on the game title before it is published, you will be given a page that says “The page you were looking for was not found.” You’ll be able to check out the game entry once it is published. Check out the list to find out when my next game entry will be!

  • Thursday, June 19th: 5/11/14 at the Oakland Coliseum
  • Friday, June 20th: 5/25/14 at John Thurman Field (Beyond the Outfield Fence)
  • Saturday, June 21st: 5/30/14 at the Oakland Coliseum
  • Sunday, June 22nd: 6/13/14 at the Oakland Coliseum

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 8th game this year (5th MLB Game)
  • 1 ball at this game
  • 2 ball in 5 MLB games this season = 0.4 Balls Per Game
  • 17 baseball this season
  • 70 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 180 Lifetime Baseballs

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Nick Badders is a blogger for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @RFNick149. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook. This blog entry was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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