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May 29, 2014

What You Need to Know

Kazmir's 'A' Game

by Chris Mosch


The Wednesday Takeaway
Fans at Oakland Coliseum were treated to a fantastic pitchers’ duel between Scott Kazmir and Anibal Sanchez on Wednesday, and the visitors started the bottom of the ninth inning with a 1-0 advantage.

Kazmir was in line for a complete-game loss, in which he threw 76 of his 103 pitches for strikes and struck out eight batters without issuing a walk. The lone mistake he made was a slider left up that Torii Hunter deposited over the right-center field wall. Kazmir was able to subdue the Tigers with his changeup, as he threw 19 of his 26 off-speed offerings for strikes—nine of them of the swing-and-miss variety. The southpaw was able to hold his velocity over the course of the game, registering his fastest four-seamer of the game with his second-to-last pitch.

Sanchez entered the ninth inning at the century mark with his pitch count, and had faced just two above the minimum. After retiring Alberto Callaspo to start the ninth, Coco Crisp sliced Sanchez’s 111th and final pitch of the night past Nick Castellanos and down the left-field line for a standup double.

Up next for Oakland was John Jaso, who lined a 2-2 slider from Joe Nathan to left field for a single. The ball just grazed the glove of Castellanos, so Crisp had to hold up at third base, setting the stage for Josh Donaldson:

Donaldson’s second career walk-off home run capped off a Wednesday that featured four different walkoffs. It was the first time since April 2 that there have been four or more walkoffs on a single day.

Quick Hits from Wednesday

The Rockies and Indians both succumbed to the long-standing adage that good teams will make you pay if you give them more than three outs in an inning. Exactly how good the Phillies and White Sox are is a fair question, but they’re both major-league teams and were able to capitalize on the opportunities handed to them.

LaTroy Hawkins entered the ninth inning against Philadelphia with a 3-2 lead, and retired the leadoff man. The next batter, Tony Gwynn Jr., hit a ground ball to Josh Rutledge, who threw the ball over the head of Justin Morneau, allowing the tying run aboard.

Ben Revere followed with a single to bring up Jimmy Rollins, and Hawkins caught a break when Rollins lined out to left field after Troy Tulowitzki had dropped a foul pop up earlier in the at bat. Chase Utley tied the game up with a single to right field, which set the stage for Howard.

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