As I walked into the bathroom behind the right field bleachers in the top of the eighth inning, A’s radio announcer Vince Cotroneo said what I had been thinking since I got in the parking lot at a quarter to five: “This has just been a miserable night.” The A’s lost 3-0, with the game being called in the eighth due to rain. A consistent downpour and a total lack of offense (“That’s all we got? One goddamn hit?” – Harry Doyle) turned last night’s game, and Bacon Tuesday, into a test of endurance and dedication. We passed with flying colors, albeit a little worse for wear.
The start of the game was delayed 43 minutes by rain, and a steady drizzle continued throughout the night. Funny enough, it was actually raining harder at the new start time than it was at 7:05. Had they started at the original time, they may have gotten all nine innings in.
After a night in which they only managed one run, the A’s would be kept off the board completely, only mustering one hit in 7 2/3 innings, a double by Cliff Pennington in the third, after which he was promptly picked off.
Royals starter Danny Duffy worked six proficient innings, striking out eight and walking four. The 23-year-old left-hand native of Southern California improved to 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in three career starts against the A’s at the Coliseum. The only time he ran into any real trouble was the fifth when he walked two batters before striking out Pennington to end the threat.
Kansas City opened the scoring in the fourth after Billy Butler led off with a double, went to third on a bloop by Jeff Francoeur, and came home on a long fly ball by Mike Moustakas that bounced off the glove of Yoenis Cespedes. Francoeur scored on Humberto Quintero’s sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Mitch Maier added a solo shot in the seventh, but the Royals already had everything they needed.
Speaking of Francoeur, as you may know, last night was Bacon Tuesday, and the assortment of bacon goodies ended up being our only highlight of the night. In case you don’t know the background, last September the bleacher crew came up with the idea of Bacon Tuesday. There really wasn’t a reason, we just thought it would be fun. Francoeur, who was a great sport about being heckled by us during KC’s last visit in June, asked for some.
After that game, a plate of bacon was sent down to Francoeur in the dugout. He must have been really moved by the gesture, because the next day he throws up an autographed baseball with a hundred dollar bill wrapped around it. “Beer or bacon dog on me Jeff Francoeur” it read. Just like that, a tradition was born.
Last night everybody in the bleachers was encouraged to bring out whatever bacon treats they could come up with. Since I lack any kind of culinary skills and was stuck at school for most of the day, I didn’t bring anything myself. I thought about stopping to get some bacon cheeseburgers or something, but commuting in the rain makes everything seem 10 times harder. I’ll come up with something next year.
I can’t even begin to list all the different bacon food and snacks that were being passed around the bleachers last night. Bacon cheeseburgers, bacon hot dogs, bacon and cheese potato wedges, bacon SPAM sushi, chocolate covered bacon, bacon cheesecake, and bacon cupcakes are just a few of the items we had. When I got to my seat people were handing me meaty goodness left and right, and I was well fed, and pretty satisfied, within five minutes after not having eaten all day.
As the night wore on, we ate our bacon and chatted with Francoeur when the Royals were in the field. Apparently everybody else was ready to jump on the bacon bandwagon, since the scoreboard operators kept showing us on the big screen all night. They even started putting up Bacon Tuesday graphics on the screen. In-game host Kara Tsuboi came over multiple times to talk with us, and our enthusiasm for bacon and baseball seemed to entertain and energize the few brave souls that stayed throughout the rain. This thing got so big, the media is starting to pick up on it. There’s also a great video of Omar and Anson giving us a quick history of Bacon Tuesday. I don’t think any of us anticipated this.
During the second rain delay, which was called in the eighth after Eric Hosmer lost grip of his bat during a strikeout, we decided to make our way down to the Royals dugout to present Jeff with a Bacon Tuesday shirt and a container of food. You could tell he was really having fun with this thing, as he was smiling and laughing the entire night.
After forcing us to sit around in the rain for an hour, the crew finally called the game at 11:07. I never leave games early, and I certainly wasn’t going to start last night, but this is the one time you won’t hear me bitch about the A’s losing. Doesn’t mean I’m happy about it, but after getting rained on all night and watching the A’s get one hit in seven innings, it was time to go home.
With the loss the A’s drop to 2-4 with today’s game against the Royals the last of the first homestand. Bruce Chen makes his second start of the season for the Royals today after pitching six shutout innings against the Angels on opening day. Brandon McCarthy, making his third start, will be on the hill for the good guys.
I need to start getting ready because I’m going to try to make it to this game, but first, here’s a final word from our sponsor.