After not attending an A's game since April 11, I thought it was time that I drag my behind down to the old ball yard last night.
You know how people, upon meeting a celebrity that they've only seen on television, will say something like "You're much taller in person"?
Well let me tell ya, the A's are every bit of offensive in real life as they are on the tube, and I don't mean in a runs-y sort of way. I do have to say that it was nice of the players to get behind last night's blanket giveaway, considering how charitable they were to their guests from down south.
Of course, one could surmise that the A's are still in throwback mode, because not only do they hit like it's 1979, the fans are disguised as empty seats, too! Sure it's a bit far for a gimmick, but when you have the fourth-worst record in the Major Leagues, you go the extra mile.
And so the race between the A's and the Nationals to avoid being the last team to 10 victories continues, as the Texas Rangers ride into town having scorched Seattle for 13 runs in a two-game sweep. Two teams headed in opposite directions: Ron Washington's ball club has won six of eight, and is on a season-high four-game win streak, while the A's have lost four of five this month, including three straight.
Ah, but there is somewhat good news. Oakland is closer to first place (4.5) games than any other bottom-feeder in baseball.
The A's send walk-off specialist Dan Giese to the bump, in what manager Bob Geren is calling a spot start.
"I enjoy starting," said Giese, who made three starts among his 20 appearances last season with the Yankees, who waived him April 8. "Getting outs is getting outs. You get as many as you can, as quickly as you can."
The Rangers counter with right-hander Scott Feldman, who held his own while Kris Benson was on the disabled list. Says Wash:
"He has real life on his fastball, his slider is harder than it has been, his breaking ball is much crisper, and he's getting a good feel for his changeup. He's got four pitches he can throw over the plate. We just have to figure out how to get him deeper into the game."
"Deeper into the game." Thankfully the A's don't have that problem. Oh, wait.
Ah, but we still love them don't we gANg? Of course, we do. Here are tonight's lineups:
05/06/09 7:05 PM PDT
|Texas Rangers||Oakland Athletics|
|Ian Kinsler - 2B||Ryan Sweeney - CF|
|Elvis Andrus - SS||Orlando Cabrera - SS|
|Michael Young - 3B||Jason Giambi - 1B|
|Hank Blalock - DH||Matt Holliday - LF|
|Marlon Byrd - CF||Jack Cust - DH|
|Nelson Cruz - RF||Kurt Suzuki - C|
|David Murphy - LF||Travis Buck - RF|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Bobby Crosby - 2B|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C||Jack Hannahan - 3B|