Open Thread: Game 128 - A's at Angels

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Sometimes, a small sample size can be a baseball statistician's best friend. So is the case with tonight's A's hurler, Brett Tomko, who in his two starts for the A's after being designated for assignment by the Yankees in July has done everything he could to make his old pinstriped employers look a little silly. Having allowed only a single run over 11 innings, with opponents batting .235, Tomko is sporting a Jeff Gray-like 0.82 ERA, to go along with 9 K's against 3 walks. Before you throw the Small Sample Size Book (TM) at me, just think about how awesome that would be if he could, you know, go a full season with 35 starts with 200 innings? We're talking Cy Young in a landslide!

But the downside of a small sample size is that typically, there is regression to the mean. Looking to help Tomko regress to the mean are the "not quite in Los Angeles" Angels, who have surprisingly lost four of their last five contests and six of their last eight, seeing their lead in the AL West over the Texas Rangers shrink to four games. Looking to turn that around is tonight's batting lineup, which features six players batting over .300 (and one batting .299) - so it's quite possible they are capable of doing so.

The A's lineup, featuring one batter over .280 (Raj), and a first baseman batting .204 (Barton), who replaced a first baseman who was batting .193 (Giambi), will be facing Angels rookie Trevor Bell, who in limited time (small sample size?) has a 9.49 ERA and a 1-1 record, including his last start against the Blue Jays, when he unceremoniously left the game after only an inning and two-thirds, giving up six runs. So who knows what will happen? Practically the only guarantee is that Craig Breslow will probably come in from the bullpen at some point.




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