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First of all, counter intuitive as it may seem, this is not a "must win". It's a "MAN would it be good to win this one." However, even if the A's were to lose today, they would simply be where they were Monday: Needing to sweep a tough 3-game series at home, which they did.
In a 5-game series, where any 3-game winning streak takes the series, you can have your backs to the wall and still be right in it. However...A's fans will enjoy the rest of their weekend quite a bit more if Oakland can get out of Detroit with a split.
Hopefully Tommy Milone is a "morning person". He gets the ball for this ridiculous "Oh hey, let's play a game at 9:00am and not put it on regular TV" affair. The Tigers counter with Doug Fister ("Barely knew her!) (STILL FUNNY). As Josh Donaldson demonstrated yesterday with his 410 foot out to CF, this is not a bad ballpark for Milone.
Milone has not been his sharpest lately. In two of his last three starts, he allowed 9 hits in 4.2 IP, and in fact he allowed 55 hits in his last 36.1 IP. However, he is unflappable and in that regard might be a great choice for a game that the A's, if they don't "need," could sure use.
On the plus side for the A's, while they did lose on Saturday at least they were able to give their "plus" relievers, Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, and Grant Balfour, a third consecutive day off. All three ought to be sufficiently rested now, available to pitch and each even to push beyond an inning if needed.
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