Like many Athletics fans of a certain age, I've never entirely gotten over 1988. He-Who-Can-Not-Be-Named, Hershiser, and Lasorda can all bite me. I'm still a bitter, bitter man.
That said, there has been much to admire about this franchise over the years. Jackie Robinson, of course. Vin Scully, Sandy Koufax, Red Barber, Pee Wee Reese. I could go on, but we have a game to play. I'll probably never get over 1988, and shame on the Dodgers for that whole leaving-Brooklyn thing, but a team that has a historical rivalry with both the Yankees and the Giants? I think we could all get behind that just a little bit...
Now, let's go and (hopefully) kick their asses.
THE QUESTIONS (53 pts)
1. Series Outcome (3 pts)
2. Run Line Through Sunday, the Dodgers have averaged 4.31 runs per game. The A's have averaged 3.79. Predict over/under 7.5 total runs scored for each game. (2 points each, 6 total)
3. The Brandons It's nice to be able to regard our Corner Infielders without cringing, even if there is an "inge" in cringe! (sorry, couldn't resist.) Brandon Inge will do just fine for now, given some of the other options we've explored this season. (Luke Hughes, anyone?) Meanwhile, Brandon Moss has been on quite the tear. He'll regress, of course, but hopefully to a level we can all live with. Predict PA/H/XBH for each Brandon. (2 points each) Does Moss hit another Home Run? (1 point, 13 total)
4. Such A Deal! It's a bit pre-emptive to say so, but the Trevor Cahill trade is looking pretty good right now. Jarrod Parker has pitched well, Ryan Cook has apparently won the Closer job, and Collin Cowgill projects to be a decent Stan Javier-esque 4th Outfielder, and perhaps more.
Predict IP/H/BB/K for Parker (2 points each) Does Cook earn a save in this series? (1 point) Does Cowgill steal a base in this series? (1 point, 2 total) Update: Parker's start was pushed back at the 11th hour, so his part of the question is off the board.
5. And Speaking Of Ryan Cook... Cook's ascendancy to Closerdom has relegated Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes to Set-Up roles, a lefty/righty tandem reminiscent of Gene Nelson and Rick Honeycutt, one can only hope. Guess Balfour/Fuentes/Both/Neither for the following: Who pitches at least two innings? Who strikes out at least two batters? Who walks at least two batters? (2 points each) Does either one surrender a Home Run? (1 point, 7 total)
6. A Couple Of Their Guys I will watch a Dodger game just to hear Vin Scully say Andre Ethier's name. "Andre Ethier!" Seriously, I love the sound of it. Predict Ethier's PA/H/XBH for the series. (2 points each) Hey, remember Aaron Harang? He pitches for the Dodgers now. Predict his IP/H/BB/K (2 points each, 14 total)
7. Tommy Milone, Of Course He's been lights-out at the ol' Coli, not so much in MLB's other venues. Predict Tommy's IP/H/BB/K (2 points each, 8 total)
With regards to the questions pertaining to Starting Pitchers, if any Pitcher is scratched, the question applies to his replacement. Feel free to revise before gametime.
Answers due by 1st pitch, 7:05 PDT Tuesday. Good Luck, and Let's Go A's