Freddy Garcia brings the American League best New York Yankees to the Coliseum to take on the A's. The Yankees sport a 57-34 record which puts them atop the AL East with baseball's widest division lead at 9 1/2 games ahead of the second place Orioles who beat Minnesota today. I can't say I thought the Yankees would be here at this point. The past few seasons I've looked at these teams seemingly full of flaws and bloated payroll and found countless reasons why they were as good as the Red Sox or Rays, or even Jays at times. Yet here they are yet again. The fountain of youth they have in the Bronx is as good as any and Garcia, 35 years young, is yet another aged Yankees star who is putting enough together to help them compete and win. Despite a a gaudy 5.25 ERA, he has a much more respectable 4.19 FIP, with 6.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9 in his 48 innings on the mound. He squares off against a much younger adversary in (well everyone on Oakland practically but particularly) A.J. Griffin who is making his fifth MLB start bringing a 2.63 ERA but messier 4.65 FIP to the table. Griffin has benefited from a .194 BABIP and 92.0% strand rate, but he can't let this Yankee lineup get too many guys on base and expect them not to cash in (though he did just that against another AL offensive juggernaut in Texas).
A's bring a fairly typical lineup to the table, Derek Norris gets the start at catcher as he continues to look to steal playing time from Kurt Suzuki who still seems like a strong trade candidate despite (or perhaps based upon) his middling performance. First pitch is 7:05.
LETS GO OAKLAND!