Game Thread #140: Oakland A's at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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I learned something new today. That the Angels' stadium, which I always thought was called "The Big A" (a welcome relief from their mouthful of a team name) is actually called Angels Stadium of Anaheim. Why was this needed? Angels Stadium wasn't good enough? I then took a look at their food menus and saw that I can order Angels Nachos of Anaheim (includes free extra rat meat!) and a Los Angeles Angels Choco Taco of Anaheim for dessert. I guess the old Bavarian farmers need their stamp on everything. But I digress.

The Angels come in on a six game win streak, courtesy of sweeps of the A's and the Detroit Tigers. The A's recovered from their sweep nicely, taking all three against Seattle over the weekend. Also, Danny Haren, who for most of the season looked like a lost shell of himself for most of this season, comes into the game having won his last two starts, allowing 1 earned run in 13 innings.

Jarrod Parker has pitched well against the Angels this season, with a 3.05 ERA (but no wins to show for it...yet). Also, on a side note, the A's welcome back Jemile Weeks and Daric Barton, and add RP Jesse Chavez for the postseason push.

I don't remember the last series the A's played that carried such magnitude, especially given that this is the first of 17 straight games against playoff contenders:

American League Wild Card Standings

Oakland 79 60 .568 0 Won 3
Baltimore 78 62 .557 1.5 Lost 1
Tampa Bay 77 63 .550 2.5 Won 1
Los Angeles 77 63 .550 2.5 Won 6
Detroit 73 66 .525 6 Lost 3

(updated 9.10.2012 at 10:30 AM PDT)

And therein lies the good news - the A's have a 2.5 game lead on the Angels. Additionally, Tampa Bay and Baltimore are playing each other at the same time. This means that if the A's split the series they are guaranteed of holding on to a wild card spot. Of course, we want more. 3-1 or a sweep would start to put some distance between the A's and that annoying pack of chihuahuas yelping in high pitched voices at their heels.

I imagine that a number of A's faithful will make the brutal journey from the ends of SoCal to cheer on the green and gold; if you are there, check in on the game thread and post a pic of yourself surrounded by sad Angels fans. Because they will be sad.

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