We all know what's at stake here. Win and we celebrate the A's first trip to the ALCS since 2006, exorcise the demons of the umpteen first round exits we have seen in the Billy Beane tenure, and finally, with the platform of a national audience, we will once and for all establish the definition of Moneyball so no journalist or broadcaster will ever get it wrong again. Just kidding about that last part.
I'm writing this with a strange mix of nervousness and anticipation, and a firm belief that I will get nothing done at work today. I'm sure pretty much all of you are in the same boat.
I don't expect any ancillary spillover from RageFest 1.0 yesterday; the stakes are simply too high. However, between the fight and the fact that their team is facing elimination, I do expect that the crowd might be a bit more pumped up than the Monday afternoon crew from yesterday. No matter, the esteemed Lev Facher will be representing A's Nation at Comerica Park. With his Coliseum cheering experience I'm certain he'll have the voice of a hundred in cheering on our beloved Green & Gold.
Dan Straily (10-8, 3.96 ERA) is pitching the biggest game of his life. He faces Doug Fister (14-9, 3.67 ERA). Both of them come in on double-digit days of rest, which as we're taught by the baseball cliche handbook means that they could be rusty. Watch out for rust!
I do have some good news for you with respect to this matchup. On August 28, the A's tagged Fister for seven earned runs on 13 hits (and no walks!) in just five innings, en route to a 14-4 victory. Guess who the A's starting pitcher was that day? None other than Straily, who held the Tigers to one run on eight hits in six solid innings. It's been done before, it can be done again. Max Scherzer is technically available out of the bullpen, so get your knocks in early, boys.
BTW if you are in Oakland and don't have to be at work/school...you may want to head over to the New Parkway Theater which is showing the game on the biggest of screens. It should be a raucous time with fellow A's fans.
Link to event info: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/486215
Here are the lineups, no changes for either team (except better weather, apparently):
|2:00pm Athletics (D. Straily - R) @ Tigers (D. Fister - R)|
LET'S GO OAKLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!