I can't believe that we're at this point in the season already. Does Opening Night not feel like it was a few days ago to anyone else? I guess time really does fly when you're having fun, and the A's have been having quite a lot of fun through their first 99 games of 2013 -- 58 wins' worth, to be precise. Led by Jarrod Parker (6-6, 3.95 ERA), the A's will go for their 59th tonight, which would put Oakland a season-high 18 games over .500. It would also keep the A's perfect against Houston this season
Parker is opposed by Houston's Jarred Cosart, who's making his home debut for the Astros. Cosart was ridiculously good in his first major league start, which came almost two weeks ago on July 12. He took a no-hitter into the 7th inning against the Rays, and ended up allowing only two hits in eight-plus innings at Tropicana Field.
Cosart has the advantage of not having to face Oakland slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who's still sidelined with a left wrist injury. This is the fifth consecutive game he's missed, but he does appear to be making strides to be back soon:
Melvin says Cespedes will play tomorrow, probably, if batting practice goes well today.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 23, 2013
Indeed, Yoenis supposedly looked great in BP, so we should see him back in the lineup tomorrow against the Astros' ace (or at least, best starting pitcher) Bud Norris.
Cespedes' absence might not be a big deal, though, given how Chris Young has played in Houston this season. The right-handed Texas native would normally sit against a right-handed pitcher such as Cosart, but Cespedes' injury opens up a spot for him. Josh Donaldson is the only other righty in the A's lineup.
5:10pm Athletics (J. Parker - R) @ Astros (J. Cosart - R)