GameThread #106: A's vs. Jays

Middle infield is looking good. - Jason O. Watson

The A's welcome the Toronto Blue Jays in the first of three games at the Coliseum.

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Greetings, and welcome to another edition of A's baseball! The Rangers' free fall combined with the Angels and Astros playing like the Angels and Astros had the A's sitting 19 games over .500 and a full six games ahead of the Rangers in the AL West this morning. That lead looks like it will go to 6.5 games as the Angels are up 3-1 on the Rangers in the 8th inning and Jered Weaver is twirling a gem.

6 game lead, 19 games over .500. I feel like partying just typing that out...but that would be counting chickens before they're hatched, or ordering chicken and beer when you should be playing baseball or whatever. As A's fans, we saw our team make a miraculous comeback to take the division at the end of last season. That alone should remind us to keep the pedal to the metal.

Tonight, as part of an 11-game homestand, the A's take on the visiting Blue Jays. The Blue Jays we all know are first place in the AL East thanks to Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Mark Buerhle, Josh Johnson, and R.A. Dickey are terrible, sitting in last place in the AL East, 14 games back. The primary culprit, much like the other paper tigers in the AL, is a weak pitching staff. The Jays are second to last in the AL with a 4.35 staff ERA, allowing opponents to put up an astonishing .755 OPS.

Tonight's matchup features A.J. Griffin vs. Esmil Rogers. In Griffin's last start he went 6 1/3 innings and allowed three earned runs at Houston, getting the win. Toronto acquired Rogers in the offseason for Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes, expecting him to be a power reliever to take the baton from a solid rotation. However, due to injuries and ineffectiveness, Rogers was promoted to the rotation ten starts ago, and he has not disappointed. The 27-year-old right hander thrives on a 96 mph fastball and a 94 mph sinker that has become a go-to pitch for him this season. He also features a solid slider that he uses as an out pitch.

The July 31 trade deadline of course hovers over this game, and keep posting the latest in the game threads...even if the A's don't ultimately pull off a swap, it's fun to be buyers for the second year in a row.

Tonight's game is free to watch on MLB.com, so if you don't live in large parts of California, Nevada, Oregon, or Canada, you should be able to stream it online.

Here are the lineups, LET'S GO OAK-LAND!!!!!!!!!!

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