Game Thread #90: Oakland Athletics at Pittsburgh Pirates

USA TODAY Sports

So many story lines, where to start?! Story line overload! Two first-place teams face off in an epic battle between the American League and the National League in tonight's contest for all the marbles! Two All-Star pitchers face-off in a battle of the mound. Could this be a World Series preview? So many notable stars to watch! Let's see...what am I missing...

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I could lie and say that all of us knew when the 2013 schedule came out that in the second week of July; the last week before the sham of an All Star Game, two of the best teams in baseball would be facing off for an all-important three game series, and those teams would happen to be the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Oakland Athletics, and both pitchers opening the series would be All-Stars. Ha!

Neither team has a commanding hold on first place; the A's are a mere half game up on the Rangers in the AL West, and the Pirates are tied with the Cardinals for the NL Central's top spot, but as of this very moment, both teams are in first place, and playing to keep it that way.

That's quite enough on its own, isn't it? Bartolo Colon will be facing off against his All Star counterpart, Jeff Locke, whom I'm told from the statistical genius that lives in my house has unsustainable peripherals for first-half numbers. Can that regression start tonight? The A's have historically played the Pirates as well as they have played Houston this season; they are 9-0 lifetime against the team from Pittsburgh, but this isn't your usual Pirates team. The A's should be at the top of their game, and Colon...well...just needs to be Colon for the night.

Now, I imagine you'd normally care about all of the above, except for the one little detail that exploded the interwebs yesterday; the message that Grant Green was being called up from Triple-A, replacing Adam Rosales, who was DFA'd today. Green is in the starting lineup in tonight's game, batting eighth, right in front of Colon. Did I mention that pitchers will be "batting" in this series? Don't get me started.

Let's not all freak out at once. Aw...hell. Go ahead and freak out. It's a big deal. Four years after being drafted by the A's in their first pick, Grant Green, who has been shuffled all over the field, finally landing at second-base, will make his Major League Debut today and will take his first at-bat sometime around the second inning. This series should finally generate some national attention for both teams, so let's hope our little engine that could is up for the challenge.

Here are your Green-filled lineups:

LET'S GO OAK-LAND!

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