Welcome to the support group for putting that last series behind us. I promise, it’ll all feel better soon. Hopefully. Maybe.
The A’s are coming off probably the most painful .500 roadtrip ever — they looked tired, listless, and all around bad last series. There hasn’t been an offday yet, so it’s hard to really "turn the page on it", but a homecoming to a sold-out crowd is well enough to put a lid on the 3-game losing streak.
Good thing the Blue Jays have never swept us before. Yup, never. Never ever ever ever ever. Perfect team to rebound against, if you ask me. Nope, never swept us in a 3-game set at Toronto back at the end of May. That never happened.
The Blue Jays haven’t been much better than us recently — they’ve won 5 of their last 10, and have been scuffling through June. They’re a good team, but their place at the top of their division is mostly due to the incompetence of the AL East this year.
Tonight’s matchup is Sonny Gray (7-3, 3.20) vs. R.A. Dickey (6-7, 4.24), which is fantastic if you’re a fan of weak contact everywhere. Dickey’s in the middle of his second straight down year — if knuckleballers decline with age, Dickey’s doing that. But he also manages to pitch without a UCL, so maybe not. Either way. His FIP is even worse than his ERA — an appalling 4.84. Yikes. Dickey has hurt us in the past, though: last time he faced us, he pitched 8.1 innings with 2 ER.
Sonny Gray’ll be looking to forget a forgettable June — a 5.40 ERA over his 30.0 IP isn’t exactly… inspiring. However, if you’re looking for signs of hope, the 3.04 FIP he put up in that time is borderline elite and suggests regression going forward. The good type of regression.
Here are the lineups:
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||OAKLAND A'S|
|Jose Reyes - SS||John Jaso - DH|
|Melky Cabrera - RF||A. Callaspo - 3B|
|Jose Bautista - DH||Yoenis Cespedes - LF|
|E. Encarnacion - LF||Brandon Moss - RF|
|Adam Lind - 1B||Jed Lowrie - SS|
|Juan Francisco - 3B||Stephen Vogt - C|
|M. Kawasaki - 2B||Nate Freiman - 1B|
|Anthony Gose - CF||Eric Sogard - 2B|
|Josh Thole - C||Craig Gentry - CF|
Donaldson’s out with back stiffness, and Norris and Coco have the day off. This is decidedly a B-team lineup, but not terrible. I have no idea why Callaspo’s hitting second, though. Yikes.