Yesterday, the matchup of Rogers vs. Blanton presented the A's with a challenge. Tonight's matchup of Danny Haren vs. Chris Young is more favorable on paper, but game two of this series could present the A's with an entirely different sort of challenge. In my minor-league broadcasting days, the players and I endured many an 8-12 hour middle-of-the-night treks (these were by bus), in which we left around midnight, following a night game, and landed at the hotel mid-morning--with the series beginning that same night. Following a 4-5 hour mid-day snooze, the players and I would stagger over to the ballpark and I was always pleasantly surprised at the quality of the team's play, and the quality of my broadcasts, in the series opener.
And then came the second day. I'm not predicting any failure tonight, just suggesting that if the A's bats are a little slow, or if the fielding is a little sloppier than usual, there will be an explanation. This game is played by humans, and if Wednesday night/Thursday morning's travel is going to catch up to the A's, tonight is when it is most likely to catch up to them.
One other note. I was in Ken Macha's office earlier today and had the chance to overhear a phone conversation between Macha and Keiichi Yabu. Of course I could only hear one end of the conversation, but I thought I'd pass it along:
"Less than 4 innings in July, yeah I know, Keiichi...Uh-huh, the Saturday game before the All-Star Game...right, I remember. Uh-huh, I know it was 10-1, but Kiko really need the overwork. Uh-huh...the next day, if it went longer?...Yeah, actually I was planning to go to Glynn. No no, Keiichi, you're high on our depth chart--if there's a blowout today and they don't allow us to activate Brandon Buckley to pitch, I'm seriously considering using you. Oh and hey, if that happens, could you be totally sharp?...OK, I'm fluent in Japanese and that is NOT a nice thing to say about someone's mother."
Tonight's starting lineups: