The A's and Simmerin' Joe Blanton with a 5-9 record and a 4.47 ERA takes on the Twinkies and Johan Santana with a 10-5 record and a 3.70 ERA.
The A's just won 20 games in July for the second time in Oakland history (1974). The team is playing .824 ball since the All Star break. That being said, tonight will be a stiff challenge. Sure, Santana isn't exactly 2004 Santana, but he can still be a dominant pitcher. He's got that Bugs Bunny change-up and can baffle lineups. The Metrodome hasn't exactly been kind to the A's in years past either. Simmerin' Joe also hasn't won a game since the All Star break. He's 0-2 with a 4.67 ERA.
In the A's favor? The team is 20-11 against lefties this year and is hitting .283 against them as opposing to 38-35 against righties and hitting only .259. The Twins are also 8-16 in their last 24 games.
The A's lineup looks like this:
Kotsay's back must still be aching, and I'm sure the plane ride after the game yesterday didn't help. They also might be keeping him away from the toughest lefty in the league. I believe this is only the second time this year that Scutaro has hit second in the lineup as well.
The Twins counter with this lineup:
The Twins offense has struggled mightily. Let's hope it remains quiet until the A's leave town.
LET'S GO A'S!!!!!!!