Welcome to the American League's version of the West, where 82 wins won't take the division, the manager's show is still going strong, and the beat-writers are writing about baseball. Today's series-deciding game features Joe Blanton against Paul Byrd, in a matchup of two pitchers known for throwing slop on crunchy-cereal counts. Blanton's only start against the Halos produced a complete-game 1-0 loss courtesy of a Steve Finley HR. Byrd, 0-3 lifetime against the A's, holds two dubious distinctions: he started against the A's in their 20th consecutive win, and he is the last pitcher to serve up a HR to Jason Kendall.
Final note: Jason Kendall was voted, by opposing managers and coaches, as the league's 2nd best "hit-and-run" threat. Byrd, a soft-tosser who's always around the plate, is the ideal pitcher to hit-and-run against. I'm just saying...
Adam Melhuse is 7/11 with 2 HRs over the last three games, so he has been suitably benched. The starting lineups: