The Minnesota Twins come to town trying to keep one foot (or at least a high sock) in the door of the wild-card race. In this series opener, as with the one last week, Minnesota sends its ace, and anybody's ace, Johan Santana to try to slow down the Oakland Express. The A's counter with Danny Haren, all of whose starts in June, July, and August have led to A's wins. Today's "fun fact": Haren comes into tonight's game with more wins than Tim Hudson, fewer losses than Barry Zito, and a lower ERA than Mark Mulder.
Over the last month, fans have learned to expect an improbable end to any given A's game. So tonight, I am predicting that Joe Nathan comes on in the 9th to protect a one-run lead, sneezes violently while on the rubber, and is called for going to his mouth 20 different times, thus walking in the tying and winning runs. Jason Kendall is somehow involved.
The starting lineups: