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Open Thread: Game 127 - A's at Baltimore

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Let's face it: Trying to predict how the A's offense will fare makes about as much sense as trying to communicate by etch-a-sketch in the middle of an earthquake. The same hitters who struggled to put up 10 runs in a week have now averaged scoring in double-digits over the last two games. Tonight, the A's take another crack at Bruce Chen, who stifled the A's 11 days ago at the Coliseum. Joe Blanton goes for Oakland, coming off of a 7-inning shutout performance that yielded a no-decision when the A's bullpen and defense imploded in the 8th.

Today's fun fact: Though Chen is pitching for his 8th team in 8 years, and is widely perceived to be a marginal pitcher, in fact his career stats suggest that he is an above-average pitcher. For his career, Chen has a winning record (32-27), a hits per inning ratio under 1.00 (619H/649IP), and a 2:1 K/BB ratio (531/256).

The starting lineups, sans Swisher or Sosa, look like this:

Kendall
Kotsay
Crosby
Chavez
Johnson
Payton
Hatteberg
Kielty
Ellis

Roberts
Mora
Tejada
Palmeiro
Lopez
Gibbons
Surhoff
Byrnes
Matos