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Open Thread: Game 154 - A's vs. Rangers

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Mathematically, even today is not a "must-win". Mathematically, if the A's go 8-1 the rest of the way their season almost certainly will not end on October 2nd. They can lose that one to the Angels. Or they can lose it today. But from this day forward, I wouldn't recommend losing twice.

Barry Zito takes the mound today for the A's, trying the start the 7-game winning streak Ken Macha has politely requested. Zito is opposed by right-hander R.A. Dickey, whose fastball, slider, and changeup were so good that he has resurfaced as a knuckleballer. According to inside sources, Dickey will pitch left-handed next year, and in 2007 he will pitch on stilts.

<Pays off Woofing Gods before continuing> What does "R.A." stand for? Radical Adjustment? Rotating Arsenal? Really Average? Rather Awful? Dickey's 6.98 ERA this season is the highest of his career. Then again, Dickey's lowest ERA, in 4 major league seasons, is 5.09.

Today's "fun fact": Out of the seven American League games being played today, six are key to the playoff hunt (only Seattle-Detroit is not). What a remarkable season of parity, when on the 9th-to-last day of the season, all four races are within 4 games--with all but one within 1.5 games.

I'm at the game (with fellow ANer andeux), so while the mouse is away, the cats have extra threads to play with. When a thread reaches 200+, someone please let out a bloodcurdling "MEOW!!!" to alert the other cats to go to the next thread.

Update [2005-9-24 15:59:0 by louismg]: Lineups added.

Matthews Jr.
Young
Teixeira
Blalock
Soriano
Mench
Nevin
Barajas
DeRosa

Ellis
Kendall
Kotsay
Chavez
Crosby
Hatteberg (DH)
Payton
Johnson (1B)
Swisher