Don't blink, or you might miss Danny Haren's presence in the ALCS. In the one move that most perplexes and irks me, somehow Haren did not get a start until the situation was as dire as could be. But now, Haren finally gets the ball in Game 4, trying to pitch the game of Zito's life...because only if the A's prevail today will we see Zito again in the Green & Gold in 2006...or probably at all...
If Haren can't do any better than his esteemed predecessors, Games 1-3 losers Zito, Loaiza, and Harden, then an ALCS victory really just wasn't meant to be, was it? But if the A's can scratch out a win, they can hope that the Zito-Robertson matchup is more favorable the second time around...and that maybe they can get the series back to Oakland...where maybe the momentum would switch over to the A's and the pressure over to the Tigers...and maybe the journey of 4 wins just begins with a single step...
Who knows? I do suspect that today's game will be the most challenging for the A's to win, but that if they do get one win in the bag then each game will become just a little less challenging than the one before. In other words, I like the A's chances in Game 7, but I like the Tigers chances in Game 4. Unless Haren is really on his game...
...And when you think about it, when was the last time the A's lost on baseballgirl's birthday? Book it, fellas: We're not going home tonight!
The starting lineups:
Placido Ruth Hornsby
P.S. If you heard Chavy interviewed on Ray Fosse's pre-game show, it would be hard to fault him for being "pessimistic" or in "give-up" mode. Then again, if you heard him call Johan Santana "JOE-hann," it would be easy to question whether he is sufficiently Mexican. :-}