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Open Thread: Game 13 - A's vs. Rangers

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Happy Easter!

Or if Easter's not your bag, Happy Spring? Happy lucky game 13 for our 2006 Oakland Athletics?

Only a couple of weeks into this Sunday writing gig, and I've noticed a couple of things. First, the tone of my writing perfectly matches how the A's are playing at the time that I sit down to write. For example: If I wrote this paragraph after an A's loss, I would find myself torn between censoring child corrupting expletives and feeling generally apathetic about the season.

On the other hand, if the A's have won, or are currently winning at the time of the writing in question, they can do no wrong. The warm fuzzies are out in full-force. So after the gem yesterday, which may have been one of the most awesome games I've seen in my years watching Oakland baseball, I'm feeling the baseball love right now.

But don't worry; I do not have a baseball problem.

The A's; however, do. They badly need a win today to stay in the coveted American League West first-place slot. You can tell a lot about the season in the first twelve games. Our pitchers are as good or as bad as they are going to be, or in Zito's case, both! Harden for Cy! (buttons on sale at the AN store)

In addition to the pitching, you can start to see some batting averages round into place (and in DJ's case, I do mean round batting numbers...<rim shot>). You can also see the faintest traces of `heart' and `grit' start to show up in plate appearances.

I shouldn't even have to clarify this, but seriously? We're twelve games in! That's not a long enough of a time frame for even the Royals' ship to sink.

Oh, I'm sorry; were you here for the game thread? My bad. Yes, yes! There is a game today! Danny Haren, who would be coming off a pretty solid start if only the third inning didn't count in baseball, goes for the A's, up against Kameron Loe for the Rangers. If I had to guess, I'd lean on the side of some scoring today; the Rangers will score runs because of their unbelievable offense and the A's will score runs because of the Rangers' unbelievable pitching. Note the varied use of `unbelievable' in the above paragraph. And now that I've made that prediction; let the pitcher's duel commence!

Players to watch:

Chavez, Eric, who I'm convinced was abducted by aliens and replaced by a pod player. Raise your hand if you're okay with this latest development. I thought so. Me too.

Crosby, Bobby trying desperately not to bat third anymore, but sadly, no one outside AN is paying attention.

Swisher, Nick The dreaded `sophomore slump' doesn't seem to be affecting him one bit, either in offense or defense.

The New Big Three being Chavvy, Thomas, and Bradley. How fun was yesterday?

Kennedy, Joe It must be said. HERO of the game last night, in my opinion; a standout in a game full of them, courtesy of the shattered bat DP by Teixeira in the 8th.

Starting Lineups -

Texas:

Matthews
Young
Teixeira
Nevin
Blalock
Mench
Wilkerson
Barajas
Jimenez

Your 2006 Oakland Athletics:

M. Kotsay CF
N. Swisher 1B
B. Crosby SS
E. Chavez 3B
F. Thomas DH
M. Bradley RF
J. Payton LF
J. Kendall C
M. Scutaro 2B