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Open Thread: Game 43 - A's vs. Giants

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What a difference a week makes!

Last Sunday, I had two concerns weighing on me...an offer for a job I was waiting for, and the Oakland A's seemingly imminent meltdown. I mustered all my strength and posted a super-happy-sunshiny thread, and I don't mean to brag, but let's just say it's been a good week for the A's ever since. 5-1 will get it done. More, please.

Oh, yeah. And I got the job, too. I'm leaving the college that raised our beloved Danny Haren after a seven-year stint and will be venturing out into the scary corporate world. But don't worry, you'll still be hearing from me. <ignores booing, convinces self that they're saying `Boooseball girl'>

On a somewhat related note, I'd just like to point out that I'm interleague play's biggest critic. I think it's bad for ball, despite the fact that the team I root for has the best record in interleague play since its inception. I think the matchups favor certain teams, certainly specific divisions, and detract from the overall seasonal competition. However, lip service aside, even I can step outside my old codgerness for a weekend and appreciate the last two games for what they offered; a fully-packed house, a highly charged playoff atmosphere, competing cheers, rabid fans, and ball games to die for. What more could you want? As we approach the rubber game of this series, I must admit defeat and echo the phrase: This is what we live for. If you couldn't get into the last couple of games, there isn't much that's going to get you into Oakland A's baseball.

Even though you can't read this anywhere in the press due to He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named doing something during the game, I'm pretty sure that Nick Swisher ended his streak yesterday. Nick...let me say CONGRATULATIONS on your first big streak. Here's to many, many more over a long career in green and gold.

And as for Vold...excuse me...Barry Bonds' next homerun, how does tomorrow look? He loves facing Mark Mulder; he owns Mark Mulder, and like him or hate him, we owe Mulder one. Or two...or twenty, which is coincidentally the number of people he thinks shows up to A's games. Missed ya' this weekend, yo. Hope you caught SportsCenter.

Today, Joe Blanton and his newfound run support (7.86!!!) take on some guy named Matt Cain. Seriously, that's all I know about him. According to the new Mychael Urban, otherwise known as Ryan Quinn from MLB.com, we should be able to hit him. Oh yeah...and Jason Kendall is supposed to be the player to watch. That part of the MLB preview really should come with an audio clip. Can you imagine?

<deep voice> Today, playing the part of the hero in green and gold...Jason "GIDP" Kendall. How will he do it? When will he do it? No one knows. But what we DO know...where there are runners on base? He'll be there. Where there are groundballs to be played? He'll have hit them. When a screaming line drive just isn't enough. Yeah, blame Kendall. <checks notes> What? He's batting .318 in May? Man...those singles are coming at really inopportune times.

Starting Lineups:

Winn
Vizquel
Finley
Bonds
Durham
Feliz
Sweeney
Matheny
Vizcaino

Kendall
Swisher
Kotsay
Chavez
Melhuse
Crosby
Payton
Johnson
Scutaro