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Open Thread: Game 55 - A's vs. Twins

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There are some opposing pitchers where 7-10 days ahead of time, teams start doing the mental math to see whether or not they will have to face the pitcher, or whether they might get lucky and catch the pitcher between starts. Tonight, as the A's host the Twins, one of those pitchers is on the mound. And sorry, Minnesota, but you don't get to miss Kirk Saarloos.

Saarloos, whose resume includes a Cy Young award, two straight sub-3.00 ERA seasons, a 94-95 MPH fastball, and great command of a crackling slider and devastating changeup, will be opposed tonight by journeyman spot-starter Johan Santana, whose wretched K:BB ratio makes you wonder how long he can even get by as a serviceable starter. Obviously, the matchup is heavily tilted towards the A's tonight, but you never know--anything can happen.

Hee hee hee.

Today's "fun fact": Joe Mauer has not only hit safely in each of his last 10 games, but over that time he is a sizzling 21/42 (.500). Yikes.

Tonight's starting lineups:

Punto
Castillo
Mauer
Hunter
Cuddyer
Morneau
Tiffee
Batista
Kubel

Kotsay
Swisher
Chavez
Thomas
Crosby
Payton
Kielty
Kendall
Scutaro