The A's tenuous hold on first place reminds me of The Princess Bride, when Westley relays the Dread Pirate's nightly greeting:
"Good night Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning."
We've got something like that working, only it's "Good night, Oakland A's. Good work. Sleep well. You'll most likely be in second place in the morning".
This has been the implied threat over the last month or so, yet every time the A's grip on first starts to slip, they win a key game. They aren't winning enough--and LAA and TEX aren't losing enough--to open up much space in the division, but they also have remained in first since June 15th. Take that for what it's worth.
The Tigers are good. They've played the A's every bit as well as the team with the best record in the league should, and it's <insert happy adjective here> that we find ourselves a game away from taking this series.
Loaiza vs. Nate Robertson. I'd give the edge to the Tigers on paper, but give credit where credit is due. Loaiza has pitched well enough to keep the A's in it, and they have managed to string together some wins in games that he's started.. And...it's baseball. Anything can happen, and usually does. (see: yesterday)
Today's little miracle will feature this starting lineup:
I LOVE this lineup. I think it's just about the perfect lineup, and the only thing that would have made it better would be a healthy and raking Chavez somewhere in it, but that's not possible at this time, so it's the best we can field right now.