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Open Thread: Game 103 - A's vs. Blue Jays

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For some reason, I'm really excited about A's baseball this weekend. Amazing what a two-game winning streak will do for the mood. A's try to make it three tonight behind Esteban Loaiza, who was...how do I put this without using the cuss jar....terrible his last time out. There's really nothing to sugarcoat. Loaiza certainly had some help going down that road--namely the suspect defense behind him--but I'm not convinced he wouldn't have been pulled in the third anyway.

Loaiza's contract is at the center of recent A's criticisms lately, and we have to wonder how long of a leash he really has in the starting rotation.

That being said, he has a chance to turn the tide tonight; deep in a pennant race, where every game means the difference between first and second place, everything up to now can be forgiven with each stellar performance. Unfortunately for the Candyland scenario, Loaiza is facing a fantastic-hitting offense in the Toronto Blue Jays tonight, and will probably get rocked.

More likely than not, today's game will be won or lost by our bullpen and our offense. We face the rookie Blue Jay Shaun Marcum tonight, who has been good and bad at times. Much like our offense. Oh, and our starting pitching. Oh, and our bullpen. Whoa. Buckle up.

On a random note, am I the only one who thinks Texas shopping for offense is like Niagara Falls requesting water? I don't get it. I follow Texas rather casually, yet I don't think it takes any special skill to realize that offense is not the problem down in Arlington. If you're going to pull of a blockbuster trade (and am I jealous? You BET!), you might want to learn how to spell P-I-T-C-H-I-N-G.

Lineups-thanks jlaff!

First, for the visiting Toronto Blue Jays:

Johnson LF
Catalanotto DH
Wells CF
Glaus 3B
Overbay 1B
Rios RF
Zaun C
Hill 2B
McDonald SS

And now, for your 2006 Oakland Athletics!

Kendall C
Kotsay CF
Bradley RF
Thomas DH
Payton LF
Swisher 1B
Chavez 3B
Crosby SS
Ellis 2B