Today's two-game-swingathon will determine whether the A's spend the All-Star break 2 or 4 games ahead of the fast-charging Angels. Oakland will spend the break no worse than tied for first place, and no better than 4.5 games ahead of anybody.
Ervin Santana, the Angels' leader with 9 wins, goes for LAA. The A's hope the splits don't lie: Santana's ERA on the road is 5.66 (compared to 2.90 at home), and his ERA during the day is 6.12 (compared to 3.53 at night).
Danny Haren takes the mound for the A's, and while he can be strong and dominant for 8 innings on a good day, with Duchscherer and Street well-rested, and Calero available as well, there is no reason for Haren to be left in to work out of the "one bad inning" that can sometimes surface. With three off-days ahead, it's the 7th game of the World Series today.
I'm filling in for baseballgirl today because she is on a big bird heading home after a trip that allowed her to visit Jacobs Field in Cleveland. Look for her "Jacobs Field experience" diary, complete with pictures, in the next few days.
The starting lineups:
Figgins (the A's are welcome to get him out like everybody else does)