The A's and Esteban Loaiza with a 4-7 record and a 6.72 ERA take on the Angels and Kelvim Escobar with a 7-9 record and a 3.84 ERA.
On paper, this is unquestionably a pitching mismatch. Escobar has been infinitely better than Loaiza this year. If you're waiting for me to say "but", you'll be waiting a while longer. The A's have to hope and pray Loaiza can be better in August than he has been the last three months. His ERA is April was 8.35, June it was 4.91 and July it was 7.26. The A's absolutely need Loaiza to start earning his money here and now. You win this game and you leave Anaheim with a game and a half lead, you lose and you're out of first place, simple as that. Hopefully the A's stellar defense returns tonight.
The lineup looks like this:
Bradley must still be sick, Crosby must still be missing a limb and Chavez is back in the three hole. Gulp. Although the reasoning is probably because Chavy has had success against Escobar in the past. Swisher, Kotsay and Thomas have all also hit Escobar well.
The Angels counter with this lineup against Loaiza:
The bad news is that the Angels roster, not just lineup, but ROSTER has a team OPS of 1.036 against Loaiza. It doesn't look good.
LET'S GO A'S!!!!!!!