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Open Thread: Game 35 - A's vs. Indians

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Obviously, the A's offense has been the peg for every story the last couple of days. And it certainly is good to see.

However, today's game offers an interesting matchup on the mound: two pitchers who have yet to fully establish their major-league creds or their specific roles.

Fausto Carmona, who blew up rather spectacularly last year as the Indians' rookie closer, has been performing well in starting role thus far in '07. And the A's Dallas Braden has been solid but not entirely reliable in a handful of fill-in starts for the A's.

And while, yes, the A's offense has blossomed, the team's continued success over the course of the season depends strongly on the continued dominance of the starting pitching. Let's see if Braden can demonstrate that he deserves the role with which he's been presented.

[As I'm going to the game today, I'll post a couple of spare game threads above this one. Please use 'em judiciously. And if someone could post lineups when they're announced you may earn yourself a heroic mention in a future Poetic Interlude. Speaking of which, the opening stanza of a new P.I. after the jump. Yes, it's another Dylan, and yes, it's another Cust-themed one.]

Lineups:

Cleveland
Sizemore
Michaels
Martinez
Garko (BOO!)
Peralta
Nixon
Blake
Barfield
Gutierrez

Oakland
Stewart, LF
Swisher, In the field-not-to-be-mentioned
Chavez, 3B
Johnson, 1B
Cust, DH
Crosby, SS
BUCK!, RF
Scutaro, 2B
Kendall, C

Billy, Injury and the Jack of Custs

(Original here. Full adaptation to follow in the game wrapup this afternoon.)

The spring training was over, the A's were all plannin' for a fall,
The Coliseum was quiet except for the DL'in' in the hall.
The beer-ban still not lifted and the whole outfield shut down,
Anyone with any sense had already left town.
He was standin' in triple-A lookin' like the Jack of Custs.

He moved across the injured room, "Set it up for everyone," he said,
Then everyone commenced to start gettin' on base before his turns at bat.
Then he walked up to the home-plate and he swung hard with a grunt,
"Could you kindly tell me, friend, what time the show begins?"
Then he moved around the basepaths, face down like the Jack of Custs.