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Open Game Thread: Game 40 - A's vs. Royals

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The A's and Dallas Braden with a 1-2 record and a 5.65 ERA take on the Royals and Scott Elarton who has no record and a 3.60 ERA.

Elarton is making his second start of the season. The A's who have hit him well in the past are Eric Chavez and Nick Swisher (although they only have a .231 batting average against him, they each have a solid OPS). Unfortunately, the A's as a team haven't hit well off Elarton.

As for Braden, he's essentially had one really good start and two not so good ones. Course the way the A's pen has been going lately, we might be looking at a loss no matter what Braden does. It's really hard to comprehend how the A's pen goes from one of the best to suddenly one of the mediocre to bad ones. I know, I know, injuries have a lot to do with it, but it's quite the fall. The A's pen used to be my security blanket as a fan. Well, apparently that blanket didn't meet California code for flame retardant.

This is the A's lineup for today:

Stewart
Swisher
Chavez
Johnson
Cust
Crosby
Buck
Ellis
Melhuse

Don't look now, fellow ANers, but Bobby Crosby is actually hitting close to .300 in May and has a slugging percentage in the high .400s. Could it be that he's shaken some of that rust off?

The Royals send out this lineup:

German
DeJesus
Grudzielanek
Teahen
Sweeney
Brown
Shealy
Phillips
Berroa

Will Braden need to pitch well for all nine innings in order to get a win? Is closing out a game really something you either mentally have or don't? Important questions like these will be answered as Athletics Nation turns...

LET'S GO A'S!!!!!!!