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Open Thread: Game 51 - A's vs. Rangers

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It's time to find out what Lenny DiNardo can do as an A's starter. All we know is that he has done well as an A's (1.83 ERA) reliever and did not do well as a Red Sox starter (7.50 ERA). We also know (because Bob Geren told us) that he will not expect DiNardo to throw anywhere near 100 pitches, even though DiNardo stretched it out some when he tossed 4.2 IP in Chicago on Tuesday. Hopefully DiNardo can conserve pitches well enough to get into or even through the 6th inning, but just as likely the A's will calling upon their bullpen to throw 4+ innings. And that's another problem...

My guess is that Witasick was held out of yesterday's game, with Colby Lewis getting the nod in the 8th inning instead, so that Geren could count on Witasick to combine with DiNardo for 7 innings, one way or the other, if the A's are in position to win. Because the pickins after that are thin. Duchscherer isn't back until tomorrow. Calero doesn't do well on back-to-back days, and let's face it--right now he doesn't do well on back days. It's unlikely that Lewis, who has been starting, can pitch two days in a row. That leaves Witasick and lefties Flores, E. Ramirez, Marshall, and Embree to handle the bullpen innings tonight. Of course this will all be a "problem" only if DiNardo and Witasick can keep things competitive.

Here's the lineup facing lefty DiNardo and former A's righty Mike Wood, who has a 7.02 ERA this season but is 2-0, 2.19 ERA lifetime against the A's. Hey, apparently Adam Melhuse is DiNardo's personal catcher--who knew?

Kinsler - 2B
Young - SS
Teixeira - 1B
Sosa - DH
Diaz - RF
Byrd - CF
Laird - C
Cruz - LF
Kata - 3B

Stewart - LF
Buck - RF
Swisher - CF
Johnson - 1B
Chavez - 3B
Crosby - SS
Cust - DH
Scutaro - 2B
Melhuse - C