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Open Thread: Game 66 - A's vs. Cardinals

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Get out your microscopes so that you can find Danny Haren's ERA. At 1.58, Haren's ERA leads all of baseball and he has made 11 "quality starts" in a row. Perhaps the biggest tribute to Haren's dominance was Bob Geren's statement after yesterday's 11 inning game that in deciding to empty the bullpen he factored in who was starting today. That's confidence in your horse (something I know a lot about, but probably shouldn't discuss here).

Speaking of asking your bullpen to pitch 6.2 IP, the Cardinals asked the same of their relievers yesterday--not due to extra innings, but rather because Kip Wells got only 4 outs in dropping to 2-11. (Can we face him? Please?) Tonight, former closer and ongoing right-hander Braden Looper makes the start for St. Louis in Tony LaRussa's return, and Albert Pujols' first visit, to the Coliseum.

Today's "fun fact": Oakland actually enters play tonight tied in the loss column for the Wild Card. The starting lineups:

Miles - SS
Taguchi - LF
Pujols - 1B
Edmonds - CF
Rolen - 3B
Encarnacion - RF
Duncan - DH
Bennett - C
Kennedy - 2B

BUCKY!!! - LF
Kotsay - CF
Swisher - RF
Chavez - 3B
Crosby - SS
Johnson - 1B
Ellis - 2B
Cust - D"H"
Kendall - C