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Open Game Thread: Game 89 - A's at Minnesota

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So how's this for an opening to a second half of a season? The A's go into their personal hell of a Dome to take on the Minnesota Twins for a FOUR-game series. Chad Gaudin gets rewarded for his excellent albeit completely unexpected first half with the start tonight. He's 8-3 with a 2.88 ERA and he takes on Scott Baker, who is 3-3 with a 5.71 ERA. Although if you think it's going to be easy, guess again. Baker's overall stats don't look great, but the two starts before he bombed out against the White Sox, he went seven innings of one-run ball against the Blue Jays and eight innings against the Tigers and also only allowed one-run. So don't assume the A's are automatic in this one (are they ever automatic?).

The A's lineup looks like this:

Stewart
Kotsay
Swisher
Cust
Chavez
Johnson
Ellis
Crosby
Kendall

I have two problems with this lineup. Well, three, but Kendall apparently is the starting pitchers' security blanket so it's more realistically two. I love Kotsay and you all know that, but he shouldn't be hitting second. I'd prefer Ellis there. And Dan Johnson and Chavez should probably be flip-flopped. At the same time, you're then kind of looking at death at the bottom third. Maybe Geren just wants to separate the limp bats.

The Twins come in with the following lineup:

Castillo
Bartlett
Mauer
Cuddyer
Morneau
Hunter
Kubel
Jones
Punto

Man, look out for three/four/five. Cuddyer and Morneau always seem to get big hits (and a lot of them) against the A's.

Does the second half run start tonight or have the A's gone to the well one too many times on that one? We shall see.

LET'S GO OAK-LAND!!!!!!!