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Open Game Thread: Game 109 - A's vs. Angels

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And thus the series begins that could've been a lot more interesting than it currently is. Sigh. Oh well, I'm still pumped that this series will lead to AN Day on Saturday. It's the fourth AN Day and definitely is the most interesting opponent. This year we get to actually take on a division opponent instead of the Royals or Blue Jays.

Any way, the pitchers for tonight's opener are Chad Gaudin with his 8-6 record and 3.71 ERA and Joe Saunders who is 4-0 and has a 3.16 ERA. The good news about 2007 is that the A's have been handling the Angels very well this year. They are 6-3 against them, having swept the two-game series against the men in red in April and going 4-3 in Anaheim. If there's anything an A's fan can take joy in this year it's that the green and gold guys been able to smack the Angels. We've got to cling to the small victories this year and is the Angels wind up losing the division by a game, I'll just go into the offseason thinking that it was one of the A's games that did it.

The lineup for the A's looks like this:

Buck
Stewart
Swisher
Piazza
Ellis
Scutaro
Kotsay
Suzuki
Murphy

Suzuki has been hitting a little better of late, but he's still hitting .167 against lefties, so we'll see if that continues or if it's just a matter of sample size. Chavez remains out and Geren continues to manage with a 24-person roster. If he's really hurt this bad, can we just put him on the disabled list? Or better yet, have him have the surgery he needs and start getting him ready for 2008? I'm not usually one to call for surgery as the best option and it's possible that Chavez can just continue to get better, but it seems to have at least given Kotsay the ability to stay in there on a daily basis. You can argue whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but at least he's had the ability to be in there.

The Angels counter with this lineup:

Figgins
Cabrera
Guerrero
Anderson
Matthews
Kotchman
Izturis
Mathis
Willits

If I remember correctly, the last time Gaudin faced the Angels was one of the worst home plate umpire jobs I'd seen. Yes, Gaudin was all over the place, but the home plate ump had one of the weirdest zones I'd ever seen. And Gaudin needs an ump with a somewhat generous zone because of all the movement on his pitches. I'll be watching to see if Gaudin hits Suzuki's glove on a regular basis or if Kurt is continually reaching for pitches.

LET'S GO A'S!!!!!!! BEAT THE DAMN HALOS!