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Four cards, please

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Tigers 6, A's 1. Verlander gets the W, Haren takes the L.

In today's hand, the A's showed their ace, and didn't pick anything up except for a one-eyed Jack.

Haren hasn't exactly "struggled" since the ASB, but he's certainly performed a patented oaktoon-style regression beyond the mean. As in most of Haren's starts, he got hit hard early -- and today, as in recent starts, he got hit hard near the end as well.

And the A's offense, aside from Piazza, didn't do much hitting early, late, or in between. Verlander wasn't exactly masterful, throwing a ton of pitches and allowing a decent handful of baserunners, but he was good enough to stymie the A's.

Thankfully, Nick Swisher, by grounding out to end the game, kept Jack Cust from having an opportunity to tie on the Titanium Sombrero. Cust struck out 4 times in the game, the last coming in the 7th with the bases loaded and 2 outs and the A's trailing 5-1.

Beane's going to have to pick up a few more face cards for 2008; otherwise, we'll all know that he's just bluffing.