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Open Thread: Game 157 - A's at Cleveland

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Part of me is yelling out, "These game numbers are too high! We won't catch up in time!" while my other half glances at the calendar and asks for mercy as the A's/Rivercats play out the spread. For the first time in a while, I find myself rooting for the sports reporters to quickly move through the MLB scores and get on with what matters more - college football. And for that, I apologize to the A's and the AN community.

Today was supposed to be a day that offered a glimpse of hope and redemption, as the A's brittle Canadian hero, Rich Harden, was slated to take the mound and remind us of his constantly teasing potential. Instead, with him being shut down for the season due to continued shoulder pains, we get a different A's pitcher who has similarly baffled us, not due to injuries, but instead by unmet potential. While Harden hasn't chalked up a "W" since April 4, Dallas Braden has not gathered a "W" for himself since April 24, in the process, gathering a 1-7 record and 6.41 ERA. He will be opposed by the Tribe's Jake Westbrook, who has a 5-9 record and 4.41 ERA. Makes you wonder if we should be valuing Braden higher simply because he's stayed alive this season...

Should the Indians win today, they clinch a playoff berth. Should the A's win, the bubbly stays on ice one more day.

Lineups:

Oakland

Shannon Stewart (LF)
Daric Barton (1B)
Nick Swisher (CF)
Jack Cust (RF)
Mike Piazza (DH)
Mark Ellis (2B)
Jack Hannahan (3B)
Rob Bowen (C)
Donnie Murphy (SS)

Cleveland

Grady Sizemore (CF)
Alex Cabrera (2B)
Travis Hafner (DH)
Victor Martinez (C)
Ryan Garko (1b)
Jhonny Peralta (SS)
Jason Michaels (LF)
Franklin Guittierez (RF)
Casey Blake (3B)