On what promises to be a soggy, sloppy day in the Mistake by the Lake, the Green and Gold hope to keep the Doubles Train rolling through it's tour of the Midwest tonight with their 5th consecutive win. Lenny "I guess you can call me Pecs" DiNardo goes up against Fausto "I like my option years by the bushel" Carmona. Expect a game chock-full of boring ground-ball outs and rally-killing double plays as over their careers Lenny and Fausto have a combined 62% groundball rate...so this one could be a snoozer.
Usually, extreme sinker-ballers have great success against the A's, but this isn't the case with Fausto. In 4 starts against the A's, Carmona has a 5.73 ERA in 22 innings pitched, with a less-than-stellar 18-12 strikeout/walk ratio. Fausto has already had problems with control early this season, so look for the A's to be extra patient in the early going against him, hoping to grab some early offense for the second night in a row. Also, look for the lineup to be lefty-heavy (including Travis "I'll say I have shin-splints to avoid facing Sabathia" Buck), since lefties have batted a combined 73 points higher against him in terms of OPS over his career.
As for Pecs, he's got some decent career stats against the Tribe: in 12.1 innings pitched, he's got a 3.75 ERA and a typically DiNardian 6-5 strikeout-to-talk ratio. Not great numbers, but just about right for the swingman who should give the A's a decent chance of winning tonight.
As for the offense, let's hope a second straight helping of Cleveland pitching can awaken Jack "Trail of Tears" Cust, who's batting a putrid .118 on the season, but who sports a career line of 17-for-47 against the Tribe (.347 batting average), with an unheard-of slugging in the .850 range and 7 homers to along with three doubles.
The chance of rain tonight is 50%, so this could all be moot, but if the game begins as planned, let's hope the A's can jump out to another big lead and get 5 innings of quick work from Pecs to get this one in the bag before Jacobs Field gets washed away into Lake Erie!