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Open Thread: Game 19 - Royals @ Athletics

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We all know the drill: since the A's exploded for 13 runs last night and used up all their collective moxie for just one day, we can probably expect a moribund offensive output today reminiscent of the waning days of last week's road trip, especially against the resurgent (Donald) Zach Greinke, who has dominated the A's in the last few years. In 23.2 Innings pitched since 2004 when he made his MLB debut as a 20-year old, the phenom has a 2.74 ERA, with a 19-5 K-BB against the Green and Gold.

Greinke's a nice story for the rebuilding Royals, who have had little to cheer about in recent decades. In 2006, Greinke missed nearly the entire season seeking treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder, more commonly known as Social Phobia, which, according to wikipedia, is a psychological affliction that, "typically involves a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being judged by others and of potentially being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions." Geinke's chronic inconsistencies on the mound can surely be explained by the nexus of this disorder with his precocious rise up the Royals system . But thankfully for Zack and the Royals, it seems like he's gotten the necessary treatment for the affliction, which is also good for baseball, since Zach's a truly electric talent who could give the Royals a big boost in the coming seasons as they march back to relevancy.

Enough of that. The A's have their work cut out for them today against this guy. Not many of the young A's have any experience against Greinke, and the veterans that probably would have a lot of experience against him don't, since they were Greinke's teammate for the last few years (M Sweeney, E Brown) in KC. So it's any body's guess as to how the bats will react today.

On the the other hand, what's probably not in doubt is how rookie Greg Smith will pitch for the Athletics. Smith has looked wise and crafty beyond his years so far as a fill-in starter, and since he's facing the third weakest offensive team in the AL (.676 OPS) he'll likely have a great chance to keep the game close for the A's. So, if KC is the third weakest offensive team in the AL this season, who is second worst, you may ask? You guessed it, your Oakland Athletics, boasting a meager .679 collective OPS, just edging out Minnesota for worst overall. So look for this game to be a tight pitcher's duel, as flame-throwing 24-year old Greinke battles 24-year old finesse lefty Smith in a throw-back sort of matchup.

***Other News***

- Foulke has been out for 8 days because of some back muscle issue and is listed as day-to-day, meaning that he'll likely be placed on the DL later this afternoon.

- Harden threw from 100 feet yesterday and "felt fine" and if he progresses normally, he might get a rehab start in a couple of weeks.

- The Duke is all set for his rehab start for the Rivercats on Monday against the Las Vegas 51's.



Suzuki - C

Barton - 1B

Ellis - 2B

Cust - DH

Brown - RF

Sweeney - CF

BoCroz - SS

Denorfia - LF

HanRahan - 3B


DeJesus - CF

Grudzalaieaneaiek - 2B

Teahen - 3B

Butler - 1B

Guillen - RF

Gordon - 3B

Olivo - DH

Buck - C

Pena Jr - SS