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Open Game Thread: Game 27 - A's at Anaheim

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Here's a funny story. I heard from someone at a party recently that Arte Moreno was at a party with the mayor of Anaheim and apparently the mayor of Anaheim snubbed poor Arte. I don't know how true it is, but this person does have a job inside the Angels organization and I could see that the Anaheim mayor wouldn't exactly love the guy that refuses to carry the city name in front of their team. I've actually met quite a few people down here in the OC who've said they've become Dodger fans because of that fateful decision.

Regardless, the A's take on their biggest rivals tonight and the team I dislike more than any other. The A's have been able to hang with the Angels so far this season, to the surprise of many, myself included. Obviously the Angels being without their two best starting pitchers in 2007 has a huge impact on the race so far.

The A's send Chad Gaudin to the hill. He is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA and he's looking more and more like the Gaudin from the early part of the year last year and not the obviously injured Gaudin from the second half 2007. He will be opposed by Jon Garland, obtained from the White Sox from Orlando Cabrera this past offseason. Garland is 3-2 with a 5.04 ERA. The A's have had good success against Garland in the past, dropping a 4.58 ERA against the green and gold.

This four-game series should tell us a lot about the A's and whether or not they truly measure up as AL West contenders or not. Regardless of record, you can almost always count on a good game when these two teams clash. I just want the good guys to come out on top.

The A's lineup facing Garland looks like this:

Suzuki
Ellis
Barton
Thomas
E Brown
Cust
Crosby
Hannahan
R Sweeney

I've been wrong about two things this year so far. First, the fact that the A's have been so good so far (especially the starting pitching) and second, Emil Brown. I didn't want to watch Emil Brown on a daily basis and wanted to see Carlos Gonzalez out there instead. Well Brown can tell me to "suck it" because he's been really good, especially in being that stat-head hating term, clutch. He's seemed to have a ton of big hits for the A's already this year, none bigger than the one he had against Felix Hernandez yesterday. Thanks for proving me wrong so far, Emil.

The Angels lineup looks like this:

Figgins
Matthews
Guerrero
Kotchman
Hunter
Anderson
Quinlan
Napoli
Aybar

Watch out for Casey Kotchman tonight. The guy has been a beast so far this year for the Angels. He's made some really good strides at the plate this year and is a scary guy to face.

It's co-division leaders going toe-to-toe. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

LET'S GO A'S!!!!!