After being swept by the Indians and losing five of their last six games, the 23-19 A's look to regain their winning ways tonight at 4:35 Pacific as they open up a three-game interleague series against the Braves in Atlanta.
Dana Eveland, Rich Harden and Justin Duchscherer have been taking batting practice this week in preparation for their starts at Turner Field, which of course will require them to wield the bat.
Tonight's opener pits Eveland against rookie Jair Jurrjens, who is off to a very good start to the season. Jurrjens has struck out 41 batters and allowed 37 hits in 49.1 innings this year, to the tune of a 3.10 era and 1.09 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting .206 against him. The 6'1" righty has been especially tough against right-handed batters, who have hit only .186 against him. Jurrjens is the second-most famous current MLB player from Curcaco, in the Netherlands Antilles. Without clicking, can you think of the most famous Dutch in the game?
Jurrjens was acquired by the Braves (along with Gorkys Hernandez) in the offseason in exchange for Edgar Renteria. If we were to judge the trade today (which we probably shouldn't yet), the Braves look better than the Tigers; Jurrjens has pitched well while Renteria has struggled just as much in his second tour of the AL as he did in his first (Boston, '05).
With Mark Ellis still unable to play, shortstop/second baseman Gregorio Petit was recalled for today's game, taking Santiago Casilla's roster spot as Casilla headed to the DL. But Petit finds himself in a reserve role on the bench tonight. I wouldn't be surprised if he gives Crosby at least one much-need day off while he's up here, though.
Tonight's lineup alters L-R-L throughout, with Hannahan leading off.
05/16/08 4:35 PM PDT
|Oakland Athletics||Atlanta Braves|
|Jack Hannahan - 3B||Yunel Escobar - SS|
|Bobby Crosby - SS||Omar Infante - 2B|
|Jack Cust - LF||Chipper Jones - 3B|
|Emil Brown - RF||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|Daric Barton - 1B||Jeff Francoeur - RF|
|Kurt Suzuki - C||Brian McCann - C|
|Ryan Sweeney - CF||Matt Diaz - LF|
|Donnie Murphy - 2B||Gregor Blanco - CF|
|Dana Eveland - P||Jair Jurrjens - P|