Ah, the A's old nemesis returns to the Coliseum tonight. Yes, Kenny Rogers, he who is 25-4 at McAfee Coliseum over his career. On top of that, Rogers had his best start this year his last time out against the Angels. He pitched seven scoreless innings and got a ridiculous 16 ground ball outs. The A's should be fine if they're patient and think opposite field with Rogers. If you try to pull him, the A's will likely suffer the same fate as the Angels. Another thing working against the A's is they're missing the hitter on their roster who has had the greatest success against Rogers throughout his career, and that's Frank Thomas. He has a 1.055 OPS career against Rogers in 64 ABs. Mark Ellis is the only other A's player who has had moderate success against our love-to-hate, cameraman-throwing nemesis.
The Tigers face Rich Harden, who is 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA. He's also 2-0 at home with a 1.50 ERA. The problem is that the Tigers, in just a few ABs against (Harden hasn't faced a lot of batters more than a few times), have had some good success against our Canadian King. Of the players on the Tigers current roster who've faced Harden, they have a team 1.016 OPS against Rich. Apparently they're a team with a lot of good fastball hitters.
The A's have been sliding backwards for a bit now. Although it's probably because the Angels have been winning more frequently. The A's were only a game back on April 30. They're now three and a half games back. The Tigers, which were my personal pick for the AL representative for the World Series have been sliding back as well. They were only two games out in the Central at the end of April and now they're six games back. I still think the team from Motown will put it all together at some point, especially since it looks like they'll be getting significant bullpen help soon with the return of Zumaya.
The A's lineup looks like this:
Geren must be reading the numbers on this one. Chavez has always struggled against Rogers and Ellis seems to have the ability to have some success against Rogers. Interesting that out of the A's new young guns, CarGon is batting ahead of Buck and Barton.
The Tigers lineup looks like this:
I just hate seeing Placido Polanco and his grind teeth look after he hits the ball at the Coliseum. Dude just seems to eat up A's pitching no matter who it is.
LET'S GO A'S!!!!!!