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Open Thread: Game 83 - A's at Angels

Having scored only two runs since Wednesday, the Angels are probably not thrilled about facing Rich Harden tonight. But while a healthy Harden seemingly owns everyone, historically Ervin Santana has owned the A's to no lesser a degree. Santana is 8-1 with a 1.38 ERA in his career against Oakland.

However...There is a ray of hope. The A's have a lefty-heavy hitting brigade and in 2008 so far, Santana's lefty/righty splits have been dramatic: He is holding right-handed batters to a WHIP of 0.86, compared to a WHIP of 1.32 for lefties.

If you look at which A's have had a particular lack of success again E. Santana, you see right-handed batters Kurt Suzuki (0/9) and Bobby Crosby (1/17), while the only batter with any history of success is lefty Eric Chavez (8/22). So while the red-hot Suzuki still gets the nod over the switch-hitting Rob Bowen, he is one of only three right-handed batters in tonight's lineup, which is thusly and as follows:

R. Sweeney - RF
Suzuki - C
Cust - LF
Chavez - DH
Crosby - SS
Gonzalez - CF
Ellis - 2B
Hannahan - 3B
Barton - 1B

Hoping to find the right formula, Mike Scioscia has Maicer Izturis batting third and has put Vlad in the outfield:

Figgins - 3B
Kotchman - 1B
Izturis - SS
Guerrero - RF
Hunter - CF
Anderson - DH
Matthews - LF
Kendrick - LF
Mathis - C

Today's "fun fact": Ervin Santana began the season by making 7 consecutive "quality starts," but since then he has allowed 3 ER or fewer in only 4 of his 9 starts.