I'm not saying that any single game, or really any series in early July should be make-or-break, but that's kind of the feeling we get during these two A's/Angels match-ups before the All-Star Break, where the A's are either going to shake out to be contenders, or just settle for having a great rebuilding season. I think they have too many missing pieces for a real shot, but stranger things have happened in baseball.
This morning, we are faced with the sad news of Chavez going back on the DL (and who knows for how long), as well as Harden admitting to some sort of 'dead arm'. To top that off, we are trying to win the series in today's rubber game; the one game where I thought the Angels were the clear favorites. I though Smith and Harden stacked up pretty well against their opponents, but as good as Eveland was in his last start, Joe Saunders has been having a pretty fantastic year for the Angels.
After last night's heartbreaker of a loss, which would have secured the series win and pulled the A's to 2 1/2 games behind the division lead, the A's are going to have to show that they can win the series anyway, and stay within shouting distance of the Angels before the All-Star break.
Pitching (both bullpen and starting) is the reason the A's are competing this year, and it will be the key to their success this afternoon. Eveland will look to keep it going today, as the A's try to rebound from last night's loss. New in the lineup today will be Chavez' replacement, Wes Bankston, who will be trying to give the A's some offensive help.
07/02/08 12:35 PM PDT
|Oakland Athletics||Los Angeles Angels|
|Rajai Davis - CF||Chone Figgins - 3B|
|Mark Ellis - 2B||Gary Matthews - RF|
|Bobby Crosby - SS||Erick Aybar - SS|
|Emil Brown - LF||Vladimir Guerrero - DH|
|Jack Cust - DH||Torii Hunter - CF|
|Wes Bankston - 1B||Howie Kendrick - 2B|
|Carlos Gonzalez - RF||Casey Kotchman - 1B|
|Rob Bowen - C||Juan Rivera - LF|
|Donnie Murphy - 3B||Mike Napoli - C|
LET'S GO OAKLAND!!!!