As we all continue to endure the A's free-fall to mediocrity (or worse), we can at least enjoy a brief respite from our anguish in the form of a little nostalgia provided by the A's marketing department. That's right, today, while the real Dick Williams is in Cooperstown getting admitted to the Hall of Fame, the first (and maybe the only?) 15,000 fans at today's game will be awarded Dick Williams bobbleheads. Ohhh, those were the days! Three straight AL West Titles and a couple World Series rings...how the mighty have fallen!
After the goodwill expires and the memories fade, Dana "Leftcakes" Eveland will toss out first-pitch for the reeling 2008 A's who will look to salvage some semblance of pride by avoiding the sweep at the hands of a Texas team that has manhandled the Green and Gold so far this season. Dana certainly doesn't seem like a likely hero for the team, as he's finishing up a month of July where he hasn't pitched more than 5 innings in any one start and has walked more (14) than he has struck-out (13). That his ERA still looks respectable at 3.65 is a testament to his uncanny ability to work out of jams, ride a low-batting-average-against and keep the ball in the park. He'll need to be able to employ all of those skills and improve his control markedly to give the A's a chance at topping the powerhouse Texas offense.
Eveland will be opposed by rookie right-hander Eric Hurley. The 22-year old has been up and down between the majors and minors this season, but will likely pitch in place of the injured Kevin Millwood for at least a few starts. In AAA this season, Hurley showed good control and good strikeout numbers (8.73 K/9, 72-29 K-BB) however, he's given up a TON of homers at the same time (15 in 74.2 IP). Hopefully, aided by some light daytime air, the A's offense can stroke a few long balls and give the Rangers a taste of their own medicine for once.
- Andrew Brown's velocity is down because he is working on his mechanics.
- After speaking with Nico, Chavez might be forced to move to 1st base at some point in the near future due to his "shredded" shoulder.
- Eric Patterson has been promoted from AAA and Matt Murton has been demoted to make room for him. Eric is starting the game in left field and leading off for the A's. This move reeks of "Throw it all against the wall and see what sticks"...