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Open Thread: Game 124 - A's vs. Twins

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The All-Star Break could have been seen as the turning point for these A's. Going into the break, there was hope, albeit slim, that the A's were better than anticipated, and could challenge for the playoffs, despite trailing the Angels. Also, going into the All-Star Break, Justin Duchscherer was among the very best pitchers in all of baseball, representing Oakland at Yankee Stadium for the American League.

Just over a month later, five wins and twenty-three losses later, the story is much different. The A's personnel has changed a bit, Duchscherer seems to have lost his magic touch, and the A's are falling like a rock in the standings. Not falling? The Minnesota Twins, who in the Central Divison, are tied for first with the ChiSox, with a record of 70-53.

Looking to stop both trends tonight is the aforementioned Duchscherer, who comes into the game with a 10-8 record and 2.59 ERA, opposing Nick Blackburn, who sports a 9-6 record and 3.73 ERA. In off the field news, the A's have called up Kirk Saarloos to augment the bullpen, and have designated Wes Bankston for assignment.


Lineup

Oakland Athletics @ Minnesota Twins

08/18/08 5:10 PM PDT

Oakland Athletics Minnesota Twins
Mark Ellis - 2B Denard Span - CF
Eric Patterson - LF Nick Punto - 2B
Bobby Crosby - SS Joe Mauer - C
Frank Thomas - DH Justin Morneau - 1B
Jack Cust - RF Jason Kubel - RF
Kurt Suzuki - C Delmon Young - LF
Carlos Gonzalez - CF Brian Buscher - 3B
Jack Hannahan - 3B Randy Ruiz - DH
Daric Barton - 1B Adam Everett - SS