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Open Thread: Game 7 - A's (2-4) vs. Red Sox (2-4)

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Oh goodie, the Red Sox are in town. And you know what that means.

Look, all I am saying is that it was a lot more fun to go to an A's-Sox game before the so-called Curse was lifted a few years back. And then the suffering became the insufferable.

Oh I kid, Red Sox Nation. (But come on, there's really only one Nation, with sincerest apologies to, well, everyone on this site).

These are not my daddy's A's say the folks at Over the Monster, and the same can be said of the guys sitting in the visitor's dugout tonight. After a championship drought that lasted 86 Octobers, Boston has twice reached the summit of its sport in the last five years, and came within one game of reaching a third World Series during that time.

One thing that has not changed much throughout the Red Sox' storied history has been their ability to trot out guys who can flat-out rake the ball. From the Babe to the Beast, from Teddy Ballgame to Yastrzemski, from Rice and Boomer to Manny and Papi, there always seems to be one or two batters in the Boston lineup that makes an opposing pitcher question his career choice.

The 2009 version, which features reigning MVP (and bad actor) Dustin Pedroia, has stumbled out of the gate (small-sample size alert), but the man filling out the lineup is rightfully unfazed:

"I just think we have some guys after six games that are hitting one-something," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "That happens. That will change. I wish our record was better for the first week. It's not. Hopefully we'll make the next couple of days count."Well, let's hope not Terry.

The A's, for their part, have done some stutter-stepping of their own. To wit:

  • The last time they lost their first three home games was 1996 (all of those contests were played in Las Vegas).
  • Last time they lost three straight in their own ball park to begin the season was 1979.
  • Yesterday's shutout was their second in the club's first six games - it's the first time in Oakland history that they've been blanked twice this early in a season.
  • Their one home run through six games is also an Oakland first- and no other major league team has hit fewer than three long balls this year.
  • And in that dreaded men-on-base category, the A's have left 58 runners stranded- tops in the majors- while hitting .203 with runners in scoring position (fourth lowest in baseball), including 0-for-7 with the bags full.

(Information courtesy of Gameday Press Pass) Hmm, I guess it's a good thing the Red Sox don't have any pitching.

Oh.

On the mound tonight for Boston is left-hander Jon Lester, while Dallas Braden, he himself a southpaw, takes the ball for the A's. Both hurlers are making their second start of the season.

Worth mentioning again: RIP, Mark Fidrych and Harry Kalas.

Gameday.


Lineup

Boston Red Sox @ Oakland Athletics

04/13/09 7:05 PM PDT

Boston Red Sox Oakland Athletics
Rocco Baldelli - CF Ryan Sweeney - RF
Dustin Pedroia - 2B Orlando Cabrera - SS
David Ortiz - DH Jason Giambi - 1B
Kevin Youkilis - 1B Matt Holliday - LF
J.D. Drew - RF Nomar Garciaparra - 3B
Jason Bay - LF Jack Cust - DH
Mike Lowell - 3B Kurt Suzuki - C
Jason Varitek - C Bobby Crosby - 2B
Nick Green - SS Rajai Davis - CF