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Open Thread: Game 36 - A's at Rays

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You know you're having a bad stretch when holding the opposition under ten runs can be viewed as a moral victory, but such is the state of our woebegone A's, who have been roughed up to the gnarly tune of 47 runs the last four days.  Not exactly music to the ears.

If you're wondering, the 13-22 start is not the worst in Oakland A's history; that honor belongs to the 1994 club that began 9-26.  That, of course, was the Year Without a World Series, as the strike wiped out the last two months of the season.  Too bad because there was a very real possibility that the American League West would have been "won" by a team with a sub-.500 record. At the close of play on August 11, the Texas Rangers- with a 52-62 mark- led the division, by a game over Oakland (51-63) and two over Seattle (49-63). Yikes.

Here in the present, the A's could only be so lucky to be stuck in a god-awful division (rather than a simply mediocre one) as they currently sit nine games behind Ron Washington's Rangers.

If there were points given for bad news, the AL West might be turned upside down.  Aside from the latest Chavy 411, Dan Giese's placement on the disabled list is the 55th time the A's have used the DL since 2007.

Will the person with the A's voodoo doll please show your face?

Tonight the good guys try to snap a four-game skid, with another crack at the defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays.

And yes, they are still the good guys.

Josh Outman pitches for Oakland, opposite James Shields.

The lineups: 


Lineup

Oakland Athletics @ Tampa Bay Rays

05/19/09 4:08 PM PDT

Oakland Athletics Tampa Bay Rays
Orlando Cabrera - SS B.J. Upton - CF
Kurt Suzuki - C Carl Crawford - LF
Jack Cust - DH Evan Longoria - 3B
Matt Holliday - LF Carlos Pena - 1B
Jason Giambi - 1B Jason Bartlett - SS
Adam Kennedy - 2B Willy Aybar - DH
Ryan Sweeney - CF Akinori Iwamura - 2B
Bobby Crosby - 3B Gabe Kapler - RF
Aaron Cunningham - RF Michel Hernandez - C