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Open Thread: Game 77 - A's vs. Tigers

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Amazingly, the A's have a chance for a series win this afternoon, in what promises to be a pitchers' duel between the A's Dallas Braden and the Tigers' Justin Verlander. Braden has pitched very well this season, and has little to show for it, thanks to the lack of run support. However, I don't think the A's offense is limited to just failing for Braden.

Even Urban has picked up on the mystery of Travis Buck, writing on MLB today:

The A's appeared to rush Travis Buck back to the big leagues, but they certainly haven't been in a rush to get him on the field.

Recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Monday, Buck was told to catch a 5:30 p.m. flight out of Las Vegas -- where the River Cats were playing -- to Oakland. He didn't get to town in time to start in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Tigers, but after the game A's manager Bob Geren suggested that Buck would start in the outfield on Tuesday.

That didn't happen either, but it's expected to happen in Wednesday's series finale.

Buck is a left-handed hitter, he'd been swinging a hot bat (.350) for Sacramento, and he hasn't made an error in his past 141 games in the big leagues. But Geren started Jack Cust in right field Tuesday against Detroit right-hander Armando Galarraga.

The story goes on to talk about how Cust told Geren that he sees the ball well against yesterday's starter, and some other quotes, but maybe Mychael is trying to tell us something:

"If we get ahead," Geren said before the game, "I can always improve our defense [with a substitution] late in the game, as I usually do."

So Buck plays when we're ahead, for defense, not offense, despite his numbers . Got it. I won't mention that if Cust makes some of those plays, the A's might not be behind....oh, nevermind. Travis Buck is in the lineup today; Cust will be the DH.

And it was guessed in the game thread, but here you are:

In a tribute of sorts to fellow starter Josh Outman, who underwent season-ending left elbow surgery on Tuesday, Vin Mazzaro, Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill went with the stirrups-and-sanitary-socks look favored by Outman, who adopted the look in tribute to former A's pitcher Barry Zito

...and AN ladies everywhere swoon.


Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics

07/01/09 12:35 PM PDT

Detroit Tigers Oakland Athletics
Curtis Granderson - CF Adam Kennedy - 3B
Placido Polanco - 2B Orlando Cabrera - SS
Miguel Cabrera - 1B Matt Holliday - LF
Marcus Thames - DH Jason Giambi - 1B
Ryan Raburn - LF Kurt Suzuki - C
Magglio Ordonez - RF Ryan Sweeney - CF
Gerald Laird - C Jack Cust - DH
Don Kelly - 3B Travis Buck - RF
Adam Everett - SS Mark Ellis - 2B