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Open Thread: Game 84 - A's at Tampa Bay

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Happy Friday, everyone! I'll start tonight's game thread with some baseball updates (one tangentially related to the A's). What does Nelson Cruz have to do to be able to play baseball?! Cruz has 20 homeruns; most A's fans would go to great lengths to acquire him in place of any other player on our team, yet he's been benched for the last three games for Texas, including last night, when Texas was 3-hit. In a wonderful little touch of irony, Cruz was named to the All Star game today by the Rays' manager, making Ron Washington he made an interesting choice. I would also like to applaud Maddon for selflessly choosing a player from a different team (ahem, Charlie Manuel).

Anyway, there is a game tonight. The A's are playing the Tampa Bay Rays. Vin Mazzaro will be on the hill for the green and gold, trying to rebound from some recent losses. He will be opposing rookie righty Jeff Niemann, who has pitched well for the Rays so far this season.

Despite having an awful offensive season, Orlando Cabrera is still in the 2-spot for the A's, but the rest of the lineup looks like the best the A's can put out there. Giambi has been dropped to seventh in the order and will start at first, despite what the game notes say about Garciaparra's expectations.

So, how about a win?


Oakland Athletics @ Tampa Bay Rays

07/10/09 4:38 PM PDT

Oakland Athletics Tampa Bay Rays
Adam Kennedy - 3B B.J. Upton - CF
Orlando Cabrera - SS Carl Crawford - LF
Scott Hairston - CF Evan Longoria - 3B
Matt Holliday - LF Carlos Pena - 1B
Jack Cust - DH Ben Zobrist - 2B
Kurt Suzuki - C Pat Burrell - DH
Jason Giambi - 1B Gabe Gross - RF
Ryan Sweeney - RF Jason Bartlett - SS
Mark Ellis - 2B Dioner Navarro - C