Ah, nothing quite like Thursday morning baseball.
I am going to go out on a limb and say that the A's would much rather be in the Red Sox' shoes than having to assume the spoiler role, but there is much for our youngsters to gain from this opportunity to impact a pennant race or two. Surely the day will come when they find themselves in a playoff hunt of their own, and perhaps they will benefit from these experiences.
But enough about the future.
Today is the last meeting between the A's and the Red Sox, and Bostonians are no doubt muttering under their collective breath, "good riddance." If post-season invitations somehow skip Terry Francona's mailbox come October, he might have his former club to blame.
The A's, with one of the league's worst records, are 5-4 against the Sox this season, including 3-3 at Fenway, where Boston is 34-17 in 2009. In fact the Red Sox are a miserable 9-18 versus the American League West, which has thus far negated their 8-0 mark against the New York Yankees, the team they are currently chasing.
Oakland sends Gio Gonzalez to the hill. The southpaw is coming off a solid effort Saturday at Yankee Stadium, the A's only victory over the Pinstriped Ones this past weekend. This is his first time facing the Red Sox.
Boston counters with Jon Lester, who was roughed up by the A's back on April 13 (6IP, 10H, 6ER) in an 8-2 defeat.
And now, the lineups, as the A's try to stay undefeated since calling up Tommy Everidge:
07/30/09 10:35 AM PDT
|Oakland Athletics||Boston Red Sox|
|Adam Kennedy - 2B||Jacoby Ellsbury - CF|
|Orlando Cabrera - SS||Dustin Pedroia - 2B|
|Nomar Garciaparra - DH||Kevin Youkilis - 1B|
|Jack Cust - RF||Jason Bay - LF|
|Tommy Everidge - 1B||David Ortiz - DH|
|Bobby Crosby - 3B||Mike Lowell - 3B|
|Rajai Davis - CF||J.D. Drew - RF|
|Ryan Sweeney - LF||Jason Varitek - C|
|Landon Powell - C||George Kottaras - SS|