We continue the battle of two first-place teams (haha) tonight as the A's take on the Rays after wasting a veritable offensive explosion last night. This game is billed as a great pitching match-up; it will feature 3-0 Dallas Braden against 2-0 James Shields. The Rays have been forewarned not to set foot on the pitcher's mound, although somehow I don't think the offense would have been as egregious coming from Evan Longoria as it was from Alex Rodriguez.
Braden defeated the Yankees in his last start, holding them to two solo homeruns, even battling through illness in his six innings. Shields is...um...very good, and as far as the offensive edge, I would have to give it to the Rays. They're slightly better. Especially since (despite being listed in the lineup) Kurt Suzuki has just been scratched. Fox will catch (and am I crazy, or has he done a serviceable job back there?).
Geren is taking Rajai Davis's lack of OBP seriously, even at the expense of Eric Patterson's poor throwing arm. Rajai will be on the bench while Patterson is in left. The lineup lists Gross as our CF today.
Let's just say that to earn the series split, Braden will have to be very, very good and the offense needs to claw out a run or two.
LET'S GO OAK-LAND!
04/28/10 4:10 PM PDT
|Oakland Athletics||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Cliff Pennington - SS||Jason Bartlett - SS|
|Daric Barton - 1B||Carl Crawford - LF|
|Ryan Sweeney - RF||Ben Zobrist - 2B|
|Kurt Suzuki - C||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Eric Chavez - DH||Carlos Pena - 1B|
|Kevin Kouzmanoff - 3B||B.J. Upton - CF|
|Gabe Gross - CF||Willy Aybar - DH|
|Eric Patterson - LF||Gabe Kapler - RF|
|Adam Rosales - 2B||John Jaso - C|