Update 2 (6:15 PM): First pitch is currently scheduled for 6:45 PM.
Update (4:50 PM): Game has been delayed due to rain in Chicago. No word yet on a starting time.
No matter how you feel about Interleague play, the opportunity to travel to the historic Wrigley Field is something special. The A's haven't been to Wrigley since the days of Damian Miller and Chad Bradford, way back in 2004. (Oakland lost two of that three-game set. Let's hope they do a little better this time around.)
It's Trevor Cahill (5-2, 2.91 ERA) against Carlos Zambrano (2-4, 6.05 ERA) tonight. Trevor Cahill has quietly put together the lowest ERA out of all of our currently healthy starting pitchers, riding his outstanding sinker to ground ball success. Zambrano, on the other hand, has had a tough year, including a surprising month-long stint in the bullpen. Interestingly, Carlos Zambrano started one of the Oakland games in 2004, striking out 8 and allowing 1 run, picking up the win. Trevor Cahill? Well, Trevor had only just finished his sophomore year in high school.
In other news, the A's traded away reliever prospect Sam Demel to the Arizona Diamondbacks this morning for outfielder Conor Jackson. Jackson put up three very good years from 2006-2008, with an .800+ OPS each year and solid plate discipline. Unfortunately, he was hit with a long spell of Valley Fever (which is a whole lot easier to pronounce than its official fungal name, believe me) which sapped his power. His batting line in 2009 was a terrible .182/.264/.253. It looks like he started pressing after the illness, which led to a sharp increase in the percentage of outside pitches swung at. Some time with the patient coaches of Oakland might be exactly what he needs.
Jackson isn't in the lineup tonight (his flight doesn't arrive in Chicago until after game time, although he may be available off the bench), but hopefully he'll make it in time to see the A's steamroll the Cubs. Right? Right?!
Lineups posted as they are available.