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Open Thread: Game 68 - A's at Cubs

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I'll settle for pretty awesome today, Dallas.
I'll settle for pretty awesome today, Dallas.

67MARQUEZ would love to be at today's game but sadly he can't because he's doing today's THREAD and RECAP!!! And you're all the better for it. Actually, I am kind of bummed that I didn't get yesterday's contest, being Game 67 and all. Maybe next year.

{Phone rings. "What's that Tyler? There's not going be to a next year? Damn, that's cold."}

What I'd like to know is why AN didn't do a "Where's Leo?" with a map and GPS-thing-y to track our dear Bloom cross-country. Slackers.

Quick shout-out to my niece Carrin who graduates from high-school this afternoon. Cheers. Now do something with your life.

Anyway there's a reason I came here today. Oh yes. The baseball game. Also known as Something-to-do-Until-the-CT-Thread. Well the A's off-again, on-again relationship with the .500 mark is back off, but there's talk of a meeting at Wrigley later this morning to see if they can work things out. It's a damn soap opera, let me tell you.

Meanwhile they are slip-slidin' away in the American League West as Texas has maintained the division lead with a makeshift rotation, and the Angels have turned their walk-off-grand-slam-broken-leg episode into a 13-5 positive.

Well, hell.

And as Nico pointed out yesterday, it doesn't get much easier this weekend against the likes of Carpenter and Wainwright waiting in the wings.

But that's for a later worry. Today the A's face a team with a few troubles of its own so it'd be nice to get out of Chicago with a series win.

Both of today's starters have struggled of late, and that's being kind. Here's the skinny on Randy Wells:

After going 3-0 with a 3.45 ERA in five April starts, Wells is 0-5 with a 6.47 ERA in his last eight. He's given up 20 first-inning runs during that losing stretch. He allowed two first-inning runs and five in five innings overall of a 10-5 loss to the White Sox on Friday.

Then there's Mr. 209, who apparently sold his soul for one helluva Mother's Day. Oh I kid, Dallas. I still love you. But there's no escaping this:

He's 0-4 with a 4.75 ERA in six starts since throwing a perfect game against Tampa Bay on May 9. He allowed five runs and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on June 9.

Still Braden remains typically optimistic:

"It's a long season," Braden told the Athletics' official website. "No reason to press. These things come and go."

Speaking of coming and going, I'll be in and out to check on you, so behave, k?

Your lineups:

Lineup

Oakland Athletics @ Chicago Cubs

06/17/10 11:20 AM PDT

Oakland Athletics Chicago Cubs
Rajai Davis - CF Ryan Theriot - 2B
Conor Jackson - LF Jeff Baker - 3B
Daric Barton - 1B Marlon Byrd - CF
Kurt Suzuki - C Derrek Lee - 1B
Kevin Kouzmanoff - 3B Xavier Nady - RF
Jack Cust - RF Alfonso Soriano - LF
Mark Ellis - 2B Geovany Soto - C
Cliff Pennington - SS Starlin Castro - SS
Dallas Braden - P Randy Wells - P