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Open Thread: Game 99 (Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers)

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He's certainly shown an ability to step up and match aces inning for inning. Or, at least, Matt Cain sure thinks so.
He's certainly shown an ability to step up and match aces inning for inning. Or, at least, Matt Cain sure thinks so.

This is about as big as it gets.

The A's have been riding a very fine hot streak, winning seven of their last eight series, and sixteen of their last twenty four games. Before this streak, the A's were eleven games back. Now we're tied for second, with the ability to take a serious bite out of the division-leading Rangers. Is there a better test of our new (relatively) healthy team?

Of course, it's not going to be easy, either. Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson aren't exactly easy pitchers to face, and to top it all off, we've drawn new Rangers ace Cliff Lee (9-4, 2.56 ERA) tonight. Lee has walked 0.48 batters for every nine innings. Calling that "low" doesn't cut it. "Unheard of" would be a mere starting point. Gio Gonzalez (9-6, 3.75 ERA) is going to need his good stuff tonight. And good stuff he has.

First pitch is at 5:05. And in other news, Jack Cust is batting 5th. Because......?


Lineup

Oakland Athletics @ Texas Rangers

07/27/10 5:05 PM PDT

Oakland Athletics Texas Rangers
Coco Crisp - CF Elvis Andrus - SS
Daric Barton - 1B Michael Young - 3B
Kurt Suzuki - C Ian Kinsler - 2B
Kevin Kouzmanoff - 3B Vladimir Guerrero - DH
Jack Cust - DH Josh Hamilton - LF
Adam Rosales - SS Nelson Cruz - RF
Mark Ellis - 2B Bengie Molina - C
Rajai Davis - LF Chris Davis - 1B
Matt Carson - RF Julio Borbon - CF