Hey Joe, where you goin' with that $220 million payroll in your hand?
OK, good afternoon and welcome Rebel Alliance members to the final series of this epic -- and so far very successful -- 10 game, season-defining, must-win road trip, the longest of 2010. Today finds our heroes, fresh from their unlikely-but-refreshing series win in the blistering heat of the Arlington National Pitcher's Cemetery, descending upon the Big Apple to take on those first-place (they are tied with the Rays, who I hope destroy them and take the division) New York Yankees. The A's send Cy Young hopeful and babyface Trevor Cahill to the hill to be opposed by
some scrub the fact that most of their other pitchers suck forced them to turn to in desperation Dustin Mosely.
It was scorching in Texas, so perhaps the A's brought a little of that heat with them.
We've been over it a million and a half times: this is the stretch of games that will define whether or not the A's -- against all odds and 2010 expectations -- will be playing baseball in October. They sit 7.5 games behind the Rangers, a team that has played .500 ball for two months yet still finds themselves ahead in the AL West by roughly the same margin by which they led at the start of that period. The A's need to sack up big for this series and it starts with Game 1 here, with our best arm going against baseball's best offense. The Yankees (big surprise in 3....2....1...) lead the universe in runs scored, but that is de rigeur for an organization that throws so much money at bats you'd think they were vampires or something. Oh, wait....
If he can make it there, he'll make it anywhere.
It's almost September and if the Athletics can squeeze out a few wins in New York, they will almost assure themselves of accomplishing something we haven't seen in these parts in a long, long time: they will have given us meaningful games to watch and think about in the month of September. The 'Dactyl (aka The White Rabbit, aka 4-1 with an 0.92 ERA in August thusfar, aka awesome) has been just awe-inspiring all season -- often inducing weaker contact from hitters than that time you smoked oregano with your little brother behind the shed -- and if our boys are to get off on the right foot and make something of themselves against this most formidable foe this week we need him to be as baffling and frustrating to the
All-Star team Yankee lineup as possible. No AL pitcher has a lower BAA than Trevor, and we sure would like that trend to hold this evening.
OK, there isn't much to say, really.... the boys have played very well on this roadie and I am sure they are all pumped to do damage and put our lights-out young set of arms on display under the big spotlights of World Media Scrutiny. The sticks have begun to heat up a little bit -- Kevin Kouzmanoff has found his on/off switch, for instance -- so the recipe of scratch-out-enough-offense-and-pitch-like Gods-loosed-upon-the-Earth needs to be in evidence against the Yankees for them to choke on this week, starting now. Why, we've even begun to hit (shocker in 3....2....1....) Home Runs at a more-than-once-every-10-days level lately, with 8 in the last 6 games, and with that inviting 200-foot porch in right field it'd be nice if that would continue. Like I said, there isn't much to say about it all, except
I'll paste in the full lineups when they go up the usual 15 seconds before first pitch, but for now here's ours, courtesy of Twitter:
Crisp CF, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Cust DH, Kouzmanoff 3B, Ellis 2B, Larish LF, Davis RF, Pennington SS, Cahill P