Well here we are.
In one of the most anticipated MLB debuts in recent memory in these parts, the Athletics -- fresh off taking a series from Texas and putting the Rangers on notice that they aren't going away just yet -- travel to Seattle to open a three-game set with the foundering (that's a shipworthy term, by the way) Mariners with brand new callup Chris "Baby, You Can Drive My" Carter donning the hallowed green and gold for the first time in a meaningful game. CC was clouting bombs (27 of them) at AAA Sacramento at a prodigious rate, so with the injury to Matt Watson (kidney stones, 15-day DL) and the optioning of Matt Carson to the River Cats, The 6-foot-6 Beast will start in LF tonight. OK, I will pause for a moment whilst you all dry the tears that are undoubtedly flowing at the prospect of no more DoorMatts (is it too harsh to call them the Unwelcome Matts? I kinda liked Watson's story but not his game) on our major league roster. There, there.
But wait... that's not all!! Playing 1B tonight in place of Daric Barton and his spasmodic shoulder is Jeff Larish, who just the other day hit 3 homers and drove in 10 runs for Sacramento in a doubleheader sweep... so it's two prospects for the price of one this evening. Since being claimed off waivers from the Tigers (or as Chris Townsend would say, The Motor City Kitties) ten days ago, Jeff was raking like Reynardine in AAA, so he is here and in the starting nine for your A's as well. I will now pause again as the novelty and shock of having actual pop in the lineup registers with all of you. Easy, there... steady now.
The Athletics attempt to make hay against the Mariners, who are, to use another seafaring metaphor, flopping around on the deck of a once-promising season. Pre-season cognoscenti picked the M's to win the AL West, but to this point their season has resembled that Dave Chappelle skit "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong," with players fighting in the dugout during games and the usual three-ring circus that is Milton Bradley (he's currently on the DL after missing time earlier this year with his ever-present anger issues). All of this amounted to the dismissal of Don Wakamatsu as manager today, with Daren Brown (who was managing their AAA Tacoma team) taking over in the interim. I read a statistic that just astonished me and which illustrates the M's malaise this year almost perfectly: in their 112 games, they have scored 3 runs or less in 62 of them -- which makes the 2010 Oakland A's look like the 1927 Yankees by comparison.
That sets the table... now it's up to the A's to kick a dog with fleas and shoot for the sweep they need to creep closer to the Rangers, who spend their next 8 games playing the top 3 teams in the AL East.
08/09/10 7:10 PM PDT
|Oakland Athletics||Seattle Mariners|
|Coco Crisp - CF||Ichiro Suzuki - RF|
|Rajai Davis - RF||Chone Figgins - 2B|
|Kurt Suzuki - C||Casey Kotchman - 1B|
|Jack Cust - DH||Russell Branyan - DH|
|Kevin Kouzmanoff - 3B||Franklin Gutierrez - CF|
|Mark Ellis - 2B||Jose Lopez - 3B|
|Chris Carter - LF||Ryan Langerhans - LF|
|Jeff Larish - 1B||Adam Moore - C|
|Cliff Pennington - SS||Josh Wilson - SS|
There you are... let's hope President Carter can at least live up to a millionth of the hype that has preceded him. If he and Larish can get a hit or two and provide some fear at the back end of the order, we should be happy campers at the conclusion of this contest... Huge game, sack up, you know what to do: