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Open Thread: Game 18 (Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics)

Well, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the A's simply cannot pitch any better than this last turn through the rotation. Allowing exactly ONE earned run through 33 2/3 innings, the starting five has been everything we were promised and more. Not surprisingly, they also lead the Major Leagues in pitching. A crucial cog in the pitching wheel is Gio Gonzalez, who will try again this afternoon for his third win on the season, having received a no-decision his last time out, despite allowing zero runs.

After scoring an obscene amount of runs late in last night's game, the A's offense will be tested again today. Matsui will be glad for a day game; his ball last night should have been long gone, but likewise, the Boston bats could benefit from the warmer temperatures, as well. The A's are going for the series sweep (yes, a two-game series is still a series!) as they conclude the Boston at Oakland rivalry for the season. The Red Sox don't come back, which is really too bad for the A's ticket sales; one Tuesday night game and a day game is all they had to work with this season.

Facing off against Gio Gonzalez will be Clay Buchholz, who will hopefully walk as many batters as he did his last time out.

And finally:

Dallas Braden, on the 15-day disabled list for a stiff left shoulder, is scheduled to see Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Tyson Ross will take his rotation spot on Friday.

Yeeeeeah. So how do we feel about Tyson Ross as a permanent starter this season?

Lineups (Baseball Press):

Let's go OAK-LAND!