When tonight's visiting starting pitcher made his first start in the big leagues, our starting pitcher was in the fifth grade. That's pretty much all you need to know.
That's right, Freddy Garcia (3-4, 3.26 ERA) is pitcher #2 in the Greatest Hits Farewell Tour, known by those in the business as the Yankees' starting rotation. Opposing him is 22-year-old slider extraordinaire Brett Anderson (3-4, 2.84 ERA). Thankfully, Freddy Garcia isn't a rejuvenated six million dollar man like Bartolo Colon and his 96 mph fastballs. No, in this case, his success just seems to be good old fashioned small sample size-fueled luck. His FIP is right in line with his recent career (4.46, compared to Anderson's 3.13), and while he's striking out more batters than last year, he's also walking more. I'm not sure if the A's offense will see that regression tonight...but hopefully.
The A's lineup has an extra wrinkle tonight, because of the news that starting 1B Daric Barton is going to get a little break to work on "basics with hitting coach Gerald Perry". (From Joe Stiglich, here.) The lineup features David DeJesus in Barton's usual spot at 2, Conor Jackson starting at 1B batting 3rd, and fourth outfielder Ryan Sweeney batting 5th. Designated Hitter Hideki Matsui is on the bench tonight, as Josh Willingham is DHing. I actually like this lineup a lot, as it features Oakland's three best hitters at 1, 2, and 4, and their next set of batters at 3 and 5, with the high batting average one at 5. A solid, textbook lineup, and it's likely the best lineup currently possible.
First pitch is at 7:05, weather permitting.