Bob Melvin and the A's continue to insist on playing their starters (Sogard and Powell being exceptions) and do so again today (lineups below) as Rich Harden faces Joel Pineiro at Angels Stadium. The A's hope to win a series against their rivals in what could be Harden's final start as a member of the club. It seems there is mutual interest in bringing him back in 2012 but you never know. Harden's strikeout numbers have been very impressive, (10.1 K/9) but his gaudy HR/9 of 1.8 really has hurt him. Overall on the year he has a 5.17 ERA, which hopefully ought to keep him relatively cheap if the A's hope to resign him - his 3.66 xFIP is far more indicative of how he has pitched, as I don't think most A's fans would feel he has been 5.17 ERA territory bad this year.
Big news today is the Willingham extension news, OaklandSi has a good write-up here. My big wonder is if there is actually an imminent decision to be made given the moves in the front office in San Francisco, the new CBA coming up, etc. I really will not get too worked up over anything until that happens and I am not really anticipating anything happening either, we all have been down this road so many times. I don't think Willingham is a necessary sign either, I have gone back and forth on whether or not the A's ought to re-sign him and I admittedly lean towards re-signing him but I want it to only be for two years ideally, not the three that keeps being bandied about. We shall see.
For today we just need to beat the San Clemente Angels of Santa Ana. The lineups: