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Open Thread: Game 9 - Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners

My name is Alex, and I’m an Athletiholic.

Welcome to my first game thread on Athletics Nation! Tonight’s contest will pit Oakland rookie Tommy Milone against Seattle not-quite-rookie Hector Noesi. I’m going to be honest with you – I’m excited about Tommy Milone. I guess I have a soft spot for soft-tossing location specialists, and that 9.69 K:BB ratio he put up in AAA last year just revs my engine. That’s why I’m willing to overlook the flaws in his first start of the season, and focus on the 8 shutout innings which resulted (and which I got to witness from Section 118). Sure, he didn’t strike out a single hitter in those 8 innings, but I predict that he won’t have that problem against the Mariners’ lineup. Striking out was sort of Seattle’s thing last year; they led the entire AL in whiffs.

As a member of the Yankees last year, Hector Noesi threw 7 1/3 innings of mop-up relief against hitters who were Oakland Athletics at the time, but who mostly aren’t now. In those innings, he allowed only one run (on a very long home run to Brandon Allen, whom he will almost certainly not face tonight) while striking out 8. That is mostly meaningless, but not entirely meaningless. He got absolutely rocked in his first start of 2012, but it was against the Rangers in Arlington, so that is also mostly meaningless, while not entirely meaningless. Texas’s lineup is…slightly better than ours.

Will Reddick’s line drives (team-leading 30.4% line drive rate) finally start landing for hits? Will Weeks slap some singles and gappers, or continue muscling up for the long-ball? Will Cespedes straighten out the long foul balls he consistently ripped last night? It’s time to find out. To the Game Thread!

Lineups, courtesy of BaseballPress: