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Open Thread - Game 34: Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers

To begin today's preview, I thought that I would find some news about Brandon McCarthy's shoulder. His turn in the rotation was skipped on Thursday because of soreness in the shoulder, but it has apparently subsided enough to allow him to pitch. For some reason, I thought that the best place to go for this news would be McCarthy's Twitter feed; you know, to get the news straight from the horse's mouth. While I wouldn't call the following 15 minutes a "waste of time," it also didn't provide any answers to my questions. McCarthy's Twitter feed is hilarious, but this was about the closest that I got to finding news about his health:

I bet when cab drivers ask James Van Der Beek where he wants to go he closes his eyes and whispers "1999."

Jane Lee turned out to be a more useful source for McCarthy news. Here is what he said after his Thursday bullpen session:

"I didn’t feel anything today," said McCarthy, who was scratched from a start earlier this week due to soreness in his throwing shoulder. "I felt fine, and it’s really not a concern at this point. I wasn’t mentally hung up, wasn’t worried about it. I pretty much knew what to expect, and unless something unexpected happened, I wasn’t going to be surprised. It went the way I wanted it to, and it just leaves me perfectly on course for Saturday." While McCarthy should be good to go Saturday, he acknowledged that he'll have to make it through his next couple of outings before he feels like he's out of the woods physically.

Yep, that sounds about like a normal rambling athlete interview. The point is taken, however; McCarthy feels good, and is ready to make a start today. His opponent will be Detroit's Doug Fister, who was lights out last year after joining the Tigers for the stretch run and playoffs. This year, however, Fister left his first start of the season with a left costochondral strain, which, to the rest of us, means that he pulled his ribcage. He returned on Monday to shut out the Mariners for 7 innings, which is sort of like saying that he succeeded in a AAA rehab start (zing!). The obvious follow-up joke would be that his AAA rehab continues tonight against the A's, except that they hit like Major Leaguers last night! With Josh Reddick, Brandon Inge, Kila Ka'aihue, and Seth Smith just smoking the ball right now, the lineup is as hot as it's been all year. I think that it's safe to say that Fister will allow his first unearned run of the season today (10 scoreless innings so far in 2012).

Will Inge continue to punish his old team? Will Smith ever make an out again, having reached base in 8 of his last 9 trips to the plate? What will Reddick (.554 SLG%) do for an encore to his 4-4 performance? Game Thread: Activate!