After a game like last night's, I sometimes just want to give up on baseball. All that hope, all that time taken out of my day, all thrown out 5 feet from the finish line because conventional baseball wisdom dictates that Brian Fuentes is a "proven closer."
And yet, here I am, right where I was yesterday, preparing for my daily dose of heartbreak. Maybe today, the A's will reward my loyalty! Eternal hope.
This evening's game is actually kind of a big deal. You see, last winter, the A's and D'Backs were involved in a certain transaction, and in that transaction, Oakland sent a certain All-Star starting pitcher to Arizona. You may have heard about it at the time. It just so happens that the same starting pitcher, Trevor Cahill, is taking the mound tonight against his old team.
But wait! That's not all, for the Athletics received something in that transaction as well: A young apprentice...a new hope...a Major-League-ready starting pitching prospect whom Arizona no longer needed. His name was Jarrod Parker. His name still is Jarrod Parker. And he's pitching tonight, in his 10th career start, against the team who cast him aside, opposite the very man whom he was used as bait to acquire. This is about as compelling as pitching match-ups get.
As it happens, Parker has been enjoying the better season. His ERA is a full run lower, his strikeout rate is slightly better (though his walk rate is slightly worse), and he's only given up one home run in his 48 innings. Who will emerge victorious in the match-up of the All-Star against the prospect for whom he was traded? Can Oakland's hitters continue their recent success and get to their old teammate? Can Parker continue his streak of 18.1 consecutive scoreless innings? Can Brandon Moss hit Major League pitching? To the game thread!
Lineups (no Chris Young for Arizona):
|Athletics (J. Parker - R) @ Diamondbacks (T. Cahill - R)|