The A's, fresh off an October 2012-esque, 5-1 victory over Texas last night, are looking to pick up right where they left in this evening's tilt against that same Rangers squad. Last night A.J. Griffin got it done pretty much all by himself with a dominant 7-plus inning, 6-hit performance. Bartolo Colon probably doesn't need to be quite that good tonight, but I'm sure the A's would take it.
Bartolo's been iffy this year — his line of 3-2, 4.57 ERA doesn't really indicate quite how unpredictable and inconsistent he's been so far this season. He's certainly capable of shutting a team down on any given night, but we just won't know until we see what happens. His opposition's BABIP is .303, a number that's likely to regress downwards as the season goes on, but there's no guarantee for a guy who throws so many fastballs, which aren't exactly overpowering. Colon's opposition, Derek Holland, is also 3-2, but with a much prettier ERA of 2.54.
Bob Melvin is going with an almost all-righty lineup tonight against Holland, a southpaw. Seth Smith, as a matter of fact, is the only lefty in the lineup this evening, batting 7th and playing left field. Luke Montz gets another start at DH, while Jed Lowrie slides over to second base, making room for the strong-armed Adam Rosales to play shortstop and hit leadoff. Michael Taylor is also in the lineup, playing right field and batting 9th.
I'd imagine that Montz and Taylor don't exactly have lots of time remaining in their current stint with the big league club — with Coco Crisp and Chris Young returning soon, and Josh Reddick hopefully not headed for surgery and/or a longer stint on the DL, there probably just won't be room for those guys on the roster.
Another righty, Yoenis Cespedes, returns from a stomach ailment that sidelined him mid-game last night — as a matter of fact, it sidelined him immediately after he hit a home run to center field, the front end of back-to-back blows from him and Brandon Moss. But he should be good to go tonight, thankfully; the last thing the A's need is another injured (or in this case, sick) outfielder.
It's supposed to be cooler tonight in Oakland — gametime temperature at the Coliseum should be right around 60 degrees, and that number should drop into the mid or even low-50s as the game progresses.
Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Warriors tonight, playing what is probably their biggest game in the last two decades, which started at around 6:45 PT in San Antonio. Obviously you're here and not on Golden State of Mind, which will have excellent Warriors coverage for you tonight, but still. I'm gonna have that game on the TV and the A's game on MLB.tv on my laptop. Here's hoping for an epic night of East Bay sports, with the Warriors taking a 3-2 lead in their series, and the A's climbing back over the .500 hill.
|Rangers (D. Holland - L) @ Athletics (B. Colon - R)|