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Game Thread #83: A's vs. St. Louis

Honestly, I predict my colon will look at least this good.
Honestly, I predict my colon will look at least this good.

So to celebrate Bartolo's most excellent first half, I'm having photos taken of my colon tomorrow. And far from being antsy about tomorrow I'm mostly just looking forward to finally having a great picture to use on the front of my next Christmas card.

The bad day is today. All day I'm allowed to eat only jello (lemon and lime, of course -- A's colors) and white grape juice, along with 96 ounces of a combination of water and yummy Suprex. If you've ever been around me when I'm hungry, let's just say Colon has nothing on me for crankiness and desperation.

What I'm trying to say is that the A's had better win today. For about 6 innings I will be literally starving, weak, and extraordinarily irritable, and then at 3:00pm I get to chug my first 48 ounce -- excuse me, "fun size" -- portion of diluted laxative juice.

So there are to be no disappointments. Ideally, Tommy Milone should pitch a perfect game and every A's at bat should end in a homerun. But if that's too much to hope for, the A's simply need to win. Thank you.

It's "Fly Ball" Milone against sinker baller Jake Westbrook. In Westbrook's 57 IP, his K/BB ratio is terrible. It's as bad as his BB/K ratio. Both are 24/24. However, Westbrook has allowed exactly 1 HR all season. (It came in his last start.) Meanwhile, the long ball has been Milone's achilles heel: In 99.2 IP, 16 times the ball has gone from Milone's hand to the cheap seats, with only a quick stopover in the opposing hitter's swing.

One other thing to watch: The A's have a ton of bullpen flexibility amongst their "plus relievers". Grant Balfour has not pitched in exactly a week, while Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook last worked on Tuesday. Any of them could probably go up to 2 IP if needed, with yet another day off tomorrow. Basically, the longer the game goes the better off the A's are, and if Oakland has the lead at any point in even the middle innings the ball is pretty much in Newbob's court.

The starting lineups: