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Game Thread #62: A’s at White Sox (1)

These guys again? The A’s continue their Midwestern jaunt with a four-game series in Chicago at U.S. Cellular Field to play the White Sox. It is again a battle of teams going in opposite directions for the season.

DanK Straily
DanK Straily

After taking 2 of 3 at Milwaukee to start the road trip, the still red-hot A's visit another hapless Midwestern opponent. Since dropping 2 of 3 at home to Texas in mid-May, the A's have won 16 of 19 games and are the hottest team in baseball (followed of course, by the Astros). They are doing it with patience too, as they lead MLB with a 10.3 BB% and are in the bottom half of the league in K% at 19.4. More than anything, though, the key to the A's current run has been pitching. In Milwaukee, Tom Milone, A.J. Griffin, and Bartolo Colon all had good outings, with each pitching 7 innings and walking only 3 batters in total. What's more, with the A's in the middle of playing 30 games in 32 days, it helps the bullpen stay fresh and not end up with the necessity for long relief. Indeed, it was only an uncharacteristically bad outing from the normally stellar bullpen dweller Sean Doolittle that spoiled a sweep of that series.

Tonight, Dan Straily faces Jose Quintana in the first of a four game set. Straily has been key to this streak himself, only walking 1 batter in his previous 3 starts and striking out 14. He's been keeping the ball down, and an aggressive hitting team like the White Sox (again) ought to be a good matchup for his biting slider. Amazingly, the A's will face 4 straight lefty starters this series, so Nate Freiman figures to see a lot of playing time, as will Chris Young and likely Adam Rosales, as well.

Here are tonight's lineups: