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Game Thread #129 - A's at O's

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"Hmm...I could start Machado out with a curve...I could also totally have a chimichanga for dinner tonight..."
"Hmm...I could start Machado out with a curve...I could also totally have a chimichanga for dinner tonight..."
Thearon W. Henderson

It could be worse, folks. We could be Casper Wells, who was already 0 for 7 when he was asked to pitch the 18th inning for the Phillies, gave up 5 runs and had to be relieved by John McDonald. If needing to get relieved by John McDonald (who if he were a pitcher, by the way, would still not be a very good hitter for his position) isn't the low-point in your career I don't know what is.

There will be no friendly ghosts pitching for the A's today. It's all Sonny Gray as the A's, still without Brett Anderson and Bartolo Colon, throw their current 1-2 punch of Parker-Gray at the Orioles this weekend. So far so good.

Gray's stats have reached the eye-popping level after 25 IP. The Vanderbilt grad has allowed just 12 hits and a 1.44 ERA, with 7 BBs and 27 Ks. He has essentially been greatness, grilled to perfection and smothered in awesome sauce. He is opposed by RHP Scott Feldman, against whom the A's have historically claimed ownership: Feldman is 4-6 with a 6.37 ERA lifetime against Oakland, having walked 41 batters in 77.2 IPs.

Interestingly, Kurt Suzuki gets the start behind the plate today, his second in a row, even though Gray is not one of the A's starting pitchers with whom Suzuki has the most history (he has caught Gray in spring training before). Perhaps the A's are riding the "magic Hawaiian mojo" Suzuki brought yesterday as he doubled and scored the tying run, while nursing Jarrod Parker and Grant Balfour through brilliant efforts, in a key 2-1 win.

Perhaps even more interestingly, absent from the lineup is Yoenis Cespedes who hasn't seemed to be able to get himself benched no matter how many sliders he has chased, how many fastballs he has swung through, or how casual his attitude has appeared during his and the A's struggles. I imagine this will be portrayed as "a scheduled day off" but one hopes that Cespedes, like every other player, will be required to perform, and bust it, in order to keep his spot in the every day lineup.

Said starting lineups: