Welcome to September: It is officially the "stretch drive"! The Rangers come to town tomorrow but the A's cannot afford to look ahead even one day. They have a chance to sweep the Rays and need A.J. Griffin to come up big today. He is matched up against several pitchers, it appears, with reliever Jamey Wright (who has pitched for 37 different teams in his career, just not all that well) getting the start.
Usually you want to meet Mr. Wright if you're dating, not if you're trying to hit baseballs. Today, the A's just want to make sure they don't meet Mr. Rodney because that means either the Rays have a save opportunity or else the entire A's team is trapped in the bathroom.
Griffin leads the major leagues in HRs allowed with a whopping 32 surrendered. However, after walking 15 batters in a 16.2 IP stretch over 3 starts, the A's RHP settled down in Detroit last Monday to walk only 1 batter in 5 IPs. He did, however, allow 2 more HRs. Brett Anderson is available out of the bullpen today, along with new arrival Pedro Figueroa, who joins Jemile Weeks and Andy Parrino as the first round of September call-ups.
The starting lineups today feature a rather slappy 6-8: