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Game Thread #84: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers

The A's try to right the ship after a heartbreaking loss on Monday night and a flat performance yesterday, in which the A's were uncharacteristically shut out. The Tigers have taken the first two of this series, and the A's need a win today to avoid the sweep. Good news: The Tigers' starting pitcher has struggled all year. Bad news: It's still Justin Verlander.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball's a funny game. After an incredible weekend sweep of the Marlins--mind you they are not the Tigers--the A's were on top of the world, after winning all three in dramatic fashion, thrilling A's fans everywhere as all Monday night plans were cancelled in favor of A's baseball. The A's were looking for their fifth win in a row, and it looked for all the world like that was secure...until everything came crashing down. Maybe it was Porcello last night, maybe it was the aftermath of a stunning and painful loss the night before, but the A's might as well have mailed it in for last night's game, and it just doesn't get any more fun for them with A's-killer Justin Verlander on the mound. I don't care what kind of a year he's having (and it's not good); you never want to see him on the mound. Not to mention, with the double-header sweep of the White Sox last night, the Angels are right back in the business of nipping at the A's heels.

But baseball is a long, long season, and has the uncanny ability to absorb a bad week or two. And yes, these two games were a low point in the season for the A's, but we're playing straight through until the All Star break, so the A's can right the ship any day. And why not now, against their nemesis to get back to their winning ways before heading home to face Toronto?

Jesse Chavez will have the enviable task of keeping the A's in the game long enough to beat Verlander, or get him out of the game. He'll be backed by a usual cast of characters, including Derek Norris and Yoenis Cespedes. Let's do this.

Here are your lineups:

Today's Lineups

Coco Crisp - CF Austin Jackson - CF
A. Callaspo - 3B Ian Kinsler - 2B
Yoenis Cespedes - DH Miguel Cabrera - 1B
Brandon Moss - RF J.D. Martinez - RF
Derek Norris - C Torii Hunter - DH
Stephen Vogt - LF N. Castellanos - 3B
Jed Lowrie - SS Alex Avila - C
Nate Freiman - 1B Andrew Romine - SS
Nick Punto - 2B Rajai Davis - LF
Jesse Chavez - RHP Justin Verlander - RHP