I love the Bay Bridge series. The regional rivalry is the only interleague play I can endorse, and this one is better than almost any other. There is such a complete cultural divide between the A's and the Giants in terms of Oakland vs. San Francisco, philosophy of building a team, Coliseum vs. AT&T Park, and everything else. The fans get amped, and (apologies to gallo del cielo) this has encouraged fans to choose sides. We all have Giants fan friends and family. Getting the friendly banter going with our social circles is all part of the fun.
Adding to this Bay Bridge rivalry is the new shark encircling the waters, ready to dine on Ocean Beach surfers. Jeff Samardzija will not pitch in this series, but adding him and Hammel helps put an extra edge on the story - one team has been skidding to the point of losing a nine game division lead, and the other has the best record in baseball and added more weapons. The stage is set for the A's to make a statement to the Bay Area and put another damper on the hopes of their cross-bay rivals.
I'm also sure he's going to love taking in the crazy Coliseum these next two days with his new teammates.
Even Bob Melvin says that these games feel a bit different and mean a bit more in the sense that the entire Bay Area is paying attention to the series. When a manager admits that a game has a little more meaning to it, you know it's true. (Side note, it's nice that Melvin doesn't resort to "one game at a time" and "every game matters" every single time).
Jesse Chavez faces Ryan Vogelsong. Should be a good matchup. Brandon Moss is back in the lineup at DH after missing a couple of games with an ankle injury.
Apparently the A's want the best outfield defense they can muster, but still want Steven Vogt's bat in the lineup. As a result, Vogt gets his second career start at 1B and Craig Gentry mans RF. Alberto Callaspo is at 2B. Hopefully the Giants stick to hitting flyballs and avoid the right side of the infield at all costs.
|SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS||OAKLAND A'S|
|Hunter Pence - RF||Coco Crisp - CF|
|Joe Panik - 2B||John Jaso - C|
|Brandon Belt - 1B||Yoenis Cespedes - LF|
|Buster Posey - C||Brandon Moss - DH|
|Mike Morse - DH||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|Tyler Colvin - LF||Stephen Vogt - 1B|
|Gregor Blanco - CF||Jed Lowrie - SS|
|Joaquin Arias - 3B||A. Callaspo - 2B|
|B. Crawford - SS||Craig Gentry - RF|
Following the news, sports radio, Twitter, heck even just walking outside in A's gear is fun during these four days. I just love the Battle of the Bay. If you're going to the game, bring your A game and show the new guys what Oakland fans are all about! Here's to the A's coming out on top!