It's the second game of the Bay Bridge Series, and the A's are looking to pick things up right where they left off last night, a 5-0 victory that saw Jesse Chavez record nine strikeouts over six scoreless innings, while the A's eventually broke through against Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco bullpen to put the game out of reach in the late innings.
As much of a pitcher's duel as last night was — for the first five innings, anyway — tonight's matchup promises to be even better on paper. The Giants are sending Madison Bumgarner to the mound, and Oakland is countering with Sonny Gray. Both are 24 years old, both are immensely talented, and both have ERAs between 3.08 and 3.09. To be precise, Gray's ERA is 3.08 and Bumgarner's is 3.09. It's a slight advantage comparatively, but overall, the matchup the matchup favors A's all the more because San Francisco has been shut out in three of its last six games; they've scored 12 runs overall in that stretch.
Bumgarner didn't fare well in his most recent start, a five-inning July 3 outing in which St. Louis tagged him for six hits, four earned runs (five overall) and took advantage of three walks. He wasn't sharp in the start before that, either, but did have a fairly dominant outing on June 22, giving up an unearned run on two hits to the mighty Arizona Diamondbacks.
Sonny Gray, on the other hand, was very sharp in his last start, which came against an offense much better than Arizona's. He gave up one run on four hits in seven innings on Thursday against Toronto, recovering nicely from a rocky outing the week before against Miami.
This year being the 25th anniversary of 1989's infamous Bay Bridge Series, a few comparisons have been drawn between this week's four-game series and Oakland's four-game World Series sweep a quarter-century ago. Well, the parallelism got off to a good start last night: in the first of two games in Oakland (the first two games of the 1989 series were in Oakland), the A's won 5-0. The score of 1989's Game 1? 5-0. The A's need a 5-1 victory tonight to keep the replication going.
Regardless, tonight should be another fun one, complete with another sellout crowd of 36,067 rocking the Coliseum and, hopefully, another extremely satisfying trans-bay victory. Bob Melvin's all-righty lineup against the left-handed Bumgarner, along with Bruce Bochy's selections, are below. First pitch is at 7:05pm.
|SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS||OAKLAND A'S|
|Gregor Blanco - CF||Coco Crisp - CF|
|Hunter Pence - RF||Craig Gentry - RF|
|Brandon Belt - 1B||Yoenis Cespedes - LF|
|Buster Posey - C||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|Pablo Sandoval - 3B||Derek Norris - C|
|Mike Morse - DH||Nate Freiman - 1B|
|Tyler Colvin - LF||Jed Lowrie - SS|
|Joe Panik - 2B||A. Callaspo - DH|
|B. Crawford - SS||Nick Punto - 2B|