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Game Thread #109: Athletics vs. Royals

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Game two of the post trade-deadline era gets underway with the Oakland Athletics facing the Kansas City Royals with first pitch at 1:05 pm.

Cheese!
Cheese!
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Left-hander Jon Lester (with the Red Sox 10-7, 2.52, 21 starts) makes his Athletics debut this afternoon. He will face Royals left-hander Jason Vargas. Vargas (8-4, 3.31, 19 starts) has done pretty well against the available Athletics today, with Josh Donaldson's 1-for-18 with one walk and two strikeouts sticking out. That one hit though:

Jonny Gomes, batting fifth today, has also struggled against Vargas. He is 1-for-15 with 11 strikeouts against him. That one hit though:

Nick Punto, on the other hand, seems to have had a good eye for Vargas' efforts, he has drawn three walks in nine plate appearances, and is 1-for-6. The A's will again be sorely missing Coco Crisp's production. Crisp is 14-for-43 with four walks and three strikeouts against Vargas (.326/.383/.512).

Last night, Raul Ibanez joined another weird Elias list:

Today's Lineups

KANSAS CITY ROYALS OAKLAND A'S
Norichika Aoki - RF Sam Fuld - CF
Omar Infante - 2B Jed Lowrie - SS
Salvador Perez - DH Josh Donaldson - 3B
Billy Butler - 1B Derek Norris - C
Alex Gordon - LF Jonny Gomes - LF
Erik Kratz - C Stephen Vogt - 1B
Lorenzo Cain - CF Alberto Callaspo - DH
Mike Moustakas - 3B Josh Reddick - RF
Alcides Escobar - SS Nick Punto - 2B

Coco Crisp is questionable for this weekend's series, as noted by Susan Slusser in yesterday's pre-game reporting for the San Francisco Chronicle's A's Drumbeat Blog. He is not in today's starting lineup.

Absent Crisp, the bench is filled with left-handed hitters Brandon Moss, John Jaso, and Eric Sogard. Sam Fuld, Josh Reddick, and Stephen Vogt are your left-handed hitters in today's starting lineup. Kansas City is countering Oakland's two-catcher lineup with their own two-catcher lineup.

Programming Note

I'm actually attending this afternoon's game, but there wasn't anyone who could do the game preview in my usual Saturday stead. Alex Hall, however, will have your usual overflow threads and recap. Complaints about thread management should go to him. He can be be reached on twitter.

In fact, you should follow me, I'll show off my "collectible" La Potencia T-shirt if I get one (and the line to get it). First pitch is at 1:05 pm Pacific Time!