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Game Thread #130: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros

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Ezra Shaw

The Oakland Athletics begin a seven-game road trip with a game against the Houston Astros this evening with first pitch at 5:10 pm Pacific Time. The Astros will send right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman (7-9, 4.37, 23 starts) to the mound to face right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija (5-10, 3.27, 26 starts).

Today's Lineups

OAKLAND A'S HOUSTON ASTROS
Coco Crisp - CF Robbie Grossman - LF
Alberto Callaspo - DH Jose Altuve - 2B
Josh Donaldson - 3B Chris Carter - DH
Stephen Vogt - 1B Dexter Fowler - CF
Derek Norris - C Jason Castro - C
Brandon Moss - LF Marwin Gonzalez - SS
Josh Reddick - RF Jonathan Singleton - 1B
Andy Parrino - SS Matt Dominguez - 3B
Eric Sogard - 2B Jake Marisnick - RF
Jeff Samardzija - RHP Scott Feldman - RHP

From the bench tonight the Athletics have right-handed bats Jonny Gomes, Nate Fremian, Craig Gentry, and newly-acquired catcher Geovany Soto (replacing John Jaso on the active roster, who moves to the 7-day concussion disabled list). Left-handed bat Sam Fuld is available, but Bob Melvin will try not to use him after he suffered some soreness in his knee trying to catch a ball at the center field wall Sunday night at the Coliseum:

For the Astros, infielders Gregorio Petit and Jesus Guzman are available right-handed bats. Catcher Carlos Corporan is a switch-hitter. Infielder Marc Krauss bats left-handed.

A's vs. Feldman

Good news

Coco Crisp has the batting-average-is-higher-than-on-base-percentage thing against Scott Feldman. His .417/.375/.417 is the result of three sacrifice flies. Otherwise, Crisp is 5-for-12 and has walked once.

Let's see if Josh Donaldson's sometimes too-discerning eye helps him out tonight, he has walked four times against Feldman in 12 plate appearances, though only has one hit in the other eight.

Derek Norris gets the start behind the plate tonight, primarily because of what he has done to Scott Feldman: 5-for-7 with a home run, two walks, and no strikeouts for a cool .714/.778/1.143 line.

Josh Reddick's 4-for-15 with no walks and three strikeouts looks rather pedestrian until you see that all four of those hits have gone for extra bases. Reddick has two doubles and two home runs to slug .800 against Feldman.

Bad news

Alberto Callaspo bats second tonight for the seventh time this year. He is only 2-for-16 and has been hit once. Miraculously, Callaspo has never grounded into a double play against Feldman on his way to a .125/.167/.125 line.

Brandon Moss, batting sixth, is 2-for-11, though Feldman has walked him three times.

Eric Sogard is 0-for-6 with two walks against Feldman.

Ask again later

Stephen Vogt is 1-for-6 against Feldman. Andy Parrino faces Feldman for the first time.

Astros vs. Samardzija

Look out for Chris Carter tonight, he's 4-for-8 against Samardzija, including two doubles and a home run. Jason Castro has also sustained some success against the Shark, he's 5-for-12, including three doubles.

Home plate umpire report: Mike DiMuro

Mike DiMuro has umpired at the Major League level since 1997. In 23 games behind the plate this year, DiMuro's umpire ERA is 3.67, slightly favoring the pitcher against the MLB ERA of 3.78.

Here's Mike DiMuro's strikezone plot for his last game, the late game between the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants on August 21:

It looks like DiMuro does not like to call the high strike, nor does he extend the left-handed hitters box to the outside corner much, if at all. The A's send seven left-handed batters to the plate against the righty Feldman. The Astros send five against Samardzija.

Root, root, root for the A's

First pitch coming at 5:10. Let's go A's!