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Game Thread #133: A's at Angels

sonny sonny sonny sonny sonny sonny
sonny sonny sonny sonny sonny sonny
Thearon W. Henderson

Sam Fuld Sam Fuld. Sam Fuld Sam Fuld Sam Fuld Sam Fuld Sam Fuld. Sam Fuld? Sam Fuld.

Okay, with that out of the way I can start the preview. This series is the big one. I know we said that about last series versus the Angels, but this is the big one. Four games against our fiercest rivals and, for the moment, the best team in baseball by record. It doesn’t get much bigger than this.

Luckily, we’ve stacked our rotation so that the Angels’ high powered offense faces an ace every single night. Seriously, the pitching in this four game set is going to be outstanding.

Tonight, we’ve got Sonny Gray (13-7, 3.00) on the bump. Sonny Gray is coming off a fairly spectacular start — 8.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Ks (against these same Angels!). The ER mark is a bit misleading considering Gray left with a runner at first and Doolittle allowed him to score, but I suppose that’s the way it goes. Gray has not been having the best August, but he’s still one of the best young pitchers in the game. Wooooooo.

The Angels will be countering with CJ Wilson (10-8, 4.45). He’s been having an injury riddled, miserable season, and his FIP, 4.32, doesn’t think he’s been especially unlucky. The walk rate that had always threatened to sink him has ballooned to an unsightly 4.07 per 9 IP mark, and his home run rate has been an equally terrible 0.95 per 9. However, he’s shown signs of getting back on track — he hasn’t given up more than 2 ERs in his past 3 starts, including one versus Oakland. Not that they’ve been especially sharp, with LOTS of walks, but it’s a start.

Some rotational news:

And a familiar face is back on the roster:

Here are the lineups — unfortunately, they do not feature Sam Fuld.

Today's Lineups

Coco Crisp - CF Kole Calhoun - RF
Craig Gentry - RF Mike Trout - CF
Josh Donaldson - 3B Albert Pujols - 1B
Jonny Gomes - LF Josh Hamilton - LF
Derek Norris - DH Howie Kendrick - 2B
Alberto Callaspo - 2B Erick Aybar - SS
Brandon Moss - 1B David Freese - DH
Geovany Soto - C Chris Iannetta - C
Andy Parrino - SS Gordon Beckham - 3B
Sonny Gray - RHP C.J. Wilson - LHP

Tonight’s weather: Sonny with a chance of strikeouts. Go A’s.