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GameThread #140: A's vs. Astros

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The A's welcome the Astros to the Coliseum for the first of three games. Jeff Samardzija looks to right the A's ship and propel it towards the postseason.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Greetings A's fans. Baseball girl is headed to Vegas tonight, and assured me she will be betting on the A's. I am game-threading in her stead and happy to spend Friday night with you all (beats a sharp stick in the eye at least).

I have never been this nervous to play a 4th place team. The A's have to win. They have to win to maintain their wild card lead, and they have to win to maintain some small sliver of hope for the division. Right now, they stand five games back of the Angels, having missed two opportunities to gain. While it's so incredibly frustrating that the A's could be three or four back instead of five, we can't dwell on the past. September is a new season. Where the season is Dunn. But hopefully not done. And yes, we all will make terrible puns for a while. This is what we do.

Jeff Samardzija shut down the Astros last time he faced them, going eight innings and allowing just two earned runs on six hits (all the damage courtesy of a Chris Carter homer in the 8th inning, of course). I expect Shark to get ahead of the free-swinging Houston hitters and get them to reach for the split. He seems ideally suited to face the Astros and will need to come up big tonight.

On the other side, the A's offense. Yeesh. Surprise me guys. Show me you're alive. Show me that you can score 3 runs off of an average starter in Brett Oberholtzer. The last time he faced the A's he gave up 3 ER in 6⅔ innings. Of course the Astros coasted to a 7-3 victory thanks to a Jesse Chavez implosion (assist to Dan Otero on that). Anyway, I don't see the point in analyzing any opposing pitcher with the A's offense scuffling as it has. Just do something. Anything.

BoMel took a cue from many of the fans by starting Adam Dunn against a lefty. Unfortunately Alberto Callaspo is still starting today. Because 1-29 and bad defense is really useful. Maybe he needs Eric Sogard for secret elf pinch running and defense, but then you wonder whether Andy Parrino could duplicate Callaspo's 1-29 switch hitting with better defense. Brandon Moss is sitting in favor of Nate Freiman and his lefty specialness. Perhaps Callaspo has compromising pics of Melvin or Beane with hot dogs.

Here are the lineups:

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS OAKLAND A'S
Robbie Grossman - LF Coco Crisp - CF
Jose Altuve - 2B Craig Gentry - RF
Dexter Fowler - CF Josh Donaldson - 3B
Chris Carter - DH Derek Norris - C
Jason Castro - C Jonny Gomes - LF
Marwin Gonzalez - SS Adam Dunn - DH
Matt Dominguez - 3B Jed Lowrie - SS
Jonathan Singleton - 1B Nate Freiman - 1B
Jake Marisnick - RF Alberto Callaspo - 2B

LET'S GO OAKLAND!

Poll

How many runs will the A's score?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    1
    (8 votes)
  • 12%
    2
    (6 votes)
  • 20%
    3
    (10 votes)
  • 50%
    4 or more
    (24 votes)
48 votes total Vote Now