It may not really feel like it, but we're already 13% through the season. The Astros are tied for the second best record in baseball. If I were you, I would start collecting canned goods and making an apocalypse shelter in your basement. The world is obviously about to implode.
Luckily we're not playing the powerhouse Astros tonight -- we're playing the lowly Angels, who were are currently half a game back of in the division. Tonight's matchup is a pretty good one -- Jesse Hahn (2.12, 1-1) vs. Matt Shoemaker (6.46, 2-1). Ahh, the beginning of the season, where you can have a ERA well above 6 and a winning record.
Don't let Shoemaker's ERA fool you, he's actually a pretty dang good pitcher. Last year he basically saved the Angels rotation by coming up mid-season and providing 136 innings of 3.04 ERA ball. This year, he's matching last year's peripherals (his 8.22 K/9 and 2.35 BB/9 are essentially the same as last year) with one major exception: he's giving up 2.35 HR/9, which is insane and ridiculous and terrible. Hopefully we'll see some balls exiting the park tonight.
Brett-Anderson-doppleganger Jesse Hahn is making his return to the rotation after missing a start with a blister on his middle finger. He's been incredibly in terms of ERA, but he'll look to get through a full 6 innings for the first time in an A's uniform tonight. Also keep an eye on his strikeouts: he's currently sporting the second lowest K/9 of any MLB pitcher with more than 15 innings at 2.65. Hopefully it'll come up, because it is very, very, very hard to maintain any sort of success with K numbers that low.
The bullpen will be well-rested. Only Evan Scribner pitched yesterday, and with the off-day on Monday he should still be available for setup duties.
Here are the lineups:
|LOS ANGELES ANGELS||OAKLAND A'S|
|Kole Calhoun - RF||Sam Fuld - CF|
|Mike Trout - CF||Marcus Semien - SS|
|Albert Pujols - 1B||Stephen Vogt - C|
|David Freese - 3B||Billy Butler - DH|
|Erick Aybar - SS||Ike Davis - 1B|
|Matt Joyce - LF||Josh Reddick - RF|
|C.J. Cron - DH||Brett Lawrie - 3B|
|Chris Iannetta - C||Eric Sogard - 2B|
|Johnny Giavotella - 2B||Craig Gentry - LF|