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Game Thread #36: Oakland A's vs. Boston Red Sox

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The A's actually won a game yesterday. If they can miraculously string together another win today, that's called a winning streak. It has, apparently, happened before. But it is a day game, and the vampire-A's will be at a significant disadvantage.

Today's matchup is promising -Wade Miley (1-4, 6.81 ERA, 4.31 FIP) versus Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.65 ERA, 2.67 FIP). Miley is just another symptom of the horribly depressing Red Sox rotation - an established mid-rotation starter turning into absolute trash as soon as he reached Boston. Basically, what the bullpen is to the A's, the rotation is to the Red Sox: the Achilles Heel to an otherwise solid, contending team. The lefty is mainly fastball-changeup-slider, with an occasional curveball mixed in. The changeup is by far his best pitch.

Meanwhile, Sonny has only been the second-best starter in the American league. He's doing just about everything right - his strikeouts are up, his walks are down, his homeruns allowed are way, way, way down. If you do want to get critical, Sonny's groundball rate is sitting at 48.8%, way down after last year's sterling 55.9%. This is concerning, but not that concerning.

There's some good news on the injury front: Ben Zobrist will be starting a rehab assignment during the next roadtrip, which is incredibly fast. Davis is probably out until Sunday, but nothing more extreme than that.

Meanwhile, the A's lineup today isn't great. While Vogt (probably) isn't platooned anymore, the A's are handling him with a pair of kid gloves given his recent injury history. So, Phegley will get the call.

Today's Lineups

Mookie Betts - CF Coco Crisp - LF
Dustin Pedroia - 2B Marcus Semien - SS
David Ortiz - DH Josh Reddick - RF
Hanley Ramirez - LF Billy Butler - DH
Pablo Sandoval - 3B Brett Lawrie - 3B
Brock Holt - SS Mark Canha - 1B
Daniel Nava - 1B Josh Phegley - C
Jackie Bradley - RF Billy Burns - CF
Sandy Leon - C Eric Sogard - 2B

Today's game is available on MLB Network (if you're in the West). This is great, because the A's have never struggled in front of a national audience. Never.