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Game Thread #53: A's Versus Yankees

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Entering the final game of this series with a 2-1 lead over the Yankees feels good; sitting 3-1 late this afternoon would feel even better! Just as important as that, we need our offense to come out swingin’ for Jesse Chavez.

New number, tattoos and confidence
New number, tattoos and confidence
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Today, we need to come out and be the Swingin' A's that we can be. And, of course, it would be nice to go error-free, something I always took for granted until this season. Entering the final game of this series with a 2-1 lead over the Yankees feels good; sitting 3-1 late this afternoon would feel even better! Just as important as that, we need our offense to come out swingin' for Jesse Chavez.

In his last start against Detroit, Jesse threw eight great innings, didn't give up an earned run, and was tagged with the loss after the offense left numerous base runners stranded. So, today we need to be the Swingin' A's in full force and leave lots of cleat marks on the plate. Do it for Jesse, boys!

So how ‘bout that Jesse Chavez? How can anyone not love this kid? He has come a long way since he was drafted 1252nd (42nd round) in 2002. He has spent 9 years in the majors, four with Oakland, and has played for four other major league teams (Toronto, Atlanta, Pittsburg, and Kansas City). He played for Riverside Community College yet gained most of his education in the Bigs, having joined the A's starting rotation in 2014 and again in 2015 when Melvin had to make the tough choice and kept Chavez and optioned Kendall Graveman to AAA.

In 2015, Jesse has shown up with a new number and new tattoos and what I believe is a new confidence. With the A's he's logged enough games (82), innings (258), strikeouts (239), and a decent ERA (3.55) to develop that confidence. In 2015 he's 1-5 mostly because of our lacking offense. He has 45 strikeouts in 51.2 innings pitched and an ERA of 2.44. All of this is on the heels of a solid performance in 2014 where he went 8-8 in 32 games and 146 innings logging a 3.45 ERA.

So let's get swingin', boys. Do it for Jesse!

Today's Lineups

NEW YORK YANKEES OAKLAND A'S
Brett Gardner - CF Billy Burns - CF
Chase Headley - 3B Ben Zobrist - LF
Alex Rodriguez - DH Stephen Vogt - C
Mark Teixeira - 1B Billy Butler - DH
Carlos Beltran - RF Josh Reddick - RF
Ramon Flores - LF Brett Lawrie - 3B
John Ryan Murphy - C Max Muncy - 1B
Didi Gregorius - SS Marcus Semien - SS
Jose Pirela - 2B Eric Sogard - 2B
Adam Warren - RHP Jesse Chavez - RHP