Happy Saturday! The A's will try to get back to their winning ways – or at least, mediocre ways – tonight in Anaheim. It's pretty easy to feel disheartened after last night's disaster, but the A's are still only 10 games back of the Astros with 98 games to go. That's totally doable, and the A's are still totally in... somewhere. They're either contending or they're not. It's going to take a lot of winning very, very soon. We'll see if the A's are capable.
Tonight's pitching matchup is a pretty ehhhhh one. Kendall Graveman (3-2, 4.83) will try to continue rebounding after his short stint in Nashville, while CJ Wilson (3-5, 3.92) will try to continue improving over his disastrous 2014. He's actually been pretty okay this year, reducing his walk rate from 4.35 to 2.77 per 9 innings. Control will be key.
The Angels have several really, really hot hitters that Graveman will have to put down. Over the past 14 days, Albert Pujols is hitting .333/.375/.778, Mike Trout has been hitting .326/.396/.767, and Johnny Giavotella (The Matthew Dellavedova of baseball) has been hitting .351/.405/.486. The Angels are always dangerous, and we're facing them at a bad time.
Here are the lineups, featuring Josh Phegley rightfully taking the #5 spot in the lineup and Josh Reddick taking a day off.
|OAKLAND A'S||LOS ANGELES ANGELS|
|Billy Burns - CF||Erick Aybar - SS|
|Mark Canha - LF||Mike Trout - CF|
|Ben Zobrist - 2B||Albert Pujols - DH|
|Billy Butler - DH||Kole Calhoun - RF|
|Josh Phegley - C||David Freese - 3B|
|Brett Lawrie - 3B||Johnny Giavotella - 2B|
|Stephen Vogt - 1B||Efren Navarro - 1B|
|Marcus Semien - SS||Carlos Perez - C|
|Sam Fuld - RF||Matt Joyce - LF|
|Kendall Graveman - RHP||C.J. Wilson - LHP|