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Game Thread #72: A’s Versus the Angels

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Scott Kazmir (3-4 with a 2.84 ERA) takes on Garrett Richards (7-4, 3.59 ERA) for today’s rubber match on Father’s Day.

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

I hope a lot of you are reading this pregame at the ballpark. Yesterday I was fortunate enough to go to the game, see a great win, and take a Sonny Gray Garden Gnome home. I'm not much of a gnome person, but it's still fun.

It's sure nice to be playing today's game with 30 wins in our pocket. Something feels different today doesn't it? When the Angels show 35 wins and we have 30? Doesn't it feel like we are in the hunt? That the 500 mark is just around the corner? Yep it's a good day to be at the park and a good day to win another series!

Scott Kazmir (3-4 with a 2.84 ERA) takes on Garrett Richards (7-4, 3.59 ERA) for today's rubber match on Father's Day. Some A's changes in today's lineup from yesterday include Sogard sitting out today and Ben Zobrist moving to 2nd. Canha replaces Vogt at DH, and Vogt is behind the plate today. Sam Fuld is batting ninth and in left today.

And let's talk about Father's Day. Did anyone have a catch on the field today with their father or son? If so, drop a comment below about the experience. Baseball is in my blood because of my father. I grew up listening to baseball on the radio, keeping score sometime around age 6, and having my own Oakland A's Booster membership thanks to my dad. I watched Reggie and Campy, Rudi and Bando, Fingers and Hunter. We'd go to the Coliseum as often as we could afford, living only 15 minutes away, but most of my baseball was on the radio. There was no cable back then, so TV was rarely an option. Radio helped me see the game. We'd often cross the bridge to pick up my Granny in San Francisco, both an A's and Giants fan who kept score in her rocker and changed caps depending on the team she was listening to. She loved to go see the A's as well as Charlie-O, the mule, making his way around the warning track. Like the scene from Fever Pitch when the young boy sees Fenway's field for the first time, I had that same awe every time I walked into the Coliseum as a kid. I STILL smell that stadium; it smelled different back then. Of course, it was brand new back then!

As a female, I don't know that my experience is the common memory for women of my generation; it was more Dad's and their boys as the norm when it came to instilling the love of the game. You sure see a lot more girls and their dads at the park in this era. It's fantastic! My dad played catch with me daily if I asked, taking a break from his wood working. It seemed to take forever for those breaks—a whopping 20 minutes or so; time is different when you're a kid, especially as a kid in love with baseball. I remember the glove I started with, one my brother had used that belonged to my dad. I still have it. It's classic. Back then girls couldn't play baseball in little league, and there was no softball league. So I used that glove with the boys in the neighborhood. And I used my Reggie Jackson bat given at "Bat Day" in those sand lot games—now wishing I'd preserved it.

I pulled weeds out of the lawn with my dad just to listen to the games through the summer. To this day, baseball is best on the radio for me. This is my 9th Father's Day without my dad, and threading for Athletics Nation seems so fitting on this day. Thanks AN. And thanks Dad!

Now let's go, A's. Let's do this!

Today's Lineups

Johnny Giavotella - 2B Billy Burns - CF
Kole Calhoun - RF Marcus Semien - SS
Mike Trout - CF Stephen Vogt - C
Albert Pujols - DH Ben Zobrist - 2B
David Freese - 3B Josh Reddick - RF
Erick Aybar - SS Brett Lawrie - 3B
Carlos Perez - C Ike Davis - 1B
Dan Robertson - LF Mark Canha - DH
Efren Navarro - 1B Sam Fuld - LF
Garrett Richards - RHP Scott Kazmir - LHP