The A's have been on a bit of a hot streak and the Fandom Needle has moved from "We're all going to die!" back to "World Series, here we come!". Well, maybe the needle hasn't moved that much, but the positivity is flowing again and the A's are playing more like the team we thought we'd see coming into the season. Oakland has won 5 of their last 6 with the help of improved starting pitching and patient, timely hitting. They may still be lurking near the bottom of the standings even after shoving the Angels into the cellar, but the prospect of a half season of competitive, .500 baseball has had AN salivating.
Speaking of salivating, we're at the halfway point of the annual series that produces Pavlovian responses of loathing towards our wealthy cross-bay rivals, and boy has it been a doozy. After a dominant performance by rookie Daniel Mengden to shut down the Giants offense on Monday, followed by a slugfest last night, the A's have swept the Giants at AT&T Park and carry the momentum back to the Coliseum for the remaining two games of the series.
Taking the mound for Oakland tonight is another of our bevy of rookies, the towering lefty Sean Manaea. Manaea has been out for a couple of weeks due to a pronator (forearm) strain. The timing of the injury was unfortunate, as Manaea had put together a few solid starts immediately prior to the injury, in contrast to a shaky beginning of the season. Hopefully Manaea can pick up where he left off and go deep into the game to give Oakland's taxed bullpen a well-deserved break.
Pitching for San Francisco is veteran Jake Peavy. After an almost comically bad first couple months of the season, Peavy has turned things around in the last month and has been pitching very well. He has given up only 8 runs in his last 6 starts. Which Peavy will we get tonight?
|SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS||OAKLAND A'S|
|Denard Span - CF||Coco Crisp - CF|
|Angel Pagan - LF||Jed Lowrie - 2B|
|Brandon Belt - 1B||Josh Reddick - RF|
|Buster Posey - DH||Danny Valencia - 3B|
|Brandon Crawford - SS||Khris Davis - LF|
|Trevor Brown - C||Stephen Vogt - C|
|Mac Williamson - RF||Billy Butler - DH|
|Ramiro Pena - 2B||Yonder Alonso - 1B|
|Ruben Tejada - 3B||Marcus Semien - SS|
|Jake Peavy - RHP||Sean Manaea - LHP|
Game starts at 7:05. Go A's!