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Game Thread #102: A's at Rangers

Time for the A's to continue their Darvish domination.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The trade deadline creeps ever nearer and any trades in store for the A's still exist only in the realm of rumor. As the team looks increasingly competent, both on the mound and at the plate, it is becoming less clear which pieces represent "must-sells" versus "should-sells" or *cough* "should-extends". While this team has a long way to go before they're playoff ready, the makings of a reasonably strong young core are present and ready to be built around.

Part of that young core is tonight's starting pitcher for Oakland, lefty Sean Manaea. After a very rocky start to his rookie season, Manaea has been looking increasingly confident and competent on the bump. His changeup has developed into a threatening strikeout pitch and with mild improvements to his fastball and slider he could prove to be a cromulent top-of-rotation starter. With the A's becoming good just a little bit too late this year to make a run for the postseason, now is the time to work on those pitches and develop them from meh offerings into the electric whiff pitches they were advertised as in the minor leagues.

Facing off against Manaea is the intimidating Yu Darvish. Darvish was one of the best pitchers in baseball prior to his Tommy John Surgery in March of 2015. While he hasn't returned to quite the level of dominance we saw pre-surgery, Darvish has still been an extremely good pitcher in the handful of starts since his return to baseball. The A's have somehow been incredibly good against Darvish for his entire career - in 10 starts vs. Oakland, Darvish has one win and eight (!) losses with an ERA just shy of 5. Somehow, over the course of half a decade with a revolving door of players, the A's have consistently mashed Darvish while being utterly unable to hit the likes of Colby Lewis and Ervin Santana. That's so baseball.

Monday still stings, but it's time to bring home another series win versus the floundering Texas Rangers. Below are the lineups for tonight:

Today's Lineups

Coco Crisp - LF Delino DeShields Jr. - LF
Jed Lowrie - 2B Jurickson Profar - DH
Josh Reddick - RF Ian Desmond - CF
Khris Davis - DH Adrian Beltre - 3B
Stephen Vogt - C Rougned Odor - 2B
Jake Smolinski - CF Ryan Rua - 1B
Yonder Alonso - 1B Elvis Andrus - SS
Marcus Semien - SS Nomar Mazara - RF
Ryon Healy - 3B Bobby Wilson - C
Sean Manaea - LHP Yu Darvish - RHP

Game time is once again 5:05 PT. Yay for consistency. Go A's!