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Game Thread #82: A's vs. Pirates

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The A's are looking to salvage some of this series, after a close game went the Pirates' way last night in extra innings.

Francisco Liriano (4-8, 5.33) is having a bit of a nightmare season. The strikeouts are still there, but he's walking a ludicrous 5.88 batters per 9. That's insane. That's a lot. He's also giving up dingers and hits like nobody's business. It's just not pretty. He's really been one of the top-five worst pitchers in baseball with an established job, after being the model of consistent acedom the past three years.

There's nothing to say about Daniel Mengden (1-3, 2.81) at this point. He's the real deal – maybe not an ace, but certainly a legitimate MLB pitcher. I will enjoy riding this train as far as it goes.

Here are the lineups. My prediction: Danny Valencia does something good. It's tough to go from the GOAT to the goat over the course of one game, like he did last night, but he's enough of a competitor to come back from that.

Today's Lineups

John Jaso - 1B Coco Crisp - CF
Gregory Polanco - DH Marcus Semien - SS
Jung Ho Kang - 3B Josh Reddick - RF
Starling Marte - CF Danny Valencia - 3B
Matt Joyce - RF Khris Davis - DH
Josh Harrison - 2B Billy Butler - 1B
Adam Frazier - LF Jake Smolinski - LF
Jordy Mercer - SS Matt McBride - C
Erik Kratz - C Tyler Ladendorf - 2B
Francisco Liriano - LHP Daniel Mengden - RHP

Also: that Butler/Smolinski/McBride/Ladendorf back of the lineup. Yikes.