Last night was supposed to be one of those nights where one could feel vindicated for continuing to watch the A's in the midst of a dark and dreary season devoid of all fun and hope. And then a series of unfortunate things happened. In the final series leading into the All Star Break, in which Stephen Vogt is currently the A's sole representative, the A's have split the first two games of a four game set, though it wouldn't be wrong to feel shorted out of a much hard earned victory last night. This season has been fraught with disappointments, however, and at this point may be best to put last night behind us all and take the rest of the season one day at a time.
It took the weather warming up last year for Graveman to find his groove, and this year appears to be no different. Despite a lackluster performance against the Giants two starts ago, Graveman has started to show some consistency on the mound in his previous handful of starts, supplementing his intense movement with more dependable control. With nearly half of the A's starting rotation likely headed towards new homes, for the A's to have any real semblance of competing after the trade deadline, Graveman will have to continue to control the baseball the way he has been and keep himself healthy through the rest of the season, which he was unable to do last season.
The Astros have righted their ship after a dismal start to their season, in large part due to their pitching improving after a poor start. Lance McCullers will be starting today for the Astros, coming off of his strongest start of the season against the Mariners in his last effort in which he struck out ten batters. The power-heavy Astros lineup will be looking to feast on Graveman mistakes up in the zone, so it will be vital for Graveman to either find his strikeout pitch or keep all of his offerings in the lower third of the strikezone, preferably both.
Lineups for both teams are below. First pitch is at 1:10 Pacific.
|OAKLAND A'S||HOUSTON ASTROS|
|Coco Crisp - CF||Marwin Gonzalez - LF|
|Jed Lowrie - 2B||Jose Altuve - 2B|
|Josh Reddick - RF||Carlos Correa - SS|
|Khris Davis - LF||Luis Valbuena - 3B|
|Stephen Vogt - C||Carlos Gomez - CF|
|Billy Butler - DH||A.J. Reed - 1B|
|Yonder Alonso - 1B||Evan Gattis - DH|
|Marcus Semien - SS||Jason Castro - C|
|Tyler Ladendorf - 3B||Jake Marisnick - RF|
|Kendall Graveman - RHP||Lance McCullers - RHP|