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Game Thread #118: Athletics vs Mariners

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The original Star Wars trilogy stood as a triumphant beacon of extraordinary storytelling, high drama, breathtaking action, and acted as a safe space for nerds everywhere. The second trilogy did its part in thrusting Star Wars fandom into the mainstream, but at the same time reached too far, tried to do and explain too much, and wound up suffering as a result, losing much of what made the original trilogy so entertaining. This newest Star Wars trilogy, with its first movie already the highest grossing film of all time and a second film right around the corner, likely looking to build on its past successes and conquer the box offices streaming services for years to come.

The 2012-2014.5 A's are quite analogous to the original Star Wars trilogy- they came out of nowhere, stole the hearts of those watching and showed that excellent baseball can come from the most unlikely of places. After the failed beefing up of the roster during the latter half of 2014 and the still highly-sensitive Donaldson trade in which the A's attempted to build on their past successes but lost the heart of the team, these current A's resemble the middle trilogy, mired in mediocrity and false promises. But, with a bevy of young prospects waiting in the wings, all used to succeeding together at every level they've played at, there is a chance for the A's to wipe their slate clean and go big very soon, making their presence known and conquering the rest of the baseball world en route to the World Series. They aren't there yet, but that team could be coming sooner than anyone suspects.

If baseball teams were Sci-Fi dramas, the A's have long time been operating like Battlestar Galactica: The Re-Imagined Series: A team that is constantly mired in budget constraints with little-to-no help coming from hire ups, resulting in a team that is nearly always excellent to watch and filled with a bunch of highly talented, yet unknown, performers but still never achieves the recognition and following it deserves in order to go all the way (and far and away the greatest work ever created in the field). Bob Melvin acts as a perfect Admiral Adama, with his steely gaze and calm-yet-commanding presence leading his ragtag team through good times and bad. In today's game, Kendall Graveman will be taking the mound, taking on the role of "Hot Dog" (no, not THAT one) an unknown and unheralded prospect who has, after a long time filled with its fair share of struggles has become one of the most veteran and dependent cogs in the pitching staff. With Coco as Starbuck, Semien as Lee, and Vogt as Gaeta leading it off, and the rest of a strong cast of characters behind them, the A's look to take game two of the series versus Hisashi Iwakuma and the Seattle Mariners on Star Wars and fireworks day at the coliseum.

Lineups are below. First pitch is at 6:05.

Today's Lineups

Norichika Aoki - LF Coco Crisp - CF
Seth Smith - RF Marcus Semien - SS
Robinson Cano - 2B Stephen Vogt - C
Nelson Cruz - DH Khris Davis - LF
Kyle Seager - 3B Yonder Alonso - 1B
Adam Lind - 1B Billy Butler - DH
Leonys Martin - CF Jake Smolinski - RF
Chris Iannetta - C Ryon Healy - 3B
Ketel Marte - SS Max Muncy - 2B
Hisashi Iwakuma - RHP Kendall Graveman - RHP