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Game Thread #136: A's vs. Red Sox

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Do we have to play this game? Can't we just call in sick?

The A's are playing the Red Sox today, and, to put it lightly, the Red Sox kinda have the A's number. They'll be looking to sweep the season series, and they've got a pretty solid chance of doing it.

Here's my Key to the Game: when you lose to a team five consecutive times by nine runs or more, your goals isn't to win, it's to not lose by nine runs. I'm chalking this game up as a massive success if there's no position player pitching. If it's competitive after five innings, I'm blasting Celebration in my living room.

The A's will be throwing Kendall Graveman (10-9, 3.96) against the Sox. He's been by far our most consistent pitcher, and in the second half he's sprinted to a 3.34 ERA. However, these are the Red Sox and we are the Athletics, so there's a solid chance he'll allow 15 earned runs and Matt McBride will pitch five innings.

The Red Sox are throwing Eduardo Rodriguez (2-6, 5.35). A big-name prospect who came over from the Orioles in the 2014 Andrew Miller trade, Rodriguez has had a pretty mighty sophomore slump this year. However, since returning from a mid-season stint in the minors, he's put up a 3.22 ERA with the peripherals to support it. He'll be looking to complete his first career no-hitter.

Here are the lineups:

Today's Lineups

Dustin Pedroia - 2B Marcus Semien - SS
Xander Bogaerts - SS Jake Smolinski - CF
David Ortiz - DH Danny Valencia - 1B
Mookie Betts - RF Khris Davis - LF
Hanley Ramirez - 1B Billy Butler - DH
Sandy Leon - C Stephen Vogt - C
Brock Holt - LF Ryon Healy - 3B
Yoan Moncada - 3B Brett Eibner - RF
Jackie Bradley - CF Chad Pinder - 2B
Eduardo Rodriguez - LHP Kendall Graveman - RHP