The A's were handed a rather decisive defeat last night, losing 10-5 to the 2016 division champions, but the team looks to even the series tonight. Kendall Graveman is taking the mound for the first time since his successful opening day effort, and he will be opposed by Rangers' ace Yu Darvish.
Flashing a sinker that touched 97 MPH on the radar, Graveman was electric during the first game of the season, a game that saw him pitch six innings with seven strikeouts and only two runs allowed due to Mike Trout being Mike Trout. Tonight, he will have to hope the hot Texas air won't diminish his sinker's sinkability as he takes on a lineup that is renowned for feasting on mistake pitches that stray too far into the zone.
Yu Darvish makes up half of an extremely formidable top of the starting rotation for the Rangers, but multiple iterations of Oakland A's teams have managed to do some real damage against Darvish in the past. Despite owning the best K/9 rate in baseball history for starting pitchers, the A's are a mountain that he has yet to really conquer. With the A's position players displaying a refreshing amount of patience and having consistent good at-bats, Darvish looks to be in for another tough night.
The A's are already showing some changes in their starting lineup based on the first week of play, as the struggling Rajai Davis has been moved down to the ninth spot in the order and the streaking Marcus Semien, who has reached base in every game to begin the season, will be batting leadoff. Trevor Plouffe was due to start today, playing third base and batting eighth, but due to illness he has been scratched and replaced by Mark Canha, who will be the designated hitter while Ryon Healy takes over at third.
|OAKLAND A'S||TEXAS RANGERS|
|Marcus Semien - SS||Carlos Gomez - CF|
|Matt Joyce - RF||Shin-Soo Choo - DH|
|Ryon Healy - 3B||Nomar Mazara - RF|
|Khris Davis - LF||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Stephen Vogt - C||Rougned Odor - 2B|
|Jed Lowrie - 2B||Jonathan Lucroy - C|
|Yonder Alonso - 1B||Joey Gallo - 3B|
|Mark Canha - DH||Ryan Rua - LF|
|Rajai Davis - CF||Elvis Andrus - SS|
|Kendall Graveman - RHP||Yu Darvish - RHP|