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Game Thread #40: A's at Mariners

Re-Joyce! The A's offense looks poised to carry the team until the bullpen can figure things out

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The A's Offense is heating up!
The A's Offense is heating up!
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a day makes! Monday night we gathered together here in A's nation to lament, accuse and blame the members of the A's bullpen for everything from global warming, to our failed real estate careers, to the making of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice . Twenty four hours later, on Tuesday night, we had the honor of witnessing a 9th inning come from behind rally that wasn't engineered by an A's reliever! Cue Kool and the Gang, the A's are back on the upswing (speaking of swing's, check out Matt Joyce's re-tooled swing that put the A's on top last night):

Tonight, in game #40 of the 2017 season, the A's send out the re-invigorated Jesse Hahn (1-2, 2.74) to do battle against Mariner's fill-in starter, Christian Bergman (0-1, 4.15). Hahn will be making his 7th start of the 2017 season tonight and in those starts he has only allowed 1 homerun (in 42 innings). Hahn is ranked 2nd in the A.L. in fewest homeruns allowed per 9 innings going into tonight's contest (paying attention Sean Manaea?). On the flip side, the A's are only averaging 2.74 runs per game when Hahn pitches, ranking him 3rd to last in this dubious category in the American League.

So what will happen tonight?

I predict Hahn will maintain his end of the bargain and keep the Mariners, (who are minus Robinson Cano on the 10 day-DL with a quad strain), in the ballpark (although, can we all petition the A's to never pitch to Nelson Cruz again?!!). On the offensive side of the ball, the A's have to like their chances against Bergman. The Southern California native is pitching in James Paxton's slot (who is on the DL with a left forearm strain) and in his first year with the M's, after 7 seasons in the Colorado Rockies organization. Bergman, the former 24th round pick, doesn't have overpowering stuff and relies on pinpoint control to keep keep the ball down and away from major league hitters....The A's have limited experience against Bergman (Khris Davis: 1-2, w/HR, 2 RBI; Matt Joyce: 0-2, K; Y.onder Alonso: 1-1, RBI), but if they can make Bergman throw strikes tonight, they have a good chance at scoring early and often.

Here are tonight's starting line-ups from Safeco:

Today's Lineups

Matt Joyce - RF Jean Segura - SS
Jed Lowrie - 2B Ben Gamel - RF
Ryon Healy - DH Nelson Cruz - DH
Khris Davis - LF Kyle Seager - 3B
Yonder Alonso - 1B Danny Valencia - 1B
Trevor Plouffe - 3B Taylor Motter - 2B
Stephen Vogt - C Boog Powell - LF
Mark Canha - CF Guillermo Heredia - CF
Adam Rosales - SS Tuffy Gosewisch - C
Jesse Hahn - RHP Christian Bergman - RHP

6 random pieces of information that may (or may not) help you enjoy tonight's game:

#1 - Back in the day: Did you know tonight's starting pitcher, Jesse Hahn and the Met's Matt Harvey went to the same high school in Conneticut and played for Matt's Dad, Ed, who taught and coached at their high school? In 2006, they combined to pitch their team to a state championship. In Jesse's senior year of HS, he posted a ERA of 0.17 (thew a no-hitter and 3 one hitters)!

#2 - There is always someone who has it worse: The A's bullpen is struggling, but nothing like the Mariner's bullpen woes. In 18 save opportunities in 2017, the M's bullpen have blown 9 of them (Including last night).

#3 - I (Still) Believe in Stephen Vogt: Vogt is 5 for his last 10 with a homerun, 3 RBI's and 2 walks.

#4 - Twins? Is it just me or does Santiago Casilla look like a young Miguel Tejada? Google both of them and tell me if you agree...

#5 - No messing around with the roof: Safeco Field has a retractable roof, and according to MLB rules, the roof may be opened only once during a game and shall commence only between innings after the umpire crew chief has been notified.

#6 - The Oakland marketing team led by Dave Kaval is making brillant move after brillant move. Kaval and crew continue to make the 2017 season, the year of the fan. Their latest announcement involves opening the gates early on Tuesday home games so fans can watch the A's take batting practice.Speaking of Kaval, have you had a chance yet to read the book he and Brad Null wrote about their tour of every MLB ballpark? It is called, "The Summer that Saved Baseball". It was written 17 years ago, but it is still a great read.

For the love of toasted grasshoppers, let's get a series victory tonight!