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Game Thread #28: A's at Twins

The A's have dropped 8 of 9 and are looking to avoid the sweep.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Italian word for "sports fan" is tifosi. However, the word literally translates to "those suffering from typhus," as if they are infected and sickened by love for their team.

Alas, in times like these, we are confronted by the stark reality that this suffering is a part of fandom.

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On that note, we're having baseball for breakfast and that's my favorite meal.

Jharel Cotton will be taking the bump for the A's. While his season began on a high note, it has quickly come back down. Through his first three starts, Cotton was the proud owner of a 2.96 FIP (though had yet to give up a homer), and his changeup was otherworldly: batters were swinging at his pitch 53.3% of the time, despite it only being in the strike zone 33.1% of the time. However, walks were already becoming and issue an issue (9 through his first 16 2/3 innings). Going into today, Cotton's BB% is at 9.8%, good enough for a Fangraph's awful rating, and his K% is poor:

Fangraphs BB% Chart Fangraphs

Cotton undoubtedly will need to bring the walk rate down and the strikeout rate up if he wants to establish himself as a legitimate threat in the starting rotation.

Kyle Gibson will start for the Twins. He's put up similar numbers to Cotton in the BB and K categories, and so far he's 0-3 with an 8+ era. If the A's are going to find their mojo, this would be the time.

Today's Lineups

Matt Joyce - RF Brian Dozier - 2B
Jed Lowrie - 2B Jorge Polanco - SS
Khris Davis - LF Miguel Sano - DH
Yonder Alonso - 1B Kennys Vargas - 1B
Ryon Healy - 3B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Stephen Vogt - C Eddie Rosario - LF
Chad Pinder - DH Chris Gimenez - C
Jaff Decker - CF Danny Santana - RF
Adam Rosales - SS Byron Buxton - CF
Jharel Cotton - RHP Kyle Gibson - RHP

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and let's get to it!