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Game #78: A's at Astros

As bad as Jesse Hahn/Josh Smith looked tonight and as good as the Astros offense has been, the A's are still within stiking distance here in the later innings...the winning streak is on the line!

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight is "Game of Thrones" night at Minute Maid Park in Houston (including a very cool bobblehead giveaway of Astros reliever, Chris "Dragon" Devenski) which means there will be a lot of dudes walking around the ballpark in furry capes and sweating.

Hopefully the stench of Astros fans will be the only thing stinking up tonight’s contest for the A’s as Jesse Hahn prepares to get back on the hill after igniting a garbage fire (9 earned runs in 2 innings) against these same Astros six days ago. In last Thursday’s contest, Hahn looked out of sorts from the first pitch, as he hit Astros lead-off hitter and fellow Connecticut native, George Springer to open the frame. Hahn struggled to locate his pitches (19 of his first 25 pitches were out of the strike zone) and featured reduced velocity on his fastball, which the Astros offense feasted on (2 long home-runs, 2 doubles, 2 singles and 3 walks). Coming into last Thursday’s game, Hahn had shown excellent ability to keep the ball in the ballpark (only allowing 3 homeruns in 67 2/3 innings) and the A’s hope he can keep away from the home-run ball tonight, return back to normal velocity (93-95 mph with his fastball) and get back on track.

Pitching against the A’s tonight will be the starter who benefited from Hahn’s poor performance last Thursday, tall and hard throwing right hander, David Paulino. Paulino (2-0, 5.04 ERA IN 2017) was recalled from AAA Fresno at the end of May to fill in for a few starts while the banged up Astros starting rotation caught its breath and he has pitched decently over the last few weeks (25 innings, 14 runs, 26 K’s, 7 walks). Paulino, a native of Nizeo, Dominican Republic (hometown of Vladimir Guerrero) features a 95+ mph fastball and an above average curveball and consistently throws strikes. Oakland’s offense couldn’t do much against him last Thursday (3 runs on 7 hits with 6 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings), with only Khris Davis and Matt Joyce able to draw extra base hits off the 23 year old, 6’7 inch hurler.

Here are tonight’s line-ups from Houston, which you will joyfully note, doesn't include Evan Gattis and his 13 career home-runs against the A's! (The Minute Maid Dome will be closed tonight due to potential thunderstorms):

Matt Joyce - LF George Springer - CF
Matt Olson - RF Josh Reddick - RF
Jed Lowrie - 2B Jose Altuve - 2B
Khris Davis - DH Carlos Correa - SS
Yonder Alonso - 1B Brian McCann - C
Ryon Healy - 3B Carlos Beltran - DH
Bruce Maxwell - C Marwin Gonzalez - 3B
Franklin Barreto - SS Yulieski Gurriel - 1B
Jaycob Brugman - CF Norichika Aoki - LF
Jesse Hahn - RHP David Paulino - RHP

Even with last Thursday’s ugly outcome fresh in all of A’s Nation’s collective minds, as author George R.R. Martin once wrote in the original "Game of Thrones" book, "If I look back I am lost." So let’s not look back A’s Nation, but forge ahead, tonight is a new game and a new opportunity for the boys in Green and Gold (or Grey) to claim victory for the House Athletics of Oakland!


How do you think Jesse Hahn will pitch tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Solid, but not spectacular (5 innings, 3 runs)
    (17 votes)
  • 33%
    Awful repeat from last week (9 earned runs in 2 innings)
    (20 votes)
  • 8%
    All-Star game starter? (8 innings, 0 runs)
    (5 votes)
  • 30%
    Paging Josh Smith ( 4 1/3 innings, 5 runs)
    (18 votes)
60 votes total Vote Now