Some call these the "dog days of summer" for teams like the Oakland A's who find themselves 24 games out of first place with 18 games left to play going into tonight's contest in Boston. Yet with all the story lines surrounding this A's team right now, it feels like anything but "dog days." (by the way, if you are curious where the saying "dog days of summer" came from, click here).
Here are 5 interesting stories circling around the A's right now as they get ready to play Game #145 tonight:
#1 - A's proposed future ballpark site leaked to the media late last night
#2 - 2002's "Moneyball" A's 20 Game win streak topped by the Cleveland Indians Today (A's swept Indians in July)
#3 - A's 2018 Regular Schedule was announced yesterday and it includes a FREE game for everyone in April!
#4 - A's Offense took a nap last night against the Red Sox (14 K's, Chapman 3 K's alone), but the Matt's (Joyce, Olson, Chapman) and Healy's, Pinder's, Krush's and Barretto's of September are beginning to fill A's fans with some hope and momentum as the off-season approaches.
#5 - Jharel Cotton, tonight's starting pitcher for the Green and Gold is raising money to help his hometown of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands recover from last's week's devastating Hurricane. I encourage you to support Cotton and the major clean-up efforts they are facing on the islands.
As far as tonight's game in Fenway is concerned, the A's bats will need to carry Cotton and the pitching staff as the Red Sox come into tonight's game, fresh off last night's 11-1, 16 hit attack. The A's offense will take its hacks against veteran Doug Fister (every off season, I scream for the A's to pick him up off the free agent scrap heap!). Fister has been a lifeline for the up and down Red Sox pitching staff this year, tossing 7.0+ IP and allowing 2 or fewer earned runs in each of his last 4 starts.
Here are tonight's starting line-ups (First pitch 4:10pm pacific, game time temperature, 78 F, light 8 mph breeze)
|OAKLAND A'S||BOSTON RED SOX|
|Marcus Semien - SS||Xander Bogaerts - SS|
|Matt Joyce - LF||Dustin Pedroia - 2B|
|Jed Lowrie - 2B||Andrew Benintendi - LF|
|Khris Davis - DH||Mookie Betts - RF|
|Matt Olson - 1B||Mitch Moreland - 1B|
|Chad Pinder - RF||Hanley Ramirez - DH|
|Bruce Maxwell - C||Rafael Devers - 3B|
|Matt Chapman - 3B||Sandy Leon - C|
|Boog Powell - CF||Jackie Bradley - CF|
|Jharel Cotton - RHP||Doug Fister - RHP|