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Game Thread #20: A’s vs. Red Sox

Graveman tries to right his season as the A’s go for 5 in a row

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Good evening, Happy Friday, and welcome to another installment of Friday Night A’s baseball, the one where you are going to need a seatbelt and a stiff drink.

There was an ad campaign a decade or so ago for the Los Angeles County Fair, which went something like this.

Mom: Honey, do you know what this animal is?
Kid: It’s a sheep!
Mom: And what do we get from sheep?
Kid: Gucci sweaters!

Mom: Honey, do you know what this animal is?
Kid: It’s a goat!
Mom: And what do we get from goats?
Kid: Goat Cheese pizza!

Narrator: If ever a town needed a fair, it’s Los Angeles.

I’d apply the same to the A’s right now. If ever a team needed a day off, it’s the A’s, circa Wednesday evening, as they played an unexpected double-header equivalent, the third longest game in their history, eventually breaking through in the bottom of the fourteenth inning to extend their win streak to four. Wednesday’s game took a whopping five hours and forty-eight minutes to complete; a 12:30PM start that nearly rivaled the end time of a 4:00PM game. In order, the A’s used on the mound Triggs, Coulombe, Casilla, Pagan, Hatcher, Buchter, Treinen, and Trivino; the only reason more pitchers weren’t used is that both Treinen and Trivino pitched three innings. Don’t get me started on Trivino’s reward; he was sent back to Triple-A Nashville yesterday. The A’s also trayded Trayce Thompson.

So here we sit; fresh off the sweep of the White Sox and looking for the A’s fifth win in a row tonight against the other Sox. Just in case you missed it, they are NOT the same team. The White Sox, with a shiny record of 4-11, were a team the A’s could beat--and did; they swept. The Red Sox have started the season mimicking the ‘84 Tigers; they are 16-2 and as hot as possible. Absolutely the only thing the A’s have going for them tonight is that Drew Pomeranz is pitching (for the Red Sox, in case you thought it was 2015 again).

Let me recap for you. Not only do I have to face a Friday night A’s game, but I’m saddled again with Drew Pomeranz, whose in-game performance is as fast as the sloth in Zootopia. He is not a quick worker. The A’s will be throwing Kendall Graveman, who has been anything but a number one pitcher in his outings so far; he’s a well-deserved 0-3 in his first four starts, with an ERA just under 10.00. Between the two of them, I’ve already given up on a snappy game.

Let me sum up my previous Friday nights:

  • The A’s jump out to a 6-0 lead and systematically blow that, as well as a later 9-7 lead. The whole game was death by paper-cuts, until the Angels’ 5-run seventh inning finally buried the game. “Angels Stun A’s” was the MLB headline, except I wasn’t really stunned. The only good thing about that game was the “Matt Trick”, as all three Matt’s homered.
  • We can all remember last week’s treat, the 2-2 tie against Seattle; as A’s went on top 3-2 in the sixth and Seattle answered with YET ANOTHER 5-RUN SEVENTH INNING.

The A’s lost the 10-8 barn burner the next night and despite it being April, when baseball is new and fresh, “clicks” were heard everywhere in Athletics Nation.

Then something funny happened on Sunday. The A’s won a nail-biter 2-1, complete with an actual save. They pounded the White Sox the next two games, and finished the sweep with another barn burner on Wednesday. And the A’s, who couldn’t get it together to win a game early on, are truly looking for their fifth win in a row. And they can hit Drew Pomeranz. But can Kendall Graveman keep the high-flying Red Sox off the board?

Let’s begin.

Here are your lineups:

Today's Lineups

Mookie Betts - RF Marcus Semien - SS
Andrew Benintendi - LF Stephen Piscotty - RF
Hanley Ramirez - DH Jed Lowrie - 2B
Mitch Moreland - 1B Khris Davis - DH
Rafael Devers - 3B Matt Chapman - 3B
Eduardo Nunez - 2B Matt Olson - 1B
Jackie Bradley - CF Mark Canha - CF
Christian Vazquez - C Chad Pinder - LF
Brock Holt - SS Jonathan Lucroy - C
Drew Pomeranz - LHP Kendall Graveman - RHP