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Game Thread #95: A’s at Giants

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

In case you haven’t noticed lately (and judging from the multiple game threads, you have!), the A’s have managed to win a few here and there nearly every single game they play. It’s interesting; last Friday night’s game (the last game to not be a thriller in a playoff-type atmosphere) was one of only two losses this week as the A’s took on Cleveland and Houston in the seven-game week and plowed through both teams, taking two out of three from Cleveland with wins Saturday and Sunday and three out of four from the Astros with wins Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, while coming oh-so-tantalizingly-close to making it a clean four-game sweep with Tuesday’s game. However, the plucky kids on the field didn’t let Tuesday’s loss crush them, nor did it the fans; it was almost like “we’ll win tomorrow” and then they did! The A’s roared back and destroyed the Astros in the very next game, and mounted yet another comeback and erased yet another 4-0 deficit to take the series and make a pretty bold statement about their playoff hopes. There wasn’t a single minute that I didn’t think the A’s would win yesterday’s game, and that includes the innings they were down 4-0. Yes, the A’s are still five games behind Seattle (but closing fast) and eight behind Houston, but they’d be leading almost all other Divisions, including all of the teams in the tight race in the NL West.

The Giants are in fourth place, but remain just 3 games behind the NL-West-leading Dodgers; they have a much easier route to the playoffs than the A’s. So well-timed is this Bay Bridge series; both teams are playing for their playoff lives, both teams have something to compete for this summer outside city pride, but it’s the A’s that have been this week’s (month’s?) story. They have won 19 of 25, and realistically could have won more than that had a few more breaks gone their way. More importantly, they are coming off two big series wins against two Division leaders.

Yes, Madison Bumgarner is on the mound for the Giants. The A’s have been nothing if not annoying and tiresome to starting pitching this year, wearing them down and sending them to an early exit with some terrific long at-bats. Edwin Jackson will take the mound for the A’s, coming off a win against Cleveland in June and a no-decision (but strong nearly-six innings) against them his last time out. He’ll look to add another win tonight.

Are we ready for more A’s baseball? This series will mark the end of baseball before the All Star Break. It’s going to be a long week next week; it already feels like forever since the A’s took the field, and they played yesterday afternoon. The atmosphere in the Bay Area tonight should be crackling with electricity; there’s a lot to play for in a very, very unexpected baseball season.

One more series left as the A’s roar into the much-needed break. Let’s go out in style.

Here are your lineups:

Today's Lineups

Marcus Semien - SS Steven Duggar - CF
Mark Canha - CF Brandon Belt - 1B
Jed Lowrie - 2B Andrew McCutchen - RF
Stephen Piscotty - RF Brandon Crawford - SS
Matt Olson - 1B Buster Posey - C
Matt Chapman - 3B Pablo Sandoval - 3B
Chad Pinder - LF Alen Hanson - 2B
Jonathan Lucroy - C Gorkys Hernandez - LF
Edwin Jackson - RHP Madison Bumgarner - LHP