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Game #87: Padres at A’s (4th of July Edition!)

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics
4th of July Baseball from the Coliseum Today!
Photo by Chad Ziemendorf/Getty Images

The boys in green and gold (or in today’s case, red, white and blue) go for the interleague season sweep against the San Diego Padres in this afternoon’s 4th of July contest.
On the hill for the A’s is Sean “No Hitter” Manaea (8-6, 3.38 ERA), looking to grab the sweep for the ballclub and his team leading 9th win on the season.

Manaea will pitch on this Independence Day with some serious patriotic pride as he hails from a military family. Sean’s Dad, Faaloloi, served for the stars and stripes in Vietnam and ultimately was stationed in Indiana where Sean grew up. Sean’s older brother Dane, is in the U.S. Navy, currently stationed in Japan (Sean is pretty fired up to play in the A’s opening series in Japan next season where his brother might have the opportunity to watch him pitch in the big leagues for the very first time). A big shout out to Faaloloi and Dane Manaea on this 4th of July holiday for their sacrifical service to our country.

Manaea enters July on a hot streak, winning his past 3 starts and posting a 2.84 ERA in 31 innings in June. This will be his first career start against the Padres and he is supported by an A’s ballclub who not only is unbeaten in interleague play this season, but also by a team who owns the 4th best interleague record of all-time at 211-181 (.538%).

Count A’s catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, as a big fan of interleague play. Lucroy is a career .303 (135-for 445) hitter during Interleague play tied for 2nd-best by a catcher in Interleague history, trailing only Hall of Famer (and former A’s Catcher) Mike Piazza (.340). Ironically, Lucroy isn’t in the starting line-up today (day game after a night game).

Speaking of interleague, Bob Melvin had a interesting idea on how to add some additional intrigue to the contests when he suggested, “If I were to change one thing, I would flip it where we come to a National League park and and the DH can hit and the pitchers hit in the American League park to give fans a different look.” I love this suggestion! There would be nothing better than watching Manaea crush a homer into section 149 and have @RFWILL catch the big fly barehanded as the bleacher creatures go crazy. Dave Kaval, as a loyal reader of our humble blog, could you present BoMel’s idea to the league? (And while you are talking to MLB officials, can you complain about how robbed the A’s have gotten in replay this season?)

Opposing Manaea and the A’s today for the Padres is 25 year-old righthander, Luis Perdomo. Perdomo (1-2, 8.36 ERA) started the season in the Friars rotation, but was demoted to Triple AAA after surrendering 7 runs on 10 hits to the Dodgers on April 18th. This will be his first start back in the big leagues since that disastrous game. Perdomo has started 53 games in the Majors over the past 3 seasons, so he is no stranger to the big league stage, yet among A’s hitters, only National League veterans, Matt Joyce, Jonathan Lucroy and Stephen Piscotty have faced him at the big league level. Hopefully the A’s offense won’t take too much time to adjust to Perdomo’s arsenal. The weather today at first pitch should be a nice and sunny 70+ degrees with a slight wind, so look for the ball to carry.

Here are today’s 4th of July line-ups from Rickey Henderson Field:

Today's Lineups

SAN DIEGO PADRES OAKLAND A'S
Manuel Margot - CF Dustin Fowler - CF
Eric Hosmer - 1B Matt Joyce - LF
Wil Myers - DH Jed Lowrie - 2B
Hunter Renfroe - RF Khris Davis - DH
Christian Villanueva - 3B Matt Olson - 1B
Jose Pirela - 2B Stephen Piscotty - RF
A.J. Ellis - C Matt Chapman - 3B
Freddy Galvis - SS Marcus Semien - SS
Travis Jankowski - LF Josh Phegley - C
Luis Perdomo - RHP Sean Manaea - LHP


If for some reason A’s in-stadium host, Kara Tsuboi, asked me to address the Coliseum crowd before first pitch today, I would grab the microphone, look deeply into the camera and quote the great words of President Harry S. Truman, “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” Then I would stand on my plastic green stadium chair and scream at the top of my 4th of July lungs, “Let’s go Manaea, do the job at hand! Let’s go Lucroy! Let’s go Dave Kaval! Let’s go Will MacNeil, Let’s go super weird, but super cool banjo guy!”


If the stadium crowd remained silent after my mini-rant, I would pull out my final plea, using one of the greatest lines in movie history, “In the words of President Thomas J. Whitmore, ‘Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!’ Let’s Go Oakland!!!” (Stadium erupts in cheers led by Crazy George and the A’s take the field).