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Game Thread #88: A’s at Indians

The beginning to the rest of the season

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone and welcome to the Road Trip that likely decides the season! (But no pressure, awesome offense!) One Friday ago, Paul Blackburn faced off against the Cleveland Indians and emerged victorious at home; tonight, he will try to repeat the performance on the road. The A’s duel the Indians for three; their nemesis the Astros for four, and their across-the-bay rivals, the Giants, for three to close the season before the All Star Break. Not to be too dramatic, but this trip will either keep the A’s in the race, establish that they came to play for the playoffs, or drop them out out of the almost-within-reach-but-still-far-away wild card race. The A’s, who have been better than the wildest of predictions, even after missing nearly their entire starting rotation, have closed the gap to 7.0 games behind an elite offense and an even more elite back-end of the bullpen, led by sure-All Star Blake Treinen.

The A’s took 2 out of 3 from the Indians last weekend and they’re going to try again today. We have a tremenous Friday night game thread success this year, and we’re hoping for another one tonight behind Paul Blackburn.

Let’s do this.

Here are your lineups:

Today's Lineups

Dustin Fowler - CF Francisco Lindor - SS
Mark Canha - LF Michael Brantley - LF
Jed Lowrie - 2B Jose Ramirez - 3B
Khris Davis - DH Edwin Encarnacion - DH
Matt Olson - 1B Yonder Alonso - 1B
Stephen Piscotty - RF Jason Kipnis - 2B
Matt Chapman - 3B Yan Gomes - C
Marcus Semien - SS Tyler Naquin - RF
Josh Phegley - C Greg Allen - CF
Paul Blackburn - RHP Carlos Carrasco - RHP