The A’s won a decisive game last night in an effort to save face for blowing the game late Friday night, and the team has a chance to win a series against their AL West rivals. With the A’s just 3.5 games back of the division lead, and with a mere 1.5 game lead on the Mariners for the second Wild Card spot, every single win counts.
Trevor Cahill is starting today for the A’s, one of now four veterans who have succeeded beyond all expectations to give the A’s a playoff-worthy rotation. Cahill has been the most successful of the four, though Mike Fiers still needs some time to show everyone what he’s got, and as such Cahill could very well be the guy the A’s turn to in a winner-take-all game. With Edwin Jackson spinning over seven beautiful innings last night, the A’s bullpen can take over the game at any point to preserve the lead, or, if things go south, keep the game close and winnable. The Angels have run out of viable starters, a problem that has suddenly gotten much worse with Tyler Skaggs predictably returning to the DL, and so Anaheim will be bullpenning for the day. The opener, Taylor Cole, has been the best reliever on the team this season, pitching to a 1.59 ERA in seventeen appearances, not too shabby for a former 29th round pick.
Ramon Laureano’s catch and throw last night was one of the best defensive plays in baseball this year, and he is being thusly rewarded by riding the bench today. Nick Martini is back in the lineup and playing left field, and Mark Canha is sliding back into center field.
First pitch is at 1:07. Lineups are below.