Good evening and welcome to the biggest Friday night game thread of the year! We’d best prepare the wine and take a few deep breaths. But no pressure Friday night. It’s hard to believe, even after everything magical that has happened so far this season, that it is the very last day of August and the A’s are competing in games into September from which they hold an actual playoff spot, especially in a year when the AL is so clearly stacked.
No team in the National League has reached the 80 win mark so far this season; yet four AL teams (the A’s are one) have managed to hit it by tonight’s game. The A’s have had a rough start to their must-win, see-what-you’re-made-of ten game series, featuring Houston, Seattle, and New York, but there’s still time. The A’s won one against the Astros in the three game set, and opened this four-game weekend series with a loss against Seattle last night, but look to put things right tonight. The A’s are missing most of their starting pitching; the gum and popsicle sticks holding the rotation together finally broke and now the A’s are left with a strong bullpen, Mike Fiers (who is tonight’s starting pitcher), and an offense that has been all but dead for a week.
However, this is the team that stormed the castle to join the race, overtook Seattle for the Wild Card, and have pulled themselves within 2.5 games of the Houston Astros for the Division lead. In this magical of seasons, one has to believe that the A’s won’t go quietly.
Here’s tonight’s lineup, a huge welcome back to Dustin Fowler, who is leading off, after killing it in the Minors. LET’S DO THIS!
|Mitch Haniger - RF||Dustin Fowler - LF|
|Denard Span - LF||Matt Chapman - 3B|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Jed Lowrie - 2B|
|Nelson Cruz - DH||Khris Davis - DH|
|Kyle Seager - 3B||Matt Olson - 1B|
|Ryon Healy - 1B||Stephen Piscotty - RF|
|Chris Herrmann - C||Ramon Laureano - CF|
|Cameron Maybin - CF||Marcus Semien - SS|
|Dee Gordon - SS||Jonathan Lucroy - C|
LET’S GO OAK-LAND!