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Game Thread #49: Oakland at Cleveland

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers
May 18, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Robbie Grossman (8) is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. 
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Had it not been for yesterday’s rain delay, some arguing prematurely called in the seventh inning, the A’s would be coming off the weekend with a four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers. The Oakland bats are hot and the pitching is solid. Today’s task: Break up the Indians’ starting pitcher’s streak; Carlos Carrasco has a 12-inning scoreless streak in progress with two wins in his last two starts. He is hittable, however, giving up six hits in his last outing. Carrasco is currently 4-3 with a 4.18 ERA and 68 strikeouts for the season thus far. Overall, Cleveland is currently 25-20 (the A’s sit at 22-25) and are on a two-game winning streak and second in the AL Central.

Brett Anderson takes the hill today at Progressive Field, currently 4-3 with a 4.41 ERA. The 31 year-old lefty’s last win was on May 3rd against Pittsburgh. Since then, he has had a no-decision (Cincinnati) and a loss to Seattle (5/14). He has been going deeper into games, pitching six innings in each of his last three games and giving up five hits on average. Catching Anderson will be Josh Phegley who—if the trend continues—will bring his A-game bat; in Phegley’s last five games, he has gone six for 17 (.353) with a double, home run, and four RBIs.

Khris Davis is out of the lineup today, replaced by Mark Canha at DH. Davis, who suffered a hip contusion on May 5th at PNC park, has struggled to get back to 100%. He was scratched from the game on Saturday to rest, and—while he played yesterday—there was visible wincing happening that indicated one day of rest may not have been enough. While Davis is not slated to start today, he is available to play if needed.

Stephen Piscotty will be hitting in the four spot, going 2-4 yesterday with a double (three in the last seven days) and three RBIs. Ramon Laureano went 2-3 yesterday and scored a run. Robbie Grossman is slated for right field, and his bat is definitely ready despite an 0-1 performance yesterday in Detroit. In his last five games he has batted .462 with two doubles, one triple, a stolen a base and two walks—an on-base percentage of .533.

Temperatures will be in the high 50’s with overcast in Cleveland but no rain is expected.

Here is today’s starting lineup: