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Game Thread #144: A’s at Astros

May 7, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Mike Fiers (50) is dunked after pitching a no hitter against the Cincinnati Reds at Oakland Coliseum.
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

At 84-59, the Athletics enter this western matchup against the Houston Astros (94-50) pushing for post-season baseball, battling to pick up a wild card spot. But this isn’t the only accomplishment pushing the Athletics to win this evening. Mike Fiers will be taking the mound and seeking to tie the Oakland Athletics’ all-time winning streak by a pitcher as he enters this game with 12 straight wins, one short of Catfish Hunter’s 1973 streak of 13. Win tonight, tie the record. This is not to say that this is the longest consecutive win streak by a pitcher in franchise history. That accolade is owned by Lefty Grove in 1931 with 16; Grove went 31-4 on the year and the A’s finished first in the American League.

Fiers comes off his most recent win against the Los Angeles Angels churning out 5 innings to pick up the win. That most recent start was somewhat sketchy and had it not been for awesome offense by Seth Brown (that was the two triples game) and Matt Chapman (three run homer), the streak may have ended there. This is not to say that Fiers pitched poorly; his command was just not quite what we have seen in previous 2019 wins. A win tonight picks up a second award, the first being his no-hitter on May 7th, the first no-hitter of the 2019 season and the second in his career.

Fiers is opposed by newer Astro Zach Greinke, acquired from the Diamondbacks on July 31st. Greinke is 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA in six starts since being acquired by the ‘Stros. Greinke last faced the A’s in August when he gave up one run in seven innings, beating the A’s 4-1.

As for batting, here are the starting lineups for this evening’s matchup at Minute Maid Park including a long-time fan favorite Josh Reddick:

Today's Lineups

Marcus Semien - SS George Springer - CF
Robbie Grossman - RF Jose Altuve - 2B
Matt Chapman - 3B Michael Brantley - LF
Matt Olson - 1B Alex Bregman - SS
Mark Canha - CF Yordan Alvarez - DH
Seth Brown - LF Aledmys Diaz - 1B
Khris Davis - DH Abraham Toro - 3B
Jurickson Profar - 2B Robinson Chirinos - C
Josh Phegley - C Josh Reddick - RF

Meanwhile, here are the Wild Card standings as of 10am EST today: