This afternoon is the asphalt game of the 4-game series as Brad “Bad” Penny takes on Trevor Cahill. Then the Tigers skedaddle to Seattle.
Penny has a slight edge in the matchup, because Trevor Cahill is just not a very good baseball name. More golf, really. Watch for wild pitches; he has already had 3 this season, and at the Coliseum wild pitches have a lot of territory to roam.
Last night winning proved elusive (so no Charlie Sheen picture), and now we’re back to pursuing neither / nor. Also, for once, my predictions fell flat, spectacularly. Although whether or not this is actually indicative of anything remains to be seen (see my publication: “Incorrect predictions: variance, or flat-out wrongness?”).
While we contemplate that question, let me say a word about the famous situation where you have the baserunning man on 3rd base and the number of outs is not 2, no, not at all. The thing to do here is to hit the ball, somewhere, anywhere. Because the aforementioned baserunning man will possibly score, thus procuring your team a run. By no means should you engage in swinging and whiffing–this is highly discouraged.
Last night Jhonny Peralta struck out in this very scenario, which was so rare and shocking that he could not resist doing the very same thing the next time he was at the plate. Justin Verlander was so disturbed by this performance that he aimed a pickoff throw at the batter’s shoe (a normal baseball shoe; the A’s left their clown shoes in the locker room last night).
This afternoon, Jim Leyland, known as the consummate player’s manager, will expertly avoid such embarrassment by devising a lineup which is extremely unlikely to produce a runner at 3rd with less than 2 out.
Player of the Pre-game: Austin Jackson
Brad Penny pitched well in his last start, but that was at 51 degrees. With the warm afternoon Oakland weather, expect less break on the breaking balls, and a lot of long fly balls. Whether AJax hauls them down or not will make the difference in the game. And let’s see how he responds to not being the leadoff batter.
Today’s xR3L2O lineup: