Checking in before the A’s final game of this road trip. …
I’d call this a pretty important game for Oakland. Sure, a win only makes it a 2-4 trip. But considering what a downer the first four games were for this team, winning back-to-back games would be big as the A’s return to divisional play with a three-gamer against Texas starting tomorrow night.
–It’s not a huge surprise to see Josh Donaldson back behind the plate today. He had to be riding high after yesterday’s game, so you might as well try to keep his confidence rolling. Ben Sheets is on the hill, and manager Bob Geren said Sheets is a pretty easy guy to catch because A) he throws two pitches primarily, and B) his pitches are consistent in their action. There aren’t a lot of surprises for a catcher in their movement.
–Geren said Triple-A starter Vin Mazzaro is “a candidate” to pitch Tuesday if Justin Duchscherer can’t go. I’d be very surprised if Mazzaro doesn’t get the call. There’s no way I see Duchscherer pitching considering he’s getting his left hip examined Monday in Nashville (does anyone expect him not to go on the DL?). Plus, Tuesday would be Mazzaro’s regular day to pitch, and the A’s are very familiar with him based on last season. Geren mentioned he could just rely on an eight-man bullpen for Tuesday’s game (the A’s could have eight relievers once Michael Wuertz is activated if they send down a position player). But that’s really only an option if Duchscherer doesn’t join the DL and only has to miss one start. Whatever he finds out Monday in Nashville will dictate this decision.
–Toronto right fielder Travis Snider was a late scratch with “flu-like symptoms”, so here’s your current lineups:
A’s: Pennington SS; Barton 1B; Sweeney RF; Kouzmanoff 3B; Chavez DH; Rosales 2B; Patterson LF; Donaldson C; Davis CF; Sheets RHP
Jays: Lewis LF; Hill 2B; Lind DH; Wells CF; Overbay 1B; Gonzalez SS; Bautista RF; Buck C; McDonald 3B; Marcum RHP.