The Oakland A's travel to Arlington, Texas to face the Rangers in what might be their last chance to get back into the divisional race. The A's took two of three games from the Cleveland Indians, but remain 8.5 games back of the division-leading Rangers. The A's get four more games at home against the Rangers in late September, but this is the time to make some kind of move.
The Rangers are a very tough home team, where they are 42-24. Considering the A's are 25-36 on the road, a sweep is likely not in the cards, even though that might be the only real chance for Oakland to get into the race. It's probably unrealistic to think they'll be back in the thick of things, but admitting defeat at this point would make for a boring September. So, until otherwise indicated, the A's still have a shot at getting back into this thing.
Although Trevor Cahill won't make a start in this series, the A's send out three strong pitchers in Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden and the surging Gio Gonzalez. They'll face Tommy Hunter, Rich Harden and Colby Lewis this weekend. Hunter has been incredibly up and down this season. He went 8 innings in his last start, and three innings in each of his previous two starts.
Rich Harden can be a flame-throwing machine, but high walk totals doom his pitch count. He had a no-hitter going against Minnesota in his last start, but had to be removed after 6 2/3 innings because he had already thrown 111 pitches. Patience is the name of the game with Harden.
The Rangers send out Colby Lewis to wrap up the series. Lewis has quietly put together a very solid 2010 season as he consistently throws six to seven innings and gives the mighty Rangers offense plenty of room to work.
3 game series vs Rangers @ Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
|Sat 08/28 - Dallas Braden vs Rich Harden
|5:05 PM PDT
|Sun 08/29 - Gio Gonzalez vs Colby Lewis
|12:05 PM PDT