The Oakland Athletics continue their last ditch effort at keeping their season alive against the Texas Rangers tonight at the Oakland Coliseum. The A's came into the series eight games back with eleven games left on their schedule and gained a game with last night's win over Cliff Lee. The A's need a sweep of this series if they want to retain any chance of pulling one of the more shocking comebacks in sports history. Furthermore, they need to take three out of the four games in this series to at least prevent the Rangers from clinching at the Coliseum this weekend.
The A's send out rookie Bobby Cramer looking to improve to 3-0 in as many starts since his late season call-up to replace Vin Mazzaro. The 30-year old rookie hasn't blown people away but he's been quite solid in his first two starts. In his first start he lasted 5 1/3 innings against the Kansas City Royals, giving up one run on four hits and a walk. In his second start he lasted 5 2/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks. Given the A's tendency to struggle on offense, I'd certainly hope he doesn't continue this rising trend. The A's have shown an ability to put up a lot of crooked numbers, but it hasn't been a regular achievement.
The Rangers are on the verge of their first division title and playoff spot since 1999. It's hard to fathom the Rangers blowing this thing, but you'd have to imagine they would like to go into the postseason with some kind of positive momentum. Of course, given that they close the season with the Mariners and Angels in Arlington, I suspect any losses this weekend will quickly be forgotten.