A's vs. Royals in AL Wild Card

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One Big Mashup

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One Big Mashup

We’re a little behind schedule so here are last night’s thoughts, today’s preview, daily links, and lineups all in one post. Don’t get used to it.

I couldn’t catch much of last night’s game, but it seemed pretty typical. Carlos Pena had a good day at the plate, along with B.J. Upton who had three hits. The story offensively was Jason Bartlett who is the best hitter in the bottom three of any order. Barty continues to mash and hit his fifth homerun of the season in his first at bat. Let the debate for J.B. leading off over Upton continue.

Jeff Niemann had a typical start, going five innings and working in and out of trouble all night. And Troy Percival also had a typical night for himself which is giving up a lot of runs quickly and efficiently: that’s four runs, on four hits and two jacks on 19 pitches. Luckily the Rays were up by a good amount and were able to escape Baltimore with a W (as sad as that sounds).

The Rays now welcome the Cleveland Indians for four games starting tonight. On paper this looks to be a favorable matchup as the Indians sit fifth in the Central division at 13-22 and send out an inconsistent Fausto Carmona (1-4, 5.57ERA). The Rays counter with James Shields (3-3, 4.02ERA) who is coming off a no-decision against Boston. If the Rays look to start climbing back into the division race, then tonight is the night to start. They’ll have to do it though without Carl Crawford and Pat Burrell.

Read about Crawford’s injury

Read about Burrell’s injury

Read about Stu Sternberg’s patience

Read about Scott Kazmir’s love for cotton candy

Read how Kazmir got that cotton candy (scroll to bottom)

Read about Dioner Navarro and passed balls

Read poems to Bartlett and Percival

Take a sneak peak of the Evan Longoria figurine to be handed out Saturday

Here’s a quick look at the Rays’ lineup tonight:
Upton CF
Bartlett SS
Longoria 3B
Pena 1B
Aybar DH
Gross RF
Zobrist LF
Iwamura 2B
Hernandez C
Shields P

No C.C., Burrell, and Navarro and J.B. moves up to the two slot. Should be fun.

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