The A's are using an alternate lineup tonight. They are giving several people the night off.
Jose Flores, 2BRandy Velarde, 1BMiguel Tejada, SSJermaine Dye, DHOlmedo Saenz, 3BAdam Piatt, RFEric Byrnes, CFJason Grabowski, LFCody McKay, C
Aaron Harang is going to start and probably not go more than six innings. He's hasn't started in a month (August 23rd at Detroit). It's debatable whether Eeyore (Harang) is going to be on the postseason roster. We hope so, he deserves to be a part of the roster. Hell, if Hudson, Mulder and Zito each pitch as well as they are capable the A's only need a mop-up guy and a closer in the bullpen. No offense Minnesota.
Alez Rodriguez just got plunked by Eeyore.
Last night Mark Ellis was hit by a pitch and the next inning Mark Mulder threw behind Rafael Palmiero.
Chan Ho park nailed Randy Velarde in the bottom of the first on Opening Night and broke his hand. So, there is a history here.
Eeyore did a good job of coming back after loading the bases. He struck out Palmiero and Todd Greene. Remember that this is Cody McKay's MLB debut behind the plate. At age 28 he is an orginizational warrior. He's not taking any pitch signs from the Oakland bench, so the 4 spot in the bottom of the first is as much his as it is Eeyore's.
Eric Byrnes homered.
Eeyore got the hook.
Mike Fhryie came on to end the insanity. Rafael Palmiero pulled one of the (insert female body part here) moves of the year. Palmiero acted like he got hit on the hand despite replays that showed it hit the knob of the bat. He was awarded first base. Palmiero doesn't extend his pinky like some batters do, but, for a veteran like Palmiero to hide from an at-bat on a 1-2 count is just pathetic.
Brian Kozlowski just pulled the second (insert same body part here) move. Hitting shortstop Jose Flores in the knee with a pitch. Eeyore had hit A-Rod with a pitch in the 1st with a pitch. Obviously, Eeyore was not in control, pitching for the first time in a few weeks and starting for the first time in over a month. Homeplate umpire Gary Darling did not warn Harang, so it was clearly unintentional.
Miguel Tejada took a swing and came up clenching his chest. He seems okay. He launched another homerun. The same guy who caught Miggi's first homerun also got the second.
Susan Slusser and Evan Grant, a team writer for the A's and Rangers respectively are in the TV booth arguing about the MVP race, essentially A-Rod VS Miggi.
We haven't written about or even campaigned for Miggi, Barry Zito or even Art Howe for any hardware. Though, we might make a case that Mark Ellis deserves some mention in the AL Rookie of the year race. Nobody should have him number 1 on their ballot, but, if a guy can displace Ray Durham as the regular 2nd baseman, that says something. Eric Hinske (an A's pick-up from The Chicago Cubs) should and will win, though Rodrigo Lopez of Baltimore should get PAID. Lopez signed as a minor league free agent. Anybody who gets 17 wins for the Baltimore Orioles should also have some say in the Cy Young race. Not win it, but get a vote or two for fourth or fifth.
The last (female body part) move of the night...Alex Rodriguez taken out of the game in the ninth. If A-Rod made an out, he would have fallen below .300 in Batting Average. The question is whether A-Rod will be in the line-up tomorrow.