I don't know why, but this series seems to be dragging along even though there's only been 2 games. It might be that the Twins also played Oakland last week and I'm lumping the two series together... or perhaps it's that the Twins have won only once against the A's in 5 tries in the past 10 days.
Trevor Plouffe is back in the lineup after missing a game due to a sore left wrist after he tripped over the bullpen mound in foul territory on Thursday. Also, Anthony Swarzak left the team to deal with a personal matter and supposedly will be back on Monday. Finally, there's a bunch of rain right now in Oakland, but it should be gone before 2 pm CST.
I'll admit, I got distracted while typing this up. I came back and discovered these two tweets. Makes you wonder if the Twins will actually play today.
Mike Gallego just walked by me, shaking his head, and said, "It's bad." Kurt Suzuki is yelling sewage coming out of faucets now. #Athletics
Hernandez is coming off a game where he allowed 4 walks to the Tampa Bay Rays in 5 innings, but managed to escape with a no-decision. He typically has had excellent control, and yet he also has three starts this year where he's allowed 4 or more walks, including 6 walks to the Indians in a June spot start. He's had a lot of issues with home runs and he's also been lit up by righthanders, so with the A's being one of the top teams to platoon players, I'd expect Hernandez to have a tough time throwing a quality start today.
Hernandez throws 5 pitches, which include a high-80s 4-seam and 2-seam fastball, a cutter, change-up, and a slurve. According to FanGraphs, pretty much everything is terrible except for his cutter, which is rated as just a little below average.
Jarrod Parker (11-7, 3.81)
Opposing Hernandez is Parker, who doesn't really excel in any particular way but when he puts it all together, he's managed to limit the hits and has been a perfectly decent starter for the A's this year. His last start was terrible against the Angels, where he allowed 8 runs in 4 1/3 innings, but the start before that was against the Twins last week and he gave up only 2 runs (both solo homers) in 6 innings. That Angels start had also ended a streak of 19 consecutive undefeated starts (going 9-0 since May 22) and 8 consecutive starts of at least 6 innings pitched.
Parker throws a 4-seam and 2-seam fastball in the low-90s, and he will also mix in a change-up and a slider, with the change being his best pitch.
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