With the planet's best pitcher starting in Game 5 for the Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin has posted his lineup for Thursday night's winner-take-all contest:
7. Brandon Moss* - 1B
8. Derek Norris - C
Wouldn't it be nice to have a left-handed-hitting third baseman and a left-handed-hitting catcher for a game like this? Say, George Brett and Yogi Berra?
Instead, the A's will make do with that they've got, which has generally been good enough this season but seems ill-suited to the task of scoring four or five runs against Justin Verlander
Of course, that's a common lament around the American League. Considering the unlikeliness of Verlander blowing up, the A's best bet is probably to scratch and claw their way to two or three runs, get Verlander out of the game in the sixth or seventh inning, and then hang on for dear life.
Hey, it could work.