We saw this same match-up last week and it was a good one. Alas, it was a loss for the Halo because Michael Kohn was allowed to enter the game. Let's see if Scioscia can't keep Kohn locked away and hope for a different outcome this time around. (UPDATE: The A's are now starting Tommy Milone, but my desire to not have Kohn pitch remains intact.)
I still have faith in Vargas as a solid #4 starter that the Angels could re-sign and use to plug one of the final two holes in the rotation, but he has been inconsistent since he came back from his shoulder surgery. With just two (maybe even one if they want to give someone else a look) starts left, Vargas really needs to finish strong to convince the Angels to follow through with extension talk. On the other side, Straily has also been solid this season, but he also could use a strong finish to give himself a more prominent role in the Oakland playoff rotation. This really might be the one game this series with anything riding on it.
Assuming he actually makes the start, this will be Weaver's final start of the season. I wouldn't be surprised if it is a short one, too. Performance-wise he should be fine, but there is no sense in having him throw 100+ pitches if he is struggling with forearm problems. It is also the last call for fans to fill the Big A and push the Halos over the 3 million attendance mark. The team enters the series needing 96,026 to turn out, an average of 32,008 per game. That really shouldn't be a problem but it is kind of amazing it will come this close.
The index reading for this series is: Light at the end of the tunnel
We're almost there, folks. Just this one last week and we finally get the sweet, sweet relief of the season ending. No more pain. This run of wins has already been like a painkiller of sorts, but getting through this meaningless Oakland series is the penultimate step before the off-season begins and we can all really start looking forward once again.