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GameThread: Athletics (49-62) @ Orioles (46-65), 7:05 P.M.

The O's start a 7 game home stand tonight against the Oakland A's. God bless you if you're going to the game because it's hot as blazes out there. On paper it looks like this could be a pretty even matchup, but it just seems like the A's love to whoop up on the O's. That was par for the course in the early 2000s when the A's beat everybody, but for the past three years the A's have been pretty mediocre and still have a 12-4 record against our boys.

Three of those 12 wins came earlier this year in what was possibly the most awful series so far in 2009 (and that's saying something). Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Berken, and Rich Hill combined for just 4.2 innings over the three game set. Guthrie and Hill only pitched two-thirds of an inning each. The Orioles offense scored just 5 runs over three games. Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Aubrey Huff, and Adam Jones went a total of 9 for 41 at the plate with 0 runs and 0 RBIs. It doesn't get much worse than that.

Guthrie and Berken have a chance to make up for their outings as they pitch the first two games of the series. Rich Hill has been replaced by David Hernandez, thank goodness. Guthrie has been up and down since the all star break and you never know what you'll get. Last Wednesday he pitched his heart out in Detroit only to get the loss. If he pitches as well tonight as he did then I'll be thrilled.

Gio Gonzalez pitches for the Athletics, making his 7th start of the year to go along with 3 relief appearances. His numbers don't look great, but they are skewed by an outing on July 20th when he allowed 11 runs to the Twins in just 2.2 innings. The rest of his numbers aren't great, but not as bad as they look first glance.

You might also be interested to know that A's pitcher Dallas Braden has been placed on the 15 day DL because he has a rash on his foot. Ew.

2009 - Jeremy Guthrie 7-11 5.28 1.37 76 42

2009 - Gio Gonzalez 3-2 6.31 1.80 50 27

If you're relatively new to SB Nation and haven't been to Athletics Nation, I hope you'll make a trip over there sometime during this series. They are a very large community and very hardcore. For a blog, they have unprecedented access to their team. It's a very impressive site, so please visit.

Let's go O's!