Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

BASEBALL PLAYOFFS / AMERICAN LEAGUE

Oakland Vs. Minnesota

October 03, 2006|BEN BOLCH

ATHLETICS' PROJECTED LINEUP

* Keys to the series: Oakland's hallmark continues to be pitching, the stunning production of ageless designated hitter Frank Thomas notwithstanding. Starters Barry Zito, Esteban Loiaza, Dan Haren and Rich Harden provide a formidable foursome that could be hard to top. Thomas' numbers -- 39 homers and 114 runs batted in -- helped offset an otherwise pedestrian offense that finished ahead of only Tampa Bay in batting average in the AL. For the A's to advance and bury the disappointments of early postseason exits from 2000 to 2003, they will need some unexpected heroics from steady but unspectacular contributors such as outfielder Milton Bradley and shortstop Marco Scutaro.

*--* P Player AVG HR RBI C Jason Kendall 295 1 50 CF Mark Kotsay 275 7 59 RF Milton Bradley 276 14 52 DH Frank Thomas 270 39 114 LF Jay Payton 296 10 59 3B Eric Chavez 241 22 72 1B Nick Swisher 254 35 95 2B Mark Ellis 249 11 52 SS Marco Scutaro 266 5 41

*--*

TWINS' PROJECTED LINEUP

*--* P Player AVG HR RBI 2B Luis Castillo 296 3 49 3B Nick Punto 290 1 45 C Joe Mauer 347 13 84 RF Michael Cuddyer 284 24 109 1B Justin Morneau 321 34 130 CF Torii Hunter 278 31 98 LF Rondell White 246 7 38 DH Jason Tyner 312 0 18 SS Jason Bartlett 309 2 32

*--*

* Keys to the series: Rookie Francisco Liriano's season-ending elbow injury left a steep drop-off in the rotation after ace Johan Santana. Starters Boof Bonser, Matt Garza and Brad Radke were a combined 22-21, and Radke's once-formidable fastball has been sapped by a stress fracture in his shoulder. But the Twins have the offensive firepower to withstand some pitching deficiencies. Joe Mauer hit .347 during the regular season, becoming the first catcher to win the AL batting title, and first baseman Justin Morneau drove in 130 runs. The bullpen combination of setup man Juan Rincon and closer Joe Nathan should preserve any leads the offense can provide.

-

BEN BOLCH

*

Best-of-five division series (all times Pacific)

* TODAY -- Oakland (Zito 16-10) at Minnesota (Santana 19-6), 10 a.m., ESPN

* WEDNESDAY -- Oakland (Loaiza 11-9) at Minnesota (Bonser 7-6), 10 a.m., ESPN

* FRIDAY -- Minnesota at Oakland, 1, ESPN

* SATURDAY -- Minnesota at Oakland, TBA, if necessary

* SUNDAY -- Oakland at Minnesota, TBA, if necessary

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|