Athletics seek revenge against Guardians in game 2

The Oakland Athletics are set to face off against the Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics
Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics will take on the Cleveland Guardians tonight in game two of a four game set to open the year. Righty Ross Stripling is set to take the mound as the A's look to make up for their dismal performance last night.

Stripling didn't inspire a ton of confidence during spring training. He pitched to an 8.38 ERA in 19.1 innings with a 13:4 strikeout to walk ratio. If the A's want to win tonight, Stripling will have to be on his game.

He's been a successful pitcher in the past, though he's posted a FIP over 5.00 in three of the past four seasons. From 2016-2019, Stripling pitched to a 3.51 ERA in 387 innings, though he was used out of the bullpen for the majority of those appearances.

He's probably not the workhorse the Athletics need but if manager Mark Kotsay can find a way to piggyback Stripling with one of Kyle Muller or Mitch Spence, that might be the most effective way to manage Stripling's innings.

We don't know if Stripling would be amenable to that kind of usage. However, limiting him to two times through the batting order would not only mitigate the third time through the order penalty but it would do the same for Muller and Spence, neither of whom are proven starters but have the stamina to pitch at least 2-4 innings at a whack.

It's unlikely that would be the plan at the start of the year but it's something to keep in mind if these guys start struggling to get through five or six innings each time out.

Kotsay is switching up the lineup quite a bit tonight. Esteury Ruiz, Abraham Toro, and Darell Hernaiz will all get their first starts of the season. For Hernaiz, it'll be the first start of his major league career. He made his debut in Oakland in a pinch hitting appearance last night but will get the opportunity to man third base while JD Davis shifts to first base and Ryan Noda heads to the bench.

Esteury Ruiz will hit leadoff. Like Hernaiz, Ruiz came into last night's game as a pinch hitter but flied out to left in his only plate appearance. With any luck, he'll get a chance to steal his first base of the year tonight.

The Guardians will send lefty Logan Allen to the mound. The 25 year old threw just over 125 innings in Cleveland last year, pitching to a 3.81 ERA while striking out just under a batter per inning. Thanks to last night's blowout, the Guardians have their A bullpen rested and ready so the A's will have to jump on Allen early and often if they want to put runs on the board.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 pm PST. The game is available as the free game of the day on, and you can watch via this link here.