Athletics

Athletics

Friday's going to be a strange day in Oakland.

The A's and Tigers will finish one game three and a half months after it started, and then they will play another game.

On May 19th, the game between the two teams was suspended in the bottom of the seventh due to rain. The A's were leading 5-3 when the game was stopped. That game was in Detroit. It will resume at 5:15 p.m. PT on Friday in Oakland with the A's serving as the road team in their own ballpark.

The four-game series in May was the only time the A's were traveling to Detroit, so instead of making the A's travel back to The Motor City on an off day, Major League Baseball decided to finish the game when the Tigers traveled to Oakland.

Once the A's and Tigers finish that game, they will change uniforms, and the A's will serve as the home team in the regularly scheduled series opener at 7:07 p.m. PT.

As you can imagine with a situation like this, there are several odd quirks with this game.

The A's entered the May 19 contest with a 15-game winning streak against the Tigers. That will either be extended to 16 or come to an end if Detroit rallies for the win.

If the A's hang on and win, they will get credit for an 11-game winning streak. If they lose the game, they will have a three-game winning streak and a seven-game winning streak sandwiched around the loss.

 

Then there are the oddities surrounding the rosters.

Nick Hundley entered the game as the catcher for the A's in the bottom of the sixth. There's a big problem. The veteran catcher was released by Oakland in July. He replaced Josh Phegley, so either Chris Herrmann or rookie Sean Murphy will have to finish the game.

Stephen Piscotty was the right fielder when the game in May was suspended, but he's currently on the 10-day injured list with a right ankle sprain.

Ramon Laureano is scheduled to come off the injured list Friday, but manager Bob Melvin stated that he will replace the center field for the completion of the suspended game.

"I just think his first day back, it doesn't make much sense to run him out there for a few innings and then go sit down for a while," Melvin said. "So we'll just let him start the second game. At least as we sit here right now, that's kind of what I have in mind."

Liam Hendriks, the current A's closer, had not been inserted into that role when this game first started, so Melvin brought him into the game at the start of the seventh inning. So Hendriks will be on the mound when the game resumes. He won't be available to Melvin in the ninth in a possible save situation.

"It's funny to see the lineup," Melvin said. "Pinder was hitting third, I think Olson was hitting sixth or seventh, Phegley was out of the game, Hundley was just coming in the game, Hendriks is actually in the game. I don't know that I can take him out and bring him back in the ninth, so there's a good chance, depending on the workload leading up to that, he'll be in that game."

As for the Tigers, they'll have to replace their No. 3, No. 7 and No. 9 hitters right away. Nick Castellanos was traded to the Cubs before the July 31 deadline, Josh Harrison was released by the team in early August and JaCoby Jones is on the injured list with a fractured left wrist.

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These are the perils of completing a game nearly four months after it started.

It's also a strange situation that makes baseball so great.