Oakland A's Game 1 lineup

By way of Oakland Athletics' manager Bob Melvin, here is the starting lineup for Game 1 of the American League Division Series:

1. Coco Crisp - CF
2. Stephen Drew - SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes - LF
4. Brandon Moss - 1B
5. Josh Reddick - RF
6. Josh Donaldson - 3B
7. Seth Smith - DH
8. Derek Norris - C
9. Cliff Pennington - 2B
*. Jarrod Parker, RHP

No surprises. This is all to face Justin Verlander, mind you, so you can picture Leslie Nielsen popping his head in the cockpit every so often with words of encouragement.

Of one particular note is Josh Donaldson hitting sixth. That's not ludicrous -- he had a .289 on-base percentage, but he also had a .398 slugging percentage, with nine homers in 294 plate apperances. But looking at the raw numbers obscures one thing: For the first four-and-a-half months of the season, Donaldson hit .153/.160/.235 over 100 plate appearances. Marvel over those numbers for a second. Those are pitcher numbers. No hyperbole needed.

Since then his recall in August: .290/.356/.489 over 189 plate appearances. You can't just ignore the first stretch -- it happened, so the numbers are a part of the ledger -- but the later set of numbers are closer to the expectations the A's had for him when they acquired him from the Cubs in the Rich Harden trade.

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