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Scott Pianowski

Pre-Closing Time: An afternoon in Oakland

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Lots of noteworthy bullpen stuff to tell you about from today's Tampa Bay at Oakland game (which is still in progress; I'll assume for the moment you aren't one of the 57 people currently sitting in the stadium).

Brad Ziegler allowed a run in the ninth, after working a scoreless eighth. So that pretty 0.00 ERA has jumped all the way to 0.23.

Troy Percival came on for the bottom of the ninth nursing a one-run lead, but he didn't stay long - just two batters. Percival walked the leadoff man, then sprained his right knee fielding Mark Ellis's sacrifice bunt. Dan Wheeler was not an option, having already pitched, so Joe Maddon opted for Grant Balfour.

The tall righty brought his down-under gas, striking out two, but one of his fastballs to Frank Thomas caught too much of the plate, and Thomas smoked it up the gap for a game-tying hit. There's one of those misleading blown saves - the stat suggests that Balfour fritted away the game, but all he did was allow one measly hit.

Huston Street came on for the tenth inning and worked a 1-2-3 frame. He also had a scoreless inning last night, albeit two batters reached.

Fantasy actions? Check the availability of Wheeler and Balfour, just in case Percival's injury isn't minor. Buy low on Ziegler (kidding). And if you have the stomach for it and you're in a deep league, maybe you can stash Street, just in case. As much as I don't trust him right now, the team has enough invested that they're not just going to kick him to the curb. There's always the possibility he gets the gig back soon enough to matter in 2008.

PM Percival Update: The Tampa Bay team site is saying a DL trip is likely.

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