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A.L. Wild Card Game: Athletics vs. Royals, Tuesday 9/30, 7 p.m. CT

The Kansas City Royals will play their first postseason game in 29 years tonight.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Are you younger than 40?

If so, you probably have little concrete memory -- or, if you're under 30, any memory -- of the Kansas City Royals' last postseason game, which was Game 7 of the 1985 World Series. Since then the Royals have had just eight winning seasons.

And you think the Cubs have been bad.

For the Athletics, this is a real comedown. They were expected to run away with the A.L. West after the acquisitions of Jon Lester, tonight's starter, and Jeff Samardzija. Didn't happen, and the A's limp into this game with a 10-16 September, and travel to Kansas City because they finished one game behind the Royals.

For KC's part, they finish with a strong 15-10 September and if not for a loss to the White Sox Saturday night, would have tied for the A.L. Central title.

If the A's lose, it'll be a devastating blow to Billy Beane's "win now" trades, since they won't re-sign Lester and will likely have to trade Samardzija next year. If the Royals lose, hey, at least they got there and can build for a strong future.

I think you can see which team has more pressure on it.

Incidentally, I will file a full article making my postseason predictions, but not until after the two wild-card games are complete.

Athletics lineup:

Crisp CF, Fuld LF, Donaldson 3B, Moss DH, Reddick RF, Lowrie SS, Vogt 1B, Soto C, Sogard 2B

The A's tempt fate by starting not one, but two ex-Cubs.

Royals lineup:

Escobar SS, Aoki RF, Cain CF, Hosmer 1B, Butler DH, Gordon LF, Perez C, Infante 2B, Moustakas 3B

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jon Lester

Jon Lester


vs. James Shields

James Shields


vs. KC


vs. Oak

Tonight's game is on TBS. Announcers: Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Ron Darling and Cal Ripken (analysts) with Matt Winer (reporter). All MLB playoff games will be carried on ESPN Radio nationally, though not all ESPN affiliates will carry all games. Tonight's radio announcers (AM 1000 in Chicago) will be Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton.

If you are unable to follow on radio or TV, here's Gameday

This will be the only thread for tonight's game. Enjoy, and discuss amongst yourselves.