Game Preview: A's versus Reds - June 6, 2004

The A's begin inter-league play with a three game series at home versus the first-place Cincinnati Reds. Both teams enter the game playing well.

Cincinnati Reds (34-22) streak: W-2 v. Oakland Athletics (31-24) streak: W-2

Date: June 07, 2004
Time: 7:05 P.S.T.
Place: Oakland, CA – Network Associates Coliseum

Preview: The red-hot, NL-central leading Cincinnati Reds come to Oakland for a three-game series which marks the beginning of inter-league play for the Athletics. The Reds, winners of five of their last six, feature three sluggers in the middle of the lineup – Sean Casey, Adam Dunn, and Ken Griffey Jr. and an average group of starting pitchers. Although the Reds are grabbing much of the headlines lately with Griffey Jr.'s homerun tear and their climb to first place, the A's have also won five of their last six games and ten of their last eleven home games while moving into second place in the AL West, trailing Anaheim by 1 _ games. The national media will be in full force for this series as Griffey Jr. comes into Oakland looking to reach the 500 homerun milestone. On Sunday, he hit two homeruns against the Expos to put him at 498 and has hit six homeruns in his last 10 games. In Griffey Jr.'s career against Oakland he has 28 HRs, 71 RBIs, 21 2Bs, and 123 hits in 428 Abs (.287).

Monday's game is the beginning of a tough stretch for Oakland who travel to St. Louis (32-24), Wrigley Field (16-12 at home), and Anaheim (18-10 at home) after finishing up their homestand against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The Reds are 13th out of 16 teams in the National League in team ERA at 4.38 but rank 5th in the NL in runs scored with 261.

Pitching Matchup:
Cincinnati – Cory Lidle (4-4, 4.42 ERA)
Oakland – Mark Mulder (6-2, 2.96 ERA)

Comments: Lidle is 2-0 in his last 3 starts after losing 3 straight previously… Mulder ranks 2nd in the AL in ERA to fellow teammate Tim Hudson (2.92 ERA)… Lidle tries to always get ahead in the count causing many batters to swing at the first pitch with success… Mulder is on a tear in his last 5 starts (4-0) seeing his ERA fall from 4.12 to 2.96… Lidle pitched for the A's in 2001 and 2002 posting win-loss records of 13-6 and 8-10 and ERAs of 3.59 and 3.89 respectively… Mulder ranks first in the AL in complete games with 3, third in the AL in opponent's BAA at .226, and fourth in the AL in IP with 79… At age 31, Lidle was the Reds' opening day pitcher marking the first time he has received that honor…

Pitcher vs. Batter Matchup:
Lidle vs.: McLemore, M – 4 for 14 (.286), 1 2B, 1 3B, and 2 RBIs
Dye, J – 2 for 8 (.250), 2 RBIs
Kielty, B – 2 for 6 (.333)
Hatteberg, S – 1 for 4 (.250), 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Mulder vs.: Casey, S – 2 for 3 (.666), 1 2B
Griffey Jr, K – 1 for 2 (.500), 1 2B
Jimenez, D'Angelo – 1 for 4 (.250), 1 2B
Dunn, A – 0 for 3 (.000), 2 K's

Who's Hot:
Sean Casey, 1B – 17 for 42 (.405) with 4 HRs, 11 RBIs, and 9 runs in last 10 games
Ken Griffey Jr., CF – 9 for 35 (.257) with 6 HRs, 10 RBIs, and 9 runs in last 10 games
John Riedling, RHP – In 30 IP he has a 1.50 ERA and a 4-0 record with 11 holds and 20 K's
Paul Wilson, RHP – The Reds ace so far this year, he has a 7-0 record in 11 starts with a 3.18 ERA (will not face the A's)

Scott Hatteberg, 1B – 11 for 35 in his last 11 games (.314), he has 2 HRs and 11 RBIs
Mark Kotsay, CF – Brilliant defensive plays aside, Kotsay has 17 hits in his last 36 ABs posting a scalding .472 batting average
Eric Byrnes, LF – 14 for 39 (.359) in his last 11 games, he has 6 2Bs and 6 RBIs Justin Duchscherer, RHP – Has given up only 2 runs in his last 22 IP and is currently posting a 1.08 ERA

Who's Cold:
Jason LaRue, C – Batting .235 in this last week in 17 ABs with O runs, 0 HRs, and 1 RBI
Danny Graves, RHP – Graves has given up 3 runs in his last 4 IP while allowing 2 HRs

Chad Bradford, RHP – In his last 3 appearances, Bradford has posted a 9.82 ERA by giving up 5 runs, 5 hits, and 2 Hrs
Eric Karros, 1B – He has only 1 hit in his last 13 ABs (.076) and is batting .135 on the year

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