Game Preview: A's versus Reds - June 8, 2004

The A's offense looks to continue its recent success, as they take on the Cincinnati Reds in the second of a three-game set. Barry Zito aims to get his record above the .500 mark and to continue his recent pitching dominance.

Cincinnati Reds (34-23) L-1 vs. Oakland Athletics (32-24) W-3

Date: Tuesday, June 08, 2004
First Pitch: 7:05 P.S.T.

Preview:
As Barry Zito takes the hill for Oakland, the A's look for their third straight game with an offensive explosion as the Reds look for some revenge. With the help of a Scott Hatteberg grand slam, the A's blasted four homeruns off of the Reds' pitching staff Monday night to give the A's an easy 13-2 win. Amid rumors that Jung Bong is starting tonight for the Reds, it is reported that Matt Belisle will make his season debut against the Athletics. Oakland's suddenly juggernaut offense will look to take advantage of the inexperienced right-hander as the A's have scored 21 runs in their last 2 games. Hatteberg has filled in admirably for the injured Eric Chavez so far as he has driven in 10 runs in his last 3 games.

Pitching Matchup:
Reds – Matt Belisle, RHP (0-0, N/A ERA)
Athletics – Barry Zito, LHP (3-3, 4.44 ERA)

Comments:
This will be Belisle's first appearance in the major leagues this year… Zito is coming off of two brilliant performances that have resulted in a no-decision each time while allowing only 1 run in his last 16 innings… In Belisle's career, he has appeared in 6 games pitching 8.2 innings while allowing 10 hits and yielding 5 runs… Zito has seen his ERA drop from 6.83 to 4.44 in his last 6 starts (1-0)…

Pitcher v. Batter Matchups:

Belisle vs.: Karros, E – 0 for 1
Miller, D – 0 for 1 – 1 K

Zito vs.: Griffey Jr., K – 1 for 3
Casey, S – 1 for 2 - 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB
Lopez, F – 1 for 2 – 1 2B, 1 K
Kearns, A – 0 for 3 – 1 K
Larkin, B – 0 for 3

(Editor's Note: A's fans can thank me for Cory Lidle's lousy performance since I added him to my fantasy team three days ago when Roy Halladay was put on the disabled list. This week, fate has dealt me a cruel hand: Ken Harvey (shoulder injury), Milton Bradley (suspended four games for tirade), Eric Chavez (no need to explain), and Carlos Delgado (rib cage injury). Not to mention Pedro Martinez and Kevin Millwood getting lit up in their last starts, and Bobby Crosby going on a tear since I dropped him. You are all welcome!)

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