Game Preview: Bay Bridge Series Game 1

The A's will try to carry the momentum they gained from winning two in a row over Anaheim and making a blockbuster trade into their first game against their transbay rivals, the San Francisco Giants. Barry Zito and Jason Schmidt highlight what should be an intriguing pitching match-up.

San Francisco Giants (41-32) W-6 v. Oakland Athletics (40-31) W-2

Date: June 25, 2004
Time: 7:05 P.S.T.
Place: Network Associates Coliseum – Oakland, CA

Preview: The A's gave themselves some much needed momentum yesterday by beating Anaheim 2-1 for their second straight victory and then acquiring reliever Ocatavio Dotel later in the day from the Houston Astros. Oakland will need all the momentum they can get as they will face not only one of the hottest teams in the majors, but also baseball's hottest pitcher, Jason Schmidt. Tonight is the first match-up of the season between the cross-town neighbors who will see each other six times in the next ten days. Since the beginning of inter-league play, no team has had the upper-hand as the two teams have split the previous 38 contests right down the middle.

The Giants enter this series fresh off of a four game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers to take a 2 ½ game lead in the NL West. San Francisco is 26-9 in their last 35 ballgames and 9-7 in their last 16 road games. The A's are coming off of a tumultuous 3-7 road trip that caused the team to deal with some clubhouse adversity and saw the offense cool off after their impressive homestand. Oakland has won eight straight home games and 16 of their past 18 games in the Coliseum, while remaining one game back of the Texas Rangers in the AL West.

Pitching Match-up:

San Francisco – Jason Schmidt, RHP (9-2, 2.26 ERA)
Oakland – Barry Zito, LHP (4-4, 4.81 ERA)

Comments:

Jason Schmidt: Schmidt is coming off of his second complete game, one-hitter of the season, the most recent of which coming against Boston. He has won nine consecutive decisions. After being injured for the beginning of the season, his return to Giants has provided the team with the spark they needed. He is 2-0 in his last four road starts while only giving up one run each in his two no-decisions. Building up his pitch-count might be an ineffective strategy for A's hitters as he threw 133 pitches in his last game and has thrown 110 or more pitches in nine of his last ten starts. He has given up six homeruns on the year, but none in his last seven starts and ranks 4th in the NL with 103 strikeouts.

Barry Zito: Zito is coming into this game looking to improve from his latest performances. The last three starts for Barry have not been good, as he has gone only five innings in each of his starts while getting his pitch count around 110 pitches in each of those games. He has given up 22 hits and 11 earned runs in his last three games, while also allowing 9 walks. At home so far this year, Zito is only 1-2 in 6 starts with a 5.45 ERA and has yielded 7 homeruns while opponents are batting .287 against him.

Pitcher-Batter Match-up:

Zito v.:
Bonds, B – 1 for 5 – 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Durham, R – 2 for 11 – 1 2B, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K
Alfonzo, E – 1 for 1 – 1 RBI
Pierzynski, A – 0 for 9 – 3 K
Tucker, M – 0 for 8 – 1 BB
Grissom, M – 1 for 7 – 1 RBI
Perez, N – 8 for 16 – 1 HR, 2 RBI
Cruz, D – 6 for 17 – 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB
Feliz, P – 1 for 6 – 2 K
Mohr, D – 4 for 11 – 1 2B, 3 K

Schmidt v.:
Hatteberg, S – 3 for 7 – 2 RBI
Dye, J – 4 for 14 – 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 K
Durazo, E – 2 for 13 – 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 5 K
Karros, E – 17 for 44 (.386) – 2 2B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 9 K
Miller, D – 1 for 13 – 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
Kotsay, M – 6 for 23 – 2 2B, 3 RBI, 4 K

(Editor's Note: Could Tim Hudson be used as a pinch-hitter in this game? Maybe, considering that he is 1 for 2 with 1 2B, 1 RBI, and 1 BB against Schmidt. Eric Chavez will be greatly missed as he has 2 HR in 7 career at-bats against Jason.)

E-mail comments, questions, concerns to Dlevie@email.arizona.edu

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