Game Preview: A's vs. White Sox - July 16, 2004

Fireworks night will feature a battle of two premier lefties, as Barry Zito takes on Mark Buehrle on Friday night. The A's will look to extend their winning streak over the White Soz to four games.

Chicago White Sox (46-39) L-1 v. Oakland Athletics (48-39) W-1

Date: July 16, 2004
Time: 6:05 P.S.T. - Fireworks Night
Place: Network Associates Coliseum – Oakland, CA

Preview: The A's will try to make it two in a row against the White Sox, as they look to Barry Zito to duplicate Rich Harden's brilliant, eight-inning performance from last night. Harden carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and allowed only two runs which both came on a homerun by Magglio Ordonez. Flame-thrower Octavio Dotel nailed down the 4-2 victory by retiring three straight hitters after allowing a leadoff walk. The A's picked up a half game on the idle Texas Rangers last night to move within 1.5 games of first place in the AL West.

Chicago will counter with the always tough Mark Beuhrle who has pitched well against Oakland, but only owns a 2-5 record against them. Look to see reserve outfielder Bobby Kielty in the lineup tonight as he has torched Beuhrle in the past with a .379 batting average in 29 at-bats, including 2 homeruns and 8 RBI. The A's should be playing in front of a big crowd tonight as Fireworks Night always draws a lot of people.

Pitching Match-up:

Chicago – Mark Beuhrle, LHP (9-2, 4.03 ERA)
Oakland – Barry Zito, LHP (4-7, 4.62 ERA)

Comments:

Mark Beuhrle: Beuhrle has been the best pitcher for Chicago this year and has faced the A's 14 times in his career, starting 10 of those games. He is 6-1 in his last 10 starts this season, even though he saw his ERA rise to 4.49 a few weeks ago from 3.84. Beuhrle has seemed to regain his form by going 2-0 in his last three starts and only giving up 5 earned runs in his last 23 innings. His numbers are similar to Oakland's Mark Mulder as Beuhrle doesn't use a lot of pitches to get batters out and tends to go very deep into ballgames. He has not walked more than two batters in a game in his last 10 starts and has gone at least seven innings in eight of his last ten starts. He is an impressive 3-0 with a 2.98 ERA on the road this year and received a no-decision against the A's earlier this year. In that game he pitched 6 innings and gave up just one run on a homerun, but threw 122 pitches.

Barry Zito: Zito is now 0-4 in his last five starts but has pitched solidly in three of his past four starts. His last start was a tough 4-1 loss at Cleveland where Zito threw 123 pitches in seven innings and only ran into trouble when pitching to the light-hitting Coco Crisp. Crisp accounted for both of the runs Zito gave up by hitting a solo homerun and an RBI double to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead. While he did allow only 6 hits, Zito walked 4 batters and has now entered the top 10 in the AL in the walks category at 8th place with 46. His numbers at home are average, as he sports a 1-3 record with a 4.50 ERA in 8 starts. In his five career starts against the White Sox, Zito is 3-1 with a 3.31 ERA while averaging about 6 2/3 innings per start.

Pitcher-Batter Match-up:

Zito v.:
Alomar, S – 1 for 10 (.100) – 1 K
Crede, J – 0 for 5
Davis, B – 3 for 14 (.214) – 1 RBI, 2 BB
Konerko, P – 5 for 13 (.385) – 1 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI
Lee, C – 4 for 13 (.308) – 1 2B, 1 RBI
Ordonez, M – 0 for 12 (.000) – 3 BB, 3 K
Rowand, A – 3 or 7 (.429) – 1 RBI

Beuhrle v.:
Hatteberg, S – 4 for 21 (.190) – 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 K
Dye, J – 7 for 20 (.350) – 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB
Durazo, E – 3 for 12 (.250) – 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 K
Karros, E – 3 for 6 (.500)
Miller, D – 2 for 6 (.333) – 1 2B, 1 RBI
Kielty, B – 11 for 29 (.379) – 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K
Chavez, E – 5 for 26 (.192) – 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 K
Byrnes, E – 6 for 14 (.429) – 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI
McLemore, M – 0 for 10 (.000) – 4 K
Crosby, B – 0 for 2
Scutaro, M – 1 for 3 (.333) – 1 2B, 1 K

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

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