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Zeptember is Here

It's Zeptember, and Barry Zito is hot. Even though he is only 1-1, his ERA is 3.12 and the batting average against is .216. He's also had 25 strikeouts to seven walks allowed. Compare that to July, when he had only 22 strikeouts for the whole month and 19 walks allowed.

Of course, this late season surge is nothing new for Z. His three-year splits in September show a 2.39 ERA in September. The only month that was better has been August, which Zito sports a 2.27 ERA.

I imagine that is part of the reason the rotation has been flipped.

Heading into the final 13 games, the A's shuffled their rotation. Mark Mulder will start Tuesday, followed by Barry Zito and Tim Hudson.

Mulder, Zito and Hudson also will start the season's final series, Oct. 1-3 against the Anaheim Angels at the Coliseum. Earlier this summer, Macha said Rich Harden would pitch during the final series instead of Zito.

I like the change. Not because I don't trust Rich Harden who has slumped a bit in September, but because Zito is very close to being the 2002 version once again. I also believe that Mulder will correct his second half problems before that final series.

The A's are going to either win or lose this race on the backs of The Big Three. Then again, I'm hoping those Angels games won't matter, but I'm not banking on it.

And neither is A's management.