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Open Thread: Game 6 - A's at Seattle

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There's a whole baseball game going on tonight, but let's face it. If you're an A's fan, all eyes are on Barry Zito to see if "the other Zito" shows up or whether we're going to be stuck, for the next five days, debating the significance of "two bad starts to open the season"...

Last year, Zito's worst start was at Tampa Bay, but he continued to struggle after leaving that game. When he hit rock bottom was when he left the mound in Seattle after serving up a grand slam to Bret Boone. Small sample size, sure, but if you look at how Zito pitches for the 4 months following a grand slam, you'll be more optimistic than if you look at footage of his 2006 debut.

As for Zito's opponent, it's a bit of exaggeration to say that Jamie Moyer was around when the wheel was invented, but maybe the "wheel play". Scouts say Moyer tops out at 84 these days, but honestly he doesn't look a day over 52. Today's "fun fact": four current A's have terrorized Jamie Moyer over the years...

  • F. Thomas: .421 average, 1.468 OPS in 38 ABs
  • Eric Chavez: .336 average, 1.136 OPS in 56 ABs
  • Mark Kotsay: .583 average in 24 ABs
  • Marco Scutaro: .412 average, 3 HRs in 17 ABs
On the flip side, Ellis (3/15), Crosby (2/13), Bradley (1/6), and Swisher (0/4) have not handled Moyer well, so it makes a lot of sense that Ellis and Swisher are sitting, while Moyer may have to rely on Crosby's 2-3 pop-ups (count `em) to get through this 1-5:

Kotsay
Scutaro
Crosby
Chavez
Thomas
Bradley
Payton
Kendall
Johnson

Ichiro
Lopez
Ibanez
Sexson
Beltre
Everett
Johjima
Bloomquist
Betancourt