As the A's stagger, dazed and confused, back onto the field at Kauffman Stadium, Barry Zito gets the call to try to right the Oakland ship. Zito hopes to hit two numbers that have eluded him his past two starts: 89 MPH on the radar gun and 13 in the win column. Zito blames his mechanics for the recent drop in his velocity, in which case I have to wonder how well his car is running. But anyway...
Zito is opposed by former teammate, and fellow left-hander, Mark Redman. Redman was the Royals' All-Star representative, despite posting an ERA that has climbed to its current season high of 5.93. Redman at night? A 6.72 ERA. Redman since the All-Star Break? A 7.43 ERA. Redman in August? A 10.13 ERA. I've said before the best closer is good offense. The A's could really use an offensive explosion and a comfortable lead going into the late inning, as Street figures to be unavailable and the statuses of Duchscherer (16 pitches Friday) and Calero (23 pitches Friday) have to be iffy at best.
Tonight's starting lineups: