Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin announced before Tuesday's game that Barry Zito will start Saturday's game against the San Francisco Giants, where he will face fellow Big Three member Tim Hudson. Despite facing the Atlanta Braves six times while Hudson was in Atlanta, Zito has never pitched against Hudson in his entire career.
It's a fairly stunning reversal after A's officials initially dismissed the possibility of Zito starting on Saturday. What has perhaps changed in the last week or so is that the Giants are nowhere near the playoff picture, and so the potential for affecting the race to the postseason no longer exists.
Zito was throwing a bullpen session today to Stephen Vogt, tweeted the Bay Area News Group's John Hickey. And the session was already running about 20 minutes as the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser joined Bob Melvin's press gaggle.
Melvin thinks Zito could be up to 50 pitches or so for start vs. Hudson. He confirms Mulder will be there, as Mulder had told me last week.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 22, 2015
To round out the Big Three, ESPN analyst Mark Mulder has already said he will be attending Saturday's game as a fan. However, the A's also have a special treat for A's fans attending Sunday's home finale:
A's just announced they'll honor Zito, Hudson and Mulder before Sunday's game and they'll throw out the first pitch— Guy Haberman (@GuyHaberman) September 22, 2015
Also fired up about Zito vs. Hudson: Lew Wolff, who says he understands the Big Three will be honored as a group here on Sunday.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 22, 2015