clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

4/20: Open Game Thread

Home at last! A Wednesday night game against Oakland in April aren't really ideal conditions for a big crowd, but it's still nice to be back at the Safe.

First pitch: 10:05pm EDT
Kotsay CF                   Ichiro RF
Kendall C                   Winn LF
Chavez 3B                   Beltre 3B
Durazo DH                   Sexson DH
Hatteberg 1B                Boone 2B
Ellis 2B                    Ibanez 1B
Byrnes LF                   Bloomquist CF
Swisher RF                  Olivo C
Scutaro SS                  Valdez SS
----------                  ----------
Zito (0-3 7.27)             Pineiro (0-1 7.94)

Where we thought Pineiro was fortunate to be able to get his first start against a bad offense, the lineup he'll be facing tonight has actually been even worse than Chicago's, to the tune of the lowest EqA in the AL. Which isn't to say they're not good, because Oakland has a pretty solid lineup from top to bottom, but they're in a funk right now, so the conditions are there for Pineiro to go seven innings. As for the Mariners, the key will be laying off Zito's curve and getting ahead in the count. Problems with command have forced Zito to get more of the plate, with sluggerific results. Prediction: Adrian Beltre will either homer or sprain his lower back swinging tonight.

Blez, of Athletics Nation, on Zito:

Zito is very simple, even though the great mystery of "What's wrong with Zito?" seems to still be a prevalent question. If he's throwing his curve for strikes in the first inning, he's going to pitch very well and be tough for the Mariners to hit. If he isn't or the ump won't call his curve a strike, Zito essentially becomes a two-pitch pitcher with an average fastball and a decent changeup that he'll occasionally hang. Zito also occasionally waits until the third or fourth inning to throw his curve, which also makes him susceptible to the big inning early. Why he does this? It's a case for Robert Stack.