The Oakland Athletics are taking us back to the early 2000s.
A's manager Bob Melvin announced Tuesday that Barry Zito would start against the Giants on Saturday.
Starting for SF will be none other than former A's standout Tim Hudson.
It's a dream come true for many A's fans. Zito was pitching for the OAK triple-A affiliate and was
called up. There was some speculation this start could happen, though the A's initially said Zito
would pitch out of the bullpen.
The start should be quite the send-off for both players. Hudson now 40, has already said this will be his final
season in the majors. While the 37-yr-old Zito hasn't said anything about his plans, it's assumed he's at the
end of the road.
Zito spent all of the '15 season in the minors, and wasn't called up until rosters expanded. This seems
like one final opportunity for him to shine in the majors before he rides off into the sunset.
Neither player has performed particularly well this season, but that won't take away from the hype surrounding
the start. Hudson has posted a 4.20 ERA over 120 innings, while Zito has only tossed one inning in the majors.
Zito and Hudson made up the core of the A's pitching staff in the early 2000s. The two spent 5 seasons together
with the team, reaching the postseason 4 times. Zito compiled a 3.55 ERA over 1430 1/3 innings with OAK. He
won the Cy Young award in 2002, and made the All-Star team 3 times.
Hudson was just as good. In his time in OAK, Hudson posted a 3.30 ERA over 1240 2/3 innings. He was the runner
up in the Cy Young voting in 2000, and made 2 All-Star teams.
Those two, combined with Mark Mulder, were called the "Big Three" in Oakland. The following day, the Athletics
will honor Hudson, Zito, & Mulder during a pregame ceremony.