06/07/08 1:35 AM EST
Olsen already keying in on the Kid
Cincinnati (30-32) at Florida (32-28), Saturday, 7:10 p.m. ET
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
On Saturday, he'll get to admire Griffey from a different perspective.
Olsen will start in the second game of a four-game series against the Reds at Dolphin Stadium, hoping to get the Marlins back on the winning side after losing five of their last six. It just so happens Griffey is sitting on 599 career home runs and is looking to become just the sixth player in Major League history to reach the 600 plateau.
But Olsen said that will have no bearing on how he will pitch to the lefty slugger.
"I've given up home runs before, and I'll give up home runs in the future," Olsen said. "It's not really that big of a deal to me. If it happens to be 600, that's whatever one he's on. He's going to be one of those guys in the lineup where you don't want to let him beat you, so if you want to pitch around him, you've got to pitch around him. If we go after him, we're going to go after him. If he hits one, he hits one."
Olsen was only 5 years old the day Griffey made his Major League debut, but he's watched the Kid's career come full circle.
"He was one of the best players in this game, and happened to be playing when I grew up," Olsen said. "It's been unbelievable to see his career pan out the way it has. It's disappointing a little bit because of injuries that he's had, because you think about the kind of numbers that he could've put up."
Olsen has never faced Griffey before, but he did face the Reds once -- picking up the win while giving up two runs in seven innings last season.
"I hope he's in the lineup this time," Olsen said.
But Griffey won't be the only left-handed slugger Miller will have to match up against. Two of the Reds' best hitters -- Adam Dunn and rookie Jay Bruce -- hit from the left side of the plate.
But here's the good news for Olsen: Lefties are hitting only .109 with no home runs against him this season.FLA: LHP Scott Olsen (4-2, 3.72 ERA)
It may not have been a masterpiece, but there were a number of encouraging signs in Olsen's most recent outing. In a no-decision at Atlanta, he worked six innings (his longest start in three appearances). In terms of velocity, his fastball touched 89 mph on a couple of occasions, up gradually. While he allowed two home runs for the third straight start, he did strike out four and scatter four hits. Overall, the outing was a step in the right direction to regaining the touch the left-hander showed in April. Olsen's last win was on May 6, a span of six starts.
CIN: RHP Bronson Arroyo (4-5, 5.61 ERA)
Arroyo lasted just 4 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on 10 hits with two walks and four strikeouts in a 5-4 loss to Philadelphia on Monday. He threw 88 pitches and gave up three home runs -- the second most he's given up all season -- in his shortest start since lasting just 1 1/3 against the Braves on May 4. Arroyo's only start against the Marlins this season came on May 14, when he gave up no runs on five hits through seven innings but received a no-decision.
In his last 10 starts, Luis Gonzalez is hitting .308 (12-for-39) with one home run, eight RBIs and three doubles. In those games, Gonzalez has collected four multi-hit games. ... With a single to right on Friday, Gonzalez notched his 2,549th career hit, placing him one behind Gary Sheffield for fourth among active players. ... Jorge Cantu collected his fifth career multi-home run game on Friday. ... The Marlins are now second in the Major Leagues in home runs with 89 -- one behind the Phillies. Forty-nine of those homers have been solo shots. ... Long reliever Doug Waechter collected his first Major League hit on Friday with a single to center in the fifth ... Despite giving up 11 runs on Friday, Marlins pitchers struck out 12 batters -- one shy of their season high. Tickets
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Sunday: Marlins (Burke Badenhop, 1-3, 6.59) vs. Reds (Aaron Harang, 2-8, 3.86), 1:10 p.m. ET
Monday: Marlins (Mark Hendrickson, 7-3, 5.33) vs. Reds (Edinson Volquez, 8-2, 1.32), 7:10 p.m. ET
Tuesday: Marlins (Ricky Nolasco, 5-4, 5.05) vs. Phillies (Brett Myers, 3-7, 5.13), 7:10 p.m. ET
Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.