Barry Zito won his 100th game Friday night against the Rangers, at the age of 26, putting him slightly ahead of the curve. There's still an incredibly long way for Zito to go.
"It would be awesome (to win 300)," Zito said. "If I could paint a timeline, it would be 100 (wins) every six years. Well, this would be six years plus 14 starts my first year. If I can pitch for 20 years, that would be a good pace. It's definitely cool to have something like 100 happen."
Zito has made no secret of his desire to win 300 before his career is over. Winning 300 gets harder every year. The five-man rotation means Zito gets 33-35 starts a year, instead of the 38-42 common in the four-man rotation era.
The simple math for 300 wins has always gone like this: 15 years of 20 wins, or 20 years of 15 wins. It's more likely to be the latter nowadays, considering there might not be a single 20-man winner in 2006.
You also need a good offense (to score runs) and a greater bullpen (to preserve those leads).
"You can pitch great and not have things to show for it," Zito said. "But it's the main thing people look at. Whenever guys get to the Hall of Fame, 300 is automatic. Under 300, you need a lot of other good stuff going on. That's how the game has always been."
The biggest thing working in Zito's advantage? He's never missed a start since coming to the majors.
Zito joined Dave Stewart (119), Vida Blue (124) and Catfish Hunter (131) in the 100-win club in Oakland history.
REPLAY: Barry Zito nearly won his 100th game in style, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning, until Mark DeRosa broke it up to begin the eighth. Zito wanted a one-hit shutout, but had to settle for 8 1/3 innings of two-hit ball. A walk to DeRosa in the second inning was the only thing keeping Zito from perfection when the no-hit bid ended.
The A's padded their lead with three runs in the ninth en route to the 9-3 victory. Milton Bradley hit a two-run double and Nick Swisher ripped a three-run double. Jay Payton had three more hits to pace the 14-hit attack.
--SS Bobby Crosby was placed on the disabled list, just one week after he was activated from it, with a lower back strain. Crosby played in just three games before feeling the pain.
--INF D'Angelo Jimenez was selected from Triple-A Sacramento to take Crosby's place for a second time. Jimenez was outrighted last Friday, but wisely chose to accept the minor league assignment, and now he's back in the majors.
--RHP Steve Karsay, who announced his retirement June 18 after getting a victory in his final appearance, a 17-inning game the A's won over the Dodgers, was a guest in the A's clubhouse before the game. The A's have said they would love to have Karsay join the organization in some capacity in the future.
--RHP Rich Harden had another short, intense game of catch Friday. He'll long toss again Saturday, do an intense short workout Sunday, and remains on target to get onto a bullpen mound around Sept. 1.
--RHP Jason Windsor, who made two starts for the A's before getting returned to Triple-A Sacramento, saw his Triple-A winning streak end at 12 games with a loss Thursday. Windsor allowed eight runs on 10 hits in five innings, dropping him to 12-1 this year for the Rivercats.
BY THE NUMBERS: 4 -- The number of times Bobby Crosby has been on the disabled list over the last two years. He's missed 97 games, entering Friday, in that span.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's got about 10 more mph on his fastball. He's healthy. He put the work in to get better. He's got a lot of pride. He likes to compete. You have to give (pitching coach) Curt Young credit too. Loaiza put the work in. Curt spent a lot of time with him, got him on the program. It's absolutely paid off. From April to today, I think there's a lot different view from the fans and everybody on what he can do and what he means to the club." -- A's manager Ken Macha, on the difference between the Esteban Loaiza of April and now.