Barry Zito Defeats Cardinals All On His Lonesome
The Zeet. The ZeetMonster. Ziteroni. Baked Zito. The Z. Grabbing Some Zzzs. This is what I have to say about Barry Zito because actual analysis fails me. One year after being left off the postseason entirely and one night after Tim Lincecum showed the world that he has no idea where his pitches are going, Barry Zito kept the Giants in the playoffs all by himself. If anything, this year’s postseason is teaching us: success is fleeting so hold onto while you can.
Barry Zito, his all-black socks pulled up high to intimidate the Cardinals, shutout the St Louisians for 7.2 innings, giving up only 6 hits, walking one and striking out six. Even in his revival year, Zito only went past 7 innings twice during the regular season, so tonight was a special performance. Special in that nary a pitch came out of Zito’s lefthand going more than 85.9 mph. Also special in that, the Cardinals, unaccustomed to such No Jacket Required pitching, had plenty of hacks at pitches in the zone, but merely hit them for weak outs. Just look at all those dark blue squares in the middle of the strike zone:
Zito also came up big at the plate. After the Giants broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth, Zito came up with runners on the corners and two outs. Rather than attempt to hit the baseball, looking foolish in the process, Zito laid a beautiful bunt down the third baseline, beating the throw and driving in another run. For those like me who love the beauty of the bunt if not the intelligence of it, it was a grand moment to behold. Should the Giants use this game as energyfuel to advance to the World Series, you just know someone’s going to get the image of Zito bunting on part of their body. Okay, I admit it, it will be me.
Pablo Sandoval finished off the scoring with a home run in the eighth while the Cardinals could only muster two extra base hits in the game, both on doubles from Freese and Craig.
The teams will have tomorrow off to travel before returning to San Francisco where Ryan Vogelsong will face Chris Carpenter. It’s not going to be an easy battle for the Giants, but getting to go back home for the final two games should make things a little easier.