07.13.09

Kawakami : Giants Can No Longer Afford To Watch Surfin’ Barry Throw Batting Practice

Posted in Baseball at 4:10 pm by

LHP Barry Zito allowed 9 runs in 4.1 IP Sunday, his worst outing as a Giant, and a result that prevented SF from going a lofty 12 games over .500 before the All-Star break.  The San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami acknowledges sucking up a storm is hardly a new act for Zito since coming over the Bay Bridge, but circumstances are a tad different in 2009 (“but now the Giants are pretty good, with a great shot at a playoff spot¦ and Zito giving away games by the third inning is a fairly large problem, if they want to take a journey into the postseason”) (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

These early spit-the-bit games are Zito™s signature as a Giant. You™ve seen ˜em, I™ve seen ˜em, and Zito™s paid and volunteer PR people try to tell us that they don™t diminish Zito™s overall grandeur, even though they see them, too.

Zito™s awfulness was a bad thing for the Giants of ˜07 and ˜08, but it wasn™t anything that was hurting them in a playoff race. The Giants were bad, Zito was part of the badness.

Any outing of 5 innings or more, 4 runs or less, and the Giants offense might be able to win that game. That was not the case for a couple seasons. It is now. But being down 6-0 after a few innings? No way. That™s a kill shot.

If the Giants really are a changed team (from the old days of PR and spin and absolute fealty to the big names), they™ll consider moving Zito out of the rotation when Randy Johnson is ready to come back, presuming Ryan Sadowski and Jonathan Sanchez maintain a level performance. We™ll see.

I realize the $18M a year is an enormous thing, but at the cost of winning as many games as they can in a Wild-Card race? A test for Brian Sabean, Bruce Bochy and Bill Neukom. Possibly a defining test.

4 Responses to “Kawakami : Giants Can No Longer Afford To Watch Surfin’ Barry Throw Batting Practice”

  1. Jim Brown says:

    Zito throws a large number of changeups these days, many up in the zone, resulting in occasional wallops by opposing hitters.

    He needs to start working on getting these pitches to sink, otherwise he’ll be in the same sub-.500 rut the rest of his
    career.

  2. Louie says:

    Zito should learn how to throw the screwball pitch .Once he masters it it might save his career. LHP who throw the screwball are lethal on the mound. Carl Hubbell the Giants best LHP ever threw it and struck out Ruth Gehrig and Foxx in the 1933 all star game. No one will take Zito in a trade except maybe the Yankees or Angels. He really is an American League pitcher. The Giants should keep Sanchez and put him in the #3 spot in the Rotation behind Lincecum and Cain. The is no way in hell i would trade Sanchez now .

  3. Brad says:

    It might sound impossible, but they should engineer some kind of trade like the Rockies did with Mike Hampton when they traded him to Florida and then the Braves several days later to have several teams shoulder the burden of his ridiculous salary.

    Zito probably has less value than Hampton did, and at least people could blame his struggles on being in Colorago, but someone might take him for the right price. They’ll think a “change of scenery” will help, or something like that.

    The Giants won’t be able to get rid of all of his salary, but they need to unburden themselves of at him and at least some of his salary if possible. They don’t want a mediocre 18 million dollar a year long reliever, so they’ll have to be really creative.

  4. Bill says:

    Zito is he the same guy as Andy petite of The Yanks, no just kidding, Andy is blowing up in every big game. Go On check it out last year he lost he lost 3 to Boston 1 to the mets two to the Angels. He didn’t only lose them ( which would be ok) He got blown out in them. So I empathize with SF Giants fans. These bums gotta go give the kids a chance, Id rather see a few kids pitch poorly and learn for the future then see so called veterans pitch when they should be retired as ineffective. I am sure most teams have a story

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