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And now the Giants’ season comes down to Barry Zito

Oct 19, 2012, 9:31 AM EDT

Barry Zito Reuters

Two years ago during the Giants’ championship run Barry Zito wasn’t even on the playoff roster, but now he’s starting Game 5 of the NLCS tonight with their season on the line.

The good news is that the Giants have won 12 straight Zito starts dating back to August 7.

The bad news is that win streak included Zito failing to make it out of the third inning against the Reds in the NLDS and his overall ERA in those 12 starts is 4.04. In other words, he hasn’t exactly been the driving force behind the dozen consecutive victories.

It will be Zito’s ninth career playoff start, but he hasn’t thrown more than four innings in a postseason outing since the ALDS in 2006, when he tossed eight innings of one-run ball versus Minnesota. To get a sense of how long ago that was, Frank Thomas was the A’s cleanup hitter and Johan Santana started for the Twins.

If the Giants can win tonight they’ll have Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain lined up for Games 6 and 7, but first they’ll need Zito to earn a big chunk of his much-maligned $127 million contract.

  1. heyblueyoustink - Oct 19, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    Well, at least we won’t have to worry about him hitting on anyone in the stands. There’s that, at least.

  2. temporarilyexiled - Oct 19, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    I’ll predict a small chance of a Giants win, only because it’s just that crazy to do so, and that’s how the postseason has gone so far. Win or lose, I’ll be pretty happy with how much the team did with what they had.

    2013 is another matter. No matter how they do for the rest of this season, there are major changes that need to be made. Not enough upgrades will come from within their own organization.

    I’m envious of teams that actually produce multiple position players from their own farm systems, and don’t have to go out and piece together a team year after year, with the hope that it’ll all somehow work out.

  3. Gamera the Brave - Oct 19, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Back in 2010, when things looked bad for the Giants, I wrote “We Yellowbeards are NEVER more dangerous than when we’re dead!” Turns out my optimism that year was justified.

    Boy, are we on life support this time – weak pitching, weak hitting, hot Cardinal team, Zito on the mound tonight…

    Rally caps, boys and girls! We’re gonna need ’em!

  4. koufaxmitzvah - Oct 19, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    At least Zito is a Gaucho. This means, Giants fans, win or lose ya’ll can toss some tortillas, burn a couch, or smoke dope with the best of them.

    Of course, Schumaker is also a Gaucho, so this goes for the Cardinals team, too.

    Go Gauchos.

  5. Gamera the Brave - Oct 19, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Glad to see we have SOMETHING in common…
    Go Gauchos!
    (endures brief “Halloween in Isla Vista” flashback, recovers – mostly…)

    • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      Some of my best friends are Giants fans. Most of what I say in general is in jest.

  6. Francisco (FC) - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    And now the Giants’ season comes down to Barry Zito

    Anyone who saw this coming before the beginning of the season (Barry Zito being the Giants last hope in the playoffs) raise your hand…

    Hey! You! There in the back! Put your hand down. Stop lying!

    • eaststandsal - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      LOL!!! I like it. Z as saviour well in this Bizarro world where Timmy has been doing his impression of a fifth starter! Why not!

  7. mybrunoblog - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    From little Timmy to Zito. It almost makes you wonder how the Giants got this far. I think the Cards win tonight and we have a Detroit/St. Louis Word Series again.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      I think the Cards win tonight and we have a Detroit/St. Louis Word Series again.

      I can just see it now. ACROSS 4. Famously said he wanted to be a Cardinal For Life.

  8. chill1184 - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Just make the game interesting, blow outs are boring

    • cardsr4real - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      … for the losing team’s fans. I hope the Cards are a dozen runs up by the second inning.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        No, for every fan except the winning team’s fans.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 19, 2012 at 5:58 PM

        I expect the Giants to fight hard. I expect a competitve game from both teams.
        One thing I am not going to be is a CHUMP…”4 real.”
        One more thing…what FC said.

  9. APBA Guy - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Zito is capable of coming up big for 5 innings. It’s a low probability outcome but it could happen. If he does show up, will the Giants offense show up in support?

  10. alang3131982 - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    This could be Zito’s JD Drew moment — the one opportunity he has to have fans say “Sure he was overpaid, but can you believe what he did in game 5?”

  11. bayarea510 - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    RALLY ZITO!!!!!

  12. cur68 - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    It has come to this, has it? Zits. Its all up to Zits. Jeez. All season long I didn’t rely on this guy for anything, now a portion of my future baseball watching for the remainder of this season rests on his unreliable shoulders. Jeez.

  13. mungman69 - Oct 19, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    St. Louis has impressed me. They don’t seem to know how to lose.

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