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Barry Zito got another start and it went poorly … again

Sep 3, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

Barry Zito Getty Images

It looked like Barry Zito had pitched his way out of the Giants’ rotation for the final time last week, but instead they gave him another start last night and he lost on the road again.

Zito was yanked after four innings against the Padres, allowing four runs while dropping to 0-9 with a 9.25 ERA in road games this season. He’s one month away from the Giants buying out his 2014 option for $8 million and saying goodbye to Zito after paying him $126 million, but manager Bruce Bochy told Andrew Baggarly of that he won’t be dropped from the roster:

We pull for him, believe me. I can’t tell you how much we pull for him. He’s a good teammate. What he did for us last year, you hate to see him go through this.  One thing about Barry: I know the results haven’t been good, but he’s all-in in his preparation and his effort. It’s just been a rough go, especially on the road.

As for his spot in the rotation, at some point you’d think being a nice guy and pitching for successful teams would take a backseat to being really, really awful. But who knows.

  1. sportsfan18 - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    At this point it doesn’t matter. Yes, he’s overpaid, a lot… Yes, he’s a good teammate…

    Yes he helped them win the title last yr…

    But since the Giants are going nowhere this yr and everyone has known that for quite a while, they should at least let him pitch a time or two at the end of the season since he’s most likely done playing ball after this yr.

    With his $8 million in buyout monies, he’ll have made around $145 million playing ball so he doesn’t need the money…

    He’s 35 and would turn 36 early next season if he plays but why would someone sign a soon to be 36 yr old pitcher whose ERA+ has been below league average for 6 out of the past 7 seasons and for the last 4 consecutive yrs?

    I mean 3 yrs ago his ERA+ was 60 (league average is 100). To this point this yr, he’s only at 57 for his ERA+.

    His career ERA+ is now down to just 105. I mean the Giants got a pitcher who performed so far below league average for his 7 seasons with them…

    Any team would be better to throw a kid out there to pitch to see what he could give you than basically a 36 yr old Zito with his track record for the past 7 seasons…

    If they want to pull him from the rotation, fine… Just let him make say two starts at the very end of the season…

    • emdash01 - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      He could probably get a minor league deal somewhere if he wants to keep pitching – a once-very-successful pitcher who throws left-handed? Someone would take a flyer on him. But it’s hard to say if he’d want to do the minor league bus thing after playing in the majors so long and making that much money.

  2. tablescrappy - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Yeah, not a nice guy. Not even close.

  3. sisqsage - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Since the basis of your post was about one start, focus on what happened in that game. They only scored one run on offense, so their chances of winning were not good, no matter what Zito did. Walking the pitcher was such a Zito thing to do, but lack of timely hitting played a bigger role in the defeat. Second and third and no outs and coming up empty is inexcusable, and a huge reason why they have a losing record in a season that was lost months ago. They had plenty of chances to get back in that game and failed. A better premise for a post about Z is why he is still getting sent out there. The fat contract was considered “sunk cost” by the end of 2010. So it shouldn’t be about feeling tied to the guy over a bad contract. They could have cut ties to him a long time ago with an imaginative deal like the way the Angels finally got rid of Wells or the Yankees shipping off Burnett, or what the Bosox did last year in dumping huge unproductive salaries. The AZ series went well with a great start by Petit and a 1-0 win by Lincecum. They could have swept with a break or two in a walkoff loss on Saturday. That series showed they can still play good ball. Sending Zito out there again took the mojo away from those impressive wins, and keeps the team from finding out about other pitchers who could have taken Zito’s spot and who might actually have a future with the team. Zito obviously doesn’t, which makes sending him out there another bad choice by Bochy and the front office in a season filled with them.

    • dcarroll73 - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      I agree with you in part about using some of Zito’s spots to check out some young pitchers (I am a Giants fan BTW.) When I write “in part” I am referring to the weird home-road split Zito has. If he pitches well at home, use him. Has anyone done an analysis of that split? I know the Giants play in a pretty pitcher-friendly park (at least since the opposing pitcher hasn’t had to face Mr. Bonds) but is that enough to explain the major imbalance in Zito’s record this year?

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