Barry Zito Leaves Work Early to Watch the Fireworks

Aug 18, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (right) provides arms to Brandon Belt. NOT PICTURED: a joke about a pocket zito. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

It’s too hot for pitching. The energy required focusing on command, control, pitch selection, game situation, and sequencing cannot withstand the warm glowing warming glow of the summer sun.

A hot bat needs no heat, but a heated bat will ignite.

Joaquin Arias hit a home run.

* * *

Angel Pagan hit a double. Buster Posey defunded the Padres’ running game in the early going while contributing three hits to the Giants’ attack. Pablo Sandoval had two hits and drove in a run and made a great defensive play at third base AND ran the bases pretty well for a portly fellow coming off a hamstring injury. Hunter Pence had two hits and cross pollinated a couple of runs. Brandon Belt had a couple of nice at gangles. Justin Christian participated in the contest.

I’m desperate to ignite a torrid Scutaromance, but I’m going to hold off. It’s enough to say, as I did last night, that it was a great signing that has worked out quite well for the Giants (and, again, all the Giants acquisitions have worked out for the most part this season). It’s enough to say that I’m so excited for his hot streak that I’ve moved all mirrors – really, all glass – away from my person during the games. Marco Scutaro. An old dude coming through. This is going to reinforce a lot of bad habits in the front office, but I almost – almost – don’t care because they were in desperate need of competence up the middle and, lo, the Rockies obliged them. I want to love Marco Scutaro. I think I will ultimately fall madly in love with Marco Scutaro. But then the season will end and he’ll leave us, so, I will hold off on embracing the love. 143, Scutaro.

A series win isn’t *enough* at this point. The Giants are about to cross the River I-5 to face the begoggled Loneys of Los Angeles. Momentum is a pattern generated by our pattern-obsessed human brains. Sweeping a bad team on the eve of a big divisional matchup is just baseball. The Giants will meet the Dodgers when the offense is peaking, but let’s hope they have a sweep in their back pockets going into Monday night. Win. Just win. Just… win.

One day, a plucky young artist will leave her pre-med program to pursue her passion: art. She will experiment with oil paintings, sculpturing, violent experimental art pieces, before finally settling on photography. She will discover that she has no skills with a camera, no aptitude for the medium. She will not become so discouraged that she gives up her passion. On the one hand, to do so would mean abandoning two separate career paths in short order. On the other hand, she knows, knows down into her bones, that she has a great work, a masterpiece, within her. Perhaps it is not a single picture, but a series of them, a collection, if you will. The theme would be up for interpretation (art!), but the subject of the series would be clear:

Wtz_medium

Yeah. That guy. Barry to the motherloving Zito. The dude who taught John Mayer everything he knows about guitarring and lady-killing. The brah who spent a summer abroad teaching bulldogs to surf. Star of CBS’ long-running show JAG.

It would be a collection of images that captured his career and his humanity. The above image would be the final one in the career portion of the collection. Of course, the end of the humanity portion would be Barry dunking a basketball over the Dalai Lama. That's the logical conclusion to his personal journey, I think.

What I love most is the "coming up short" imagery. I suppose it's a metaphor for his Giants' career, but the image itself is literally his pitch coming up short of home plate. I mean, look at it. That says it all. Failing to throw his most famous pitch: the curveball. Falling behind in the count, as he is wont to do. Sure, that's a bit unfair. He certainly doesn't *want* to put himself in bad situations on the mound, but his relative talent to the rest of the league is such that he has a very, very slim margin for error, like Dane Cook trying to make people laugh. And that's all tonight's outing was: an error fest. He couldn't locate and he couldn't command his pitches effectively. It was a number five starter's start. Ho hum. He had a worse start last year in San Diego. I'd like to draw some sort of conclusion from that, but instead I'll point out that Barry Zito still has a winning record this late in the season!

Sergio Romo had a similar "incident" on the mound tonight, but then he also did this:

Sergio_medium

That's a nice contrast, I think.

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