Zito hit around, Giants drop another one to Pirates

USA TODAY Sports

The Giants continue to be annoyingly incompetent on the road, and they seem bent on setting new marks for pitching futility in the San Francisco era.

With Barry Zito's start on Wednesday, a Giants starting pitcher gave up at least seven earned runs for the seventh time this season, which is the most since 2009. If it happens twice more, they'll tie the worst mark since the team moved into AT&T Park.

Starting pitchers have given up eight earned runs three times this season -- just one time fewer than the team record since moving to San Francisco.

The Giants play in a pitcher's park in a low-offense era.

I'm starting to wonder about this pitching, everybody. So let's just get this out of the way:

It's not that far away, really. Tomorrow will be tough, sure, but all things must pass. And the Earth keeps spinning, spinning, spinning toward Gaudin's next turn. It's almost win day. Just keep the faith. Keep the faith.

Until then, we get to think about this game, in which Barry Zito looked the worst he's looked all season. Maybe. I can't remember. He definitely looked bad -- there were a couple of cheap hits in the first, but after that, he let unleashed a flurry of pitches that absolutely deserved to be hit. Sliders that didn't, fastballs that weren't, and all of them were at the belt, it seemed. This game reminded me of that quote from a scout I've referenced before, but can't find. Paraphrased: "If I were scouting a college game, I wouldn't even write a report on Zito."

Or, to put it another way, pretend that was a Giants farmhand making his major-league debut. He'd show 84 over the heart of the plate, and your jaw would drop. That's ... not a major-league pitcher, you'd think.

Zito is one of those, though. He's a major-leaguer. Just barely. His ERAs as a Giant, from best to worst:

4.03 - 2009
4.15 - 2010
4.15 - 2012
4.53 - 2007
4.79 - 2013
5.15 - 2008
5.87 - 2011

If I had to guess where he'll finish the season, I'd take somewhere between 4.15 and 4.53. Maybe 4.524444444444, just so he'll D-minus his way into that median slot. It would be the perfect finish to Zito's Giants career. Until the extension.

If you're not an ERA fan, you can note that his xFIP has been between 4.40 and 5.28 every single year since he's been a Giant. Once you go into that circle, the weather never changes. It is always 67 degrees with a 40-percent chance of rain.

I don't even know where I'm going with this. I just knew I had to acknowledge that Barry Zito started the game tonight, and it didn't turn out well. Pretty sure I've succeeded by now, so ... how was your day? Apart from the baseball game, I mean. Was work and/or school good? Say, that's super.

Star-divide

Losses from the last five seasons in which the Giants scored eight runs or more:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt
1 2013-05-17 SFG COL L 9-10
2 2013-04-16 SFG MIL L 8-10
3 2012-04-11 SFG COL L 8-17
4 2010-09-25 SFG COL L 9-10
5 2010-08-25 SFG CIN L 11-12
6 2010-04-16 SFG LAD L 8-10
7 2009-09-22 SFG ARI L 8-10
8 2009-08-22 SFG COL L 11-14

If you eliminate the games in Coors Field -- which you should because it's a freak ballpark that deserves to die alone -- it looks like an even more exclusive club. If you haven't had enough self-flagellation, you can click on some of those box scores. Good times, good times.

Star-divide


There's something about a game in which Francisco Liriano starts and Jason Grilli finishes, especially when it also features a high-priced luxury item doing unwatchable things for the seventh straight season. Is the universe trying to tell us something about the value of prospects and homegrown pitchers vs. overpriced free agents?

...

Probably not. If the universe has been telling us anything over the last few years, it's that we're pretty lucky to be Giants fans. They're calling the wrong number right now, though. You're supposed to dial "9" first to get an outside line, universe! You're freaking us out.

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