Barry Zito came into the game as a reliever in the ninth inning. That's almost a perfectly telling headline for the entire game, but let's focus on what really mattered in that particular instance: when he came into the game, Zito was good for nothing more than batting practice. No velocity, no control, and minimal command. It was a recipe for hard hit balls and dingers. Barry Zito is essentially a wet salt packet at an ice cream shoppe. How did it get there, and what are we supposed to do with it? Throw it away? I mean, obviously, the salt packet is here in this ice cream shoppe for a reason. Right? Is salting ice cream a thing? Do they serve saltworthy foodstuffs in addition to the ice cream? What if this is the last salt packet? We'd better hold on to it. Right?
So yeah, there's some saving face going on here. It's a very good bet that Barry Zito and Jeff Francoeur are not long for this sport. It's a shame that the Giants have decided to become a halfway home for dying baseball players, but we've known that for a good long while now.
Still, thanks for all the memories, Barry Zito. There was NLCS game 5 and World Series game 1 and... your hair, the mustache, sometimes that curveball, uhhh... high socks, right? And an endless stream of clever fan-generated images.
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In three years, we'll look back on the practically dead on arrival 2013 season, glance at the lineup and ask, "Whoa, what happened to left field?"
We'll have to remind ourselves that the Giants *willingly* opted for a platoon. Gambled, really, then lost that gamble and tried to cover their losses with Jeff Francoeur, Kensuke Tanaka, and Roger Kieschnick.
One of the most profitable franchises in Major League Baseball, a year after winning the World Series, went into the title-defending season with one hand tied behind their back and thought, "Nah, we'll be fine."
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Matt Cain looked decent for pretty much the entire game. The pitch that lost him (and the Giants) the game was an up and in fastball to J.J. Hardy, which wasn't the *worst* pitch in that moment, and it wasn't that he failed to execute the pitch, it's that his stuff couldn't beat Hardy, which is a bummer, because I love Matt Cain, you love Matt Cain, we all love Matt Cain, but in that moment, J.J. Hardy bested him.
Besides that, though, slider looked good, fastball was fine, and he was getting most of his outs via the flyballs. You could argue that if the Giants had Carlos Gomez
or Adam Jones (as DFA Schulman points out: Adam Jones ain't so great, especially when compared to Gregor Blanco) or a defender of that ilk (which, if you recall, is what the Giants have been obsessed with obtaining for a good 4 years now -- a ridiculous defense -- but have failed to do so) out in center field, Chris Davis' leadoff double wouldn't have happened and then who knows what might've happened with the Hardy at bat.
But this is a forgettable season for a bad team so it hardly seems worth breaking down and picking on certain plays not being made. The Giants couldn't get their offense going after the first inning, so, it's practically irrelevant what happened later on in the game.
Still, that wasn't the orange and black I wanted Bud Norris to wear after the trade deadline.
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A final thought for your Sunday: