Hope Springs Eternal
The Giants are now 2-0 after Barry Zito, of all pitchers, utterly flummoxed the Astros today in Houston. Zito threw six shutout innings allowing only three hits, one walk and striking out five. That’s as good as it gets for Zito, at least since he’s been a Giant.
Four relievers, Waldis Joaquin, Dan Runzler, Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson, came in and pitched three shutout innings to lock down the shutout and the 3-0 win. The Giants are going to have to win their share of 3-0 games this year if they are going to make the post-season, so it’s good to see them get the first one so soon into the new season.
It may surprise some that Zito started Game 2 of the 2010 season, rather than obviously more talented Matt Cain. However, the reason is fairly obvious. Aside from the fact that Zito is the big-salaried veteran, the Giants like the idea of putting a breaking-ball pitching lefty between their two right-handed cannon-ballers. Keeps the opposition off balance, as they say.
If 2010 turns out to be Zito’s best year as a Giant (sorry fans, Zito’s never going to repeat his Cy Young year for the A’s), and their big four starters remain healthy, it’s going to be a good year in San Fran.
I really think that Jonathan Sanchez will have a strong year if he stays healthy. The no-hitter (nearly perfect game) he threw last year suggests he’s very close to the tipping point of becoming an great, or at least very good, starting pitcher.
I don’t have huge confidence in Todd Wellemeyer, but he is a veteran who will hopefully eat up some innings and give the Giants a chance to win on his fifth days.
I’m too much of a cynic to get excited during Spring Training, but all it takes is a couple of real wins, and a great performance by ne’er-do-well Giant Barry Zito, to get my hopes up. Someone once said that a cynic is nothing but a disappointed romantic, and there’s probably some truth to that statement.
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