Tag Archives: barry zito

The Backwards Cap Was a Trainwreck, But the Rest of It Wasn’t

Barry Zito is one of the most puzzling creatures currently gracing Major League Baseball.  And I mean that in the nicest possible way (for now).  He took the mound last night in San Francisco and led the Giants to their fourth straight win.  Those four straight wins, incidentally, have been the four games following the MCM.  Speaking of puzzling news.  Sabes should really take note of the fact that this team evidently responds quite well to reverse psychology and the media saying their world has come crashing down and all that stuff.  Heck, maybe he should start paying the media to say nasty things about the team’s future.  Four-game win streaks might follow.  Might be awesome.  Might be the new Moneyball.  Might stop the Bay Area is a cheating hotspot! chatter (lookin’ at you, Bartolo Colon) and usher in a new era of, Bay Area is a baseball innovation hotspot!  Or is paying the media to write something about you cheating…?

Either way!  Back to Zito.  It’s August 24th and he’s sporting a winning record and an ERA of 4.31.  He’s had some terrible starts and some absolutely dazzling ones, but he’s been good enough overall that I don’t feel the difficult-to-resist urge to cringe every time he pitches.  And yesterday, he pitched a shutout into the ninth.  And got “Barry!” cheers.  And was like, “Duuuuuude,” in his postgame press conference.   (Just kidding about the last part.)

He also wore a backwards cap, which was kind of a trainwreck, but nothing else about last night was, so I’ll just forgive and forget.

Angel Pagan went on being über-Angel Pagan who’s his amazingly fabulous alter ego, as far as I can tell.  The offense actually hit and Hunter Pence put down a marvelous bunt which all left me in a state of slight disbelief.  In a good way.  A very, very good way.

Diamond Girl

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Closer-By-Committee is Like Dinner-By-Committee

Whew, that felt like an actual baseball game!  It doesn’t feel like we’ve had one of those in a while, in both a positive and negative way.  Going back to the last game of the Mets series, the finals have been:  1-9, 16-4, 11-6, 8-3 and 2-8.  Lots and lots of crooked numbers.  That’s why yesterday’s game was kind of a welcome surprise, because although Buster Posey pretty much blew it open and never looked back in the first with a three-run homer, it was still a final of 4-2.  And can I just say again, How hot is Buster Posey?  It’s a little bit ridiculous at this point.  Ridiculous in the completely elated sense of the word.  Ridiculously wonderful.

Barry Zito also had a huge game, in a completely different way.  He’s been struggling lately and I think a lot of people (myself included, mostly) had a bad feeling coming into that start.  He proved us all wrong by throwing out a quality start, 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs.  He put himself back into the win column and in the middle of August, that’s pretty huge for Zito, who’s never finished with a winning record as a Giant, if memory serves me right.

The last person who super-über came through is my very favorite Jeremy Affeldt who has to have put himself in the closer conversation big time, if he wasn’t there already.  He has only three saves this year but quietly, he’s looked very, very good.  With Casilla struggling on the field and battling a blister issue off the field, the closer-by-committee is the word of the moment.  (This seems to be Bruce Bochy’s favorite thing ever.  Not sure why.  It’s a little like picking-what-we-should-have-for-dinner by committee.  And I don’t know about you guys, but in my family, that doesn’t really ever at all work.)  Romo’s been mostly fantabulous as well, but he can be fantabulous in the 8th, right?  Javier Lopez can work his magic at other handpicked moments.  Having a closer goes a long way, in my opinion.  Just like executive dinner-making decisions go a long way.  Pasta caprese every night.  Also, Jeremy Affeldt every save situation.

 

We have two more games in St. Louis now because of this devilry called a four game series, so get used to the extremely hot weather from afar.  Ryan Vogelsong is taking the mound and Buster Posey is taking the everything-else.  It’s going to be good.

Diamond Girl

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Being Cold In 99° Weather

It’s not like Colorado is all that fantastic this year (understatement of the century?  Perhaps.) but still, coming off of that sweep, seeing a little momentum carry over would have been good.  The Cardinals very unceremoniously killed any momentum that might have been there, taking the first game of the series by a final of 8-2.  Angel Pagan led off the game with a homer and is staying hot, along with Buster Posey who is way beyond hot right now, but then Carlos Beltran gave it right back.  We love you too, Carlos.  Not.  (That’s out of my system now.  I will attempt to cease being bitter to him.)  The story just got sadder from there, basically, with Matt Cain continuing his iffy numbers since the perfect game back in June and the offense proving that even though the high in St. Louis is 99° there today, they can still hit like they’re in a fog.

Our home stadium, ladies and gents.

ButyouknowStLouiswontheWorldSerieslastyearsoitsnotlikeyoucanblametheGiantsforhavingtroubleagainstthemright?  Eh.  Maybe not.  Logic is not exactly in my favor.

Still, Barry Zito’s on the mound tonight for San Francisco so this one should be interesting.  He’s 8-8 on the year with a 4.27 ERA and has basically taken a nosedive since starting the season very strongly.  It’s not like our chances look fantastic for tonight, but I am curious to see what he’ll do tonight and haven’t completely written him off for the year.  The win-loss statistic is this side of meaningless, but if he could squeeze out a win and take a winning record for the moment, it might mean a tiny something in his Giants career.

Seriously, though, if you’d like to feel better about the Giants chances at winning this division, check out who the Dodgers lost 2-zip to, yesterday.  Colorado, people.  They went 0 for 8 with RISP.  Against the Rockies.  And they do not have anything close to the excuse of theywontheWorldSerieslastyear.

Diamond Girl

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Buster Posey Being Buster Posey

I shouldn’t have worried so much.  The Giants had that down, obviously.  Then again, my worrying did create this, so no complaints there.

 

Yes, they were every bit as delicious as they look, if I do say so myself.  And the Giants were every bit as wonderful as the box score might imply.  Nine runs in the actually-tolerable Atlanta weather (77 at gametime, aka miracle) and Barry Zito pitched not at all like a melting ice cream cone, in addition to driving in a run and altogether making me wonder how I ever complained about him.  Buster Posey was kind of the star of the show – there were a lot of stars, but he was one of the big ones – driving in five runs on three hits.  As noted yesterday, Atlanta is close to home for him and family and friends come to watch him droves, so his performance was fantastic in more ways than one.

A tidy 2.0 has turned into an even tidier 3.0, which is the biggest lead the Giants have had in nearly a year, if memory serves me right, so basically everything is golden right now.  This roadtrip is off to a much better start than the, um, last one.   Much better.

The one piece of bad news from the game was Hector Sanchez’s injury.  He was placed on the 15-day DL today with a leg injury and Eli Whiteside is on a plane to join the team in Atlanta as I write.  A lot of people seem terribly dismayed by this and while it’s certainly not good news, I am inclined to think the drop-off in production from the backup catcher is not going to be all that tremendous.  Is Whiteside likely to tear it up?  Nah.  He batted .197 last year.  This year, Sanchez is batting .281.  That’s clear enough, but I still think Whiteside will be just fine for the team for a couple weeks.  Also, with Buster Posey Being Buster Posey, it may or may not make a terribly huge difference.

If it does, there are always blueberry muffins to be made.  It’s been too long since I’ve done those.

Diamond Girl

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Red Velvet Cupcakes, Atlanta and Jonathan Sanchez’s Magic Leather Jacket

During the 2010 season, I baked a lot of cupcakes.  A lot, a lot.  I pretty much had cupcakes coming out of my ears during that year.  At the time, I told myself it was about the baking.  Looking back now at my fragile psychological state, I realize it was never about the cupcakes.  (The first step is admitting you have a problem, y’know.)  It was about the Torture with a Capital T.  See, when I get nervous and frazzled, I bake.  Tons.  Tons.

Which is why I’m feeling a strange sense of déjà vu as I stare at the red velvet cupcake recipe printed and sitting next to me on my desk.  I tell myself that I am longing for red velvet cupcakes, but it’s also worth noting that the Giants are starting off a key, six-game roadtrip later this afternoon against the Braves.  And yeah, I’m nervous.  And yeah, I’m baking.

Can I just talk out my fears?  You don’t mind, do you?

a)      Barry Zito will melt.  He’s been known to go all ice-cream-cone-in the-sun-on-us.  This is not irrational.

b)      We’ll, like, get no-hit.  These things happen.  And Buster Posey’s entire extended family/every person he’s ever met in his life will probably be there, because they always are when the Giants hit Atlanta.  That would be embarrassing, guys.

c)       My red velvet cupcakes will taste like vinegar.  All the recipes I’ve looked at have cider vinegar in them.  I’m told cider vinegar is sweeter than normal vinegar, but I can’t get the theoretical taste of a cupcake with Balsamic vinegar out of my head.  Speaking of embarrassing.

d)      The beautiful round number of 2.0 games ahead of the Dodgers will shrink.

e)      Jonathan Sanchez, in a jealous rage after being DFA’d by the Royals, will get out his Magic Leather Jacket and place a curse on the Giants so they can never wear chic clothes again and, somewhat less importantly, lose.

f)       Hector Sanchez, seeing they are away and there is no chance at a walk-off, will decide to go 0’fer.  Just because.

Whew.  That feels better.  Thanks for listening.  You guys are the best.  Must go make cupcake frosting now.  xoxo.

Diamond Girl

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