With each passing start (there have been 9 of them now), Barry Zito is reminding me more and more of a very expensive version of Woody Rueter. If he doesn't start topping out at a speed above 85 mph, he's going to start getting spanked. Is that really as hard as he can throw now? It's almost June for chrissakes. And the Giants' brass had no idea his arm was a piece of spaghetti when they signed him to the most expensive contract in the history of a game for a pitcher?
Okay, I'm overreacting a bit. I know that. But seriously, I'm starting to get pretty pissed. I fully realize that six of Zito's nine starts have been decent. Yeah, okay, great. That's all fine and dandy, but for one and a quarter+ million bucks, they need eight out of those nine to be spectacular, not just decent. Seriously, I hope I'm not alone in getting pissed off here. (And yes, I say the word "seriously" way too much.)
Zito's first inning against the A's last night was pretty atrocious. And it was all downhill from there. Three times he got ahead of A's hitters 0-2 in the first, only to walk all of them. He had an adrenaline rush, sure, but that is supposed to help a pitcher, isn't it? Okay, according to Krukow (who I finally got to listen to), it was probably hurting him since he is a "finesse" pitcher. Whatever. If adrenaline was the problem, then I suspect his fastball would have been buzzing in at 88 rather than 84 and 85.
I'm really concerned. Is there something wrong with his arm? I mean, can he really only throw 84-85 now?
Other random thoughts:
-- I agree with DMo that we need to see more of Kevin Frandsen. With the ever-so predictable Ray Durham leg/groin/vagina injury, it looks like it's going to happen sooner rather than later.
-- The offense is even more frustrating than Zito. The most painful aspect of watching Zito get down by three runs early is that you knew... you just KNEW... that the game was over, barring a miraculous offensive explosion. When Bonds isn't producing, there is no thump in the lineup.
-- As much as I love watching the young players play (and I really, really like watching the young players play), it's a problem when your offense is relying on Frandsen and Fred Lewis. They aren't the ones who are getting paid to produce runs.
-- Seven friggin walks, Zito? I mean, seven walks?! And 97 pitches through four innings? I can't get over how shitty he's pitching right now. Zito's stats on the year: 3-5, 5.13 ERA, 54.1 innings, 28 walks, 30 strikeouts.
-- Damnit. Damnit. Damnit.