With all due respect to Julio Lugo’s attempt to record 30 errors (by the All-Star break), the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami should’ve asked whether or not the Giants’ Barry Zito has what it takes to lose 30 games. As is, Kawakami calls Surfin’ Barry, losing pitcher in San Francisco’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Pirates Wednesday night, “a wide-eyed, slurp-throwing, head-scratching piece of Pitching Mound Theater”.
You don’t tune in to a Zito start to see if he’ll win, because that never happens anymore, not on this reality show.
You tune in to see how he loses, how the Giants absorb and explain the losing, how heavily his $126 million contract weighs on everybody (only about $110 million left to burn off!), and how much deeper he plunges into the chasm.
Wednesday, the Giants couldn’t have set this up any more carefully, which is what shaky franchises do when handling multi-millionaires who lose their first six starts after flopping the previous season.
Zito last started and lost on April 27. He never entered a game during his “bullpen time.”
And then he was plopped back into the rotation on the road (to prevent home heckling), against the mediocre Pirates (to avoid unnecessary battering) and just in time to make sure he misses the powerful Philadelphia Phillies this weekend at AT&T Park.
A scary note for Giants fans: After flailing against some Pirates pitcher named Phil Doumatrait, the Giants have been outscored 42-9 in Zito Games.
A scarier note: Right now, Giants fans, regardless of salary, would you trade Zito straight up for Doumatrait, whoever he is?