Last night, I attended the San Francisco Giants game and watched Barry Zito face off against the top hitting team in baseball... the Texas Rangers.
Zito Warming Up W/Sanchez
Going into the game, the Rangers had never won a game at AT&T. Plus, Zito was coming off back to back strong performances against the Cubs and Diamondbacks, in which he pitched 15.1 innings, earned both wins, and gave up only two earned runs.
But last night, he wasn't so fortunate. The Rangers scored 4 runs off of Zito in 6 innings, including 2 home runs... one of which came on the second pitch of the game.
Hamilton launched the other one in the fifth inning for his MLB leading 22nd home run of the year.
Zito's woes carried over offensively. He was the only Giants baserunner to reach second base, but was immediately tagged out as he overran the bag. It just wasn't his night.
It's pretty evident that best days are long behind him... where he left them across the bay in Oakland. Out of his 150 career wins, 102 came in an Athletics uniform. So tonight's Saturday Night Five is dedicated to Barry Zito and some of the memorabilia cards I've picked up over the years.
2005 Upper Deck "Matinee Idols" #BZ
I'm not sure why Zito is part of this set, because he definitely has a better track record pitching at night.
2004 Leaf "Sunday Dress 2nd Edition" #2
I couldn't find a statistical breakdown of Zito's stats based on day of the week. But I found out that he excels in the month of August, where he has a career ERA of just 3.19 with a strikeout to walk ratio of 2.02.
2007 Ultra "Strike Zone Materials" #BZ
Zito struck out 1,096 batters as an Oakland Athletic, which is good enough to rank 8th all-time in franchise history.
2006 Sweet Spot "Super Sweet Swatch" #BZ
2006 was Barry's final season with the Athletics. He led the league in starts & batters faced and made the AL All-Star team for the third and final time.
2005 Bowman "Pieces of Greatness" #BZ
I remember how disappointed I was that Zito walked away from the A's to sign with the Giants. These days, I sit back and can't help by smile a little. His seven year, $126M contract looks foolish and is a source of contempt among many Giants fans.
But for me... I wish him nothing but the best (unless he's facing the A's or Padres). Last night, my voice was gone by the end of the evening, pulling for Barry. And I'll continue to be a fan of his until he retires or becomes a New York Yankee.
Happy Saturday everyone... and sayonara!