After the San Francisco Giants' mortifying come-from-behind loss on Sunday, there was nothing that the team didn't seem capable of doing. Or not doing.
Except, perhaps, what happened today in Game 4 of the 2012 season -- starter Barry Zito pitched his first complete nine inning shutout game in nearly a decade, and his first ever as a San Francisco Giant.
Zito led the Giants to a 7-0 victory over Jhoulys Chacin and the Colorado Rockies. The Giants 2012 record now stands at 1-3.
Seven-Game Word Summary: Meet the new Giants underdog: Barry Zito.
The Skinny: Be honest -- did anyone think Barry Zito was going to get a win in this game? After Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner flailed like grounded fish in their starts and Matt Cain experienced a mid-game meltdown that rivaled Chernobyl, the thought of The Incredible Disintegrating Barry Zito starting the Rockies series for the Giants seemed like the straw that was going to break the camel's win-less back. Visions of 0-4 danced in fans' heads.
Zito's spring training was the stuff of nightmares. Hell, the man's entire career with the Giants has seemed like an expensive mistake. But today, he's the Man of the Hour, the Come-From-Behind Giants Hero, the Overnight Success that's been years of work, tears and heartache in the making. If Zito can keep this together, there really is nothing this Giants team won't be capable of doing. Or not doing.
The Game, By the Numbers:
411: The number of feet Pablo Sandoval's first inning, two run homer traveled along the right field line.
78: The number of pitches Barry Zito had thrown by the end of six innings. Many pitchers get into the mid-70s by the fourth inning.
3: The number of Giants that scored on a Brandon Crawford double in the fifth inning.
11: The number of pitches Barry Zito, Unexpected Aggressive Hitter, forced the Rockies pitcher into throwing before hitting a single in the seventh inning.
114: The total number of pitches Barry Zito threw during the game.
4: The total number of Rockies hits Barry Zito allowed.
0: The total number of walks Barry Zito allowed.
Quotes o'the Game:
From KNBR 680 announcer, Jon Miller, during Zito's eighth inning on the mound:
It's like he's been reborn here today.
Jon Miller, after the conclusion of the game:
There are very few pitchers that have pitched a better ball game against the Colorado Rockies here at Coors Field than Barry Zito did today....Barry Zito was as good as he's ever been.
And one from Aubrey Huff:
I couldn't be happier for Barry. To see him go out there and throw a complete-game shutout, in Colorado -- that was just fun to watch. I never wanted to scoop a ball at the end right there for the last out harder in my life. He's been going through some times this spring, and to go out here and do what he did in Colorado after [our] 0-3 start, it's just amazing. Just when you think you've seen it all in baseball.
The Giants have an off-day on Tuesday, April 10th, before resuming their three-game series against the Colorado Rockies.
On Wednesday, April 11th, Tim Lincecum and the Giants will go up against Jeremy Guthrie and the Rockies with the starting pitch scheduled for 5:40 p.m., PST.