I've been waiting all year to use this title, and, well, better use it now because I might not get another chance. Discouraging loss yesterday in 12 innings, young Tim on the mound didn't look so good and it looked every bit like a 0-fer road trip. Just to make it worse, we matched our 16 loss pitcher against the Rox 16 game winner. Lo and behold, the Gints came out a-swingin' and Zito came out a-pitchin'. Zito gave up 4 hits in 8 innings, threw a total of 75 strikes in 123 pitches, earned 2 runs (one a Clint Barmes home run) and struck out 5. In spite of his bad, bad outing last time, he has, generally, been on an improving trend. This is important, and not because of his high salary, but because we are going to be paying his salary so we might as well get some utility out of him.
Zito last 10:
5 IP, 2 er, 2/6 K/bb (Jul 10 @ NY)
6 IP, 3 er, 5/3 K/bb (Jul 22 WAS)
5 IP, 6 er, 4/5 K/bb (Jul 27 AZ)
8 IP, 0 er, 5/4 K/bb (Aug 2 @ SD)
5 IP, 5 er, 1/3 K/bb (Aug 8 LA)
5.2 IP, 6 er, 6/5 K/bb (Aug 13 @ HOU)
7 IP, 0 er, 3/2 K/bb (Aug 18 @ ATL)
8 IP, 3 er, 5/3 K/bb (Aug 23 SD)
3.1 IP, 7 er, 2/2 K/bb (Aug 29 @ CIN)
8 IP, 2 er, 5/2 K/bb (today, @ COL)
This is not a consistent uptrend, but it bears comparison with the early part of the year (when he rang up 11 of those 16 losses). The point is twofold: 1) Zito is not the suckiest suck who ever sucked, as some have alleged, and 2) We need this guy to pitch well next year, and thereafter, if we are going to be worth anything as a team. This encourages me that he has the potential to do so.
And talk about your potential! How about a 4 for 5 with 3 runs scored for Schierholtz, 2 for 5 with a home run for Pablito Sandoval, 3 for 5 with 3 rbi and a home run for Scott McLain, and 2 for 4 with 3 rbi for Travis Ishikawa. That's some hittin'!