Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Barry & Buster Show

Barry Zito put together another good start, this time on the road against an outstanding lineup. Think about it: Rafael Furcal is the worst hitter they have, and he has a lifetime .751 OPS. Those guys can rake, top to bottom, but Zeets mesmerized 'em and evened up the series. He had his usual big, looping 12-to-6 curve ball as well as a flatter, lower one that seemed to snap right at the end and drop out of the zone. Barry-Z was putting both right in the glove. There were several that Buster set the target for and didn't move a millimeter to catch them. Those pitches set up the fastball and he was hitting his spots with that as well. He even whipped out an occasional 73 mph slow ball (changeup?) that sort of fluttered out in front of the plate and fell away. In all, it was a big performance, especially after the ugly loss in the opener. LA lost to the Rockies again and the Giants are back to a 1-1/2 game lead--the Dodgers have scored one run against them at home in the two games.

Buster Posey launched another moon shot to continue his ridiculous hot streak. He has that relaxed, languid style that almost looks like he's moving in slow motion. What a treat it is to watch that guy! Barry Bonds had that short, compact stroke, and preternatural quickness. The ball would just jump off his bat. Being a pull hitter, even his monster bombs left the yard in a hurry. Buster is the opposite--he hits with power to center and right-center, and his homers have that soaring quality that send the outfielders racing back only to look up and see the futility of further chasing. Half the time Bonds hit one they'd just give it a glance and a shrug. Krukow talks a lot about his "inside-out approach" and it is impressive how he can hit the other way with power by "leading with the knob." This guy is a catcher, fer chrissakes, and you don't get seasons like this very often from such a premium defensive position. We are seeing historic production from our wunderkind, a kind of year guys like Pudge Rodríguez and Carlton Fisk used to rack up. Check out that draft class again. Do you think the Giants made the right pick?