Saturday, November 2, 2013

Why Barry Zito failed in San Francisco

When the Giants signed Barry Zito before the 2007 season many fans were excited that they got a pitcher to back up their rotation that had Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum as the 2 young aces on the team. Zito was signed to be a 3rd ace on a young Giants staff where the oldest player was Matt Morris at 32. The Giants probably should have avoided giving Zito 126 million as he hadn't had an ERA below 3.30 since 2003. Zito went 11-13 that year with the Giants with a then career worst 4.53 ERA.

Going into 2008 Zito seemed likely to be headed for a rebound year but instead he regressed posting a 10-17 record with a 5.15 ERA. He walked 102 batters and struck out 120 with an ERA+ of 85. A very alarming ration for a pitcher in his prime.

Zito pitched alright in 2009 and 2010 going only 19-27 but with a 4.09 ERA in 66 starts. He walked 165 and gave up 41 homers between those seasons and had an ERA+ of 100. Zito struggled through an injury filled 2011 making 9 starts and 4 relief appearances finishing with an ERA of 5.87 which is his career worst. He again struggled with his command with 24 walks in 53 innings with 32 strikeouts. He had an ERA+ of only 60.

Zito enjoyed an impressive bounce back season where he went 15-8 in 32 starts with a 4.15 ERA and came up big in the postseason where he dominated in his only World Series and NLCS starts. Giving up only 1 run in 13.2 innings.

In his final season with the Giants Barry Zito was awful with a 5-11 record, a 5.74 ERA, and 54 walks in 133.1 innings pitched. Zito never showed the magic he showed with Oakland.

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