Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Unflappable Barry Zito; and How Nick Noonan Fits

Phillies' outfielder Ben Revere's Glove
Yesterday was a very tragic day at the Boston Marathon that took our focus completely off baseball or sports in general and on our families and maybe hoping we find some quick justice soon.  That being said sports and baseball for me in particular has been a huge respite for the perils of everyday living or the horrors of terrible violent acts.  Giants baseball is and always will be an escape that we can go back to. 

I hope you find some release here thinking a little about baseball and more positive things while I hope justice is found in Boston and comfort to all the victims and their families.


The Giants are 9-4 so far in the early goings and Barry Zito is a big part of that mark, being one of the steady forces for the Giants that just churns out wins.

Barry is 2-0 so far with a 0.00 ERA in back to back 7 innings of work.  What's funny is I now expect a 7 IP 0 ER line from him every time out.  He's been that good, that consistent.  16 wins in a row consistent I might add.

Do you realize that everything Zito is everything Lincecum used to be, and what Zito used to be, Lincecum is right now.  Zito is all about control, getting balls in the strike zone, hitting his spots, keeping hitters off balance and throwing zeros on the board.  Lincecum has been erratic, getting himself in trouble by walking batters and struggling with both his confidence and control.

With that I just say:

Happy Barry Zito Day!

Honestly if Barry doesn't have a good game today (you might say I jinxed him) I would be shocked... SHOCKED.  He's been so locked in so masterful that I wont expect him to lose a game.  Will he lose a game eventually? Of course!  Will he get shelled on occasion? Sure.  But I'm not going to expect it, just like I didn't expect Timmy to struggle when he was pitching in 2008-2009.

As many analysts have covered, it doesn't matter that Zito hits 84 mph for his fastball, but that he can hit his spots and vary his pitches in a way that keeps batters off balance and guessing.  That very fastball has gotten Zito many outs in the past 16 starts as he can go high for a swing and miss or hit the corners for strikes or ground balls.  With an 84 mph fastball a lot of the power needs to come from the hitter himself, so it's tougher for guys to smash it out of the park unless they know it's coming and the location is off.


What is with Nick Noonan?  The kid was sent to minor league camp during spring training, then when the Giants realized we didn't have any adequate utility infielders left in camp, they brought Noonan back, only for him to make the team.  Now he's had just a handful of at-bats, 1 start and he's hitting .500 and got 2 RBI's in the Giants' double come from behind win on Sunday.

Before we tell Scutaro to start packing his bags, I'm going to be the voice of reason here and say we can't jump to conclusions with that small of a sample size, as Noonan spent 6 years in the minors and only hit .267 with a .322 on base percentage... not exactly awe inspiring numbers.  For now I'm very happy with him as a utility infielder and possible pinch hitter as he was on Sunday.


Hunter Pence needs some money from producers of kale right now.  As my friend Jon pointed out, he's hit a home run in each of the Giants' first four series.  One against the Dodgers, one against the Cardinals, one against the Rockies and finally one against the Cubs 1 strike away from losing the game.

If I'm doing my math correctly, this means if he keeps on this pace, he'll hit 51 home runs this year.  Hunter's career high is 25 which he's done 3 times, but he's really only been "crushing" kale in the past year.  51 homers it is...

Laws of the Day

After a rough go of it on Friday, Sergio Romo rebounded nicely on Sunday for a 10th inning save allowing only 1 hit, but not recording a strike out for the first time this year.  Romo already has 7 saves on the season.

No comments:

Post a Comment