By Morris Phillips
August 21, 2013
It’s not just that the Giants are losing. It’s how they’re losing.
Wednesday’s 12-1 super-sized beat down at the hands of the Red Sox wasn’t just embarrassing, it may have been Barry Zito’s final start as a Giant, less than four innings in length and hard to watch as the Boston hitters found the lefty’s offerings to be of little mystery.
For GM Brian Sabean, trying to figure out which parts of his last place club should return for 2014 and which parts should be dispatched to the nearest recycling center couldn’t be any more difficult. One year removed from a second World Series title in three years, the Giants carried the worst record in baseball for nearly two months and now seem just as unhealthy in completing a third month of awful performances. The 2013 Giants will be known for meager offense supported by raggedy pitching that have their opponents reluctant to leave town after a three or four game series.
The Red Sox came in struggling and sleepy and left town Wednesday afternoon happy and alert, just what you would expect after a 12-run outburst that took just 12 hits with have of those going for extra bases. After Stephen Drew’s three-run homer in the seventh off reliever Michael Kickham it was hard to tell if the game was being played at AT&T Park or Fenway Park.
Zito allowed half of the 12 runs and was gone in the fourth inning, and this was after the veteran was temporarily promoted back into the starting lineup due to Chad Gaudin’s injury. But Zito the starter wasn’t any better than Zito the reliever as the desultory appearance kept his ERA over 10 over his five relief appearances and Wednesday’s start.
So what could the multi-millionaire athlete offer in explanation afterwards?
“Some strange stuff happened out there today,” Zito said. “Baseball is a strange game sometimes. The nature of the game is so unpredictable. That’s why we all love it and why we all hate it.”
Given that explanation, we move on to Thursday evening when the first place Pirates begin a four-game set with the Giants that starts with a Jeff Locke-Matt Cain matchup at 7:15pm.