Before making plans not to be near a tv on Sunday, Giants fans, there is this: way back in the day when he was on the A’s, he was a pretty good playoff pitcher. There’s the 2001, 2 hit, 1 run, 8 inning performance against the Yankees. He did it again in 2006 against the Twins, giving up 4 hits and 1 run in 8 innings. Then he went to the Giants in 2007. Tonight is going to *define* Barry Zito as a Giant. He wins, and almost everything is forgotten. He repeats his last playoff start and doesn’t get out of the 3rd inning?…. Let’s go Barry!
Last night, the Giants played their worst game of the playoffs. Walks, errors, bad at bats in big moments. Lincecum wasn’t terrible and was a pitch and a relay catch away from a very solid performance. Given that they can’t hit, and their starting pitchers aren’t pitching well, I’m not sure why they deserve to go to the world series. The team looks done, but that’s often when they play their best.
If Posey was catching, isn’t Carpenter out at home, and the Giants get out of the 5th inning 2-1?
Lincecum, to his credit, didn’t sign a long term contract last year when he could have. He’s a free agent next year and if his fastball doesn’t come back…he won’t get the benefit Zito did of getting a long term deal before he lost his velocity and mind. But I think Timmy comes back strong next year. Barry comes back big tonight. And while were at it, Aubrey Huff gets more than three pitches in his pinch hit at bat and gets a hit that goes more than 100 feet like his last one. (It’s really a comedy routine when he comes up. He just doesn’t look like he’s trying. The at bats are over before they begin.)
Switching topics, I often wonder how much corporate sports can mess up the game before fans revolt. Kind of like oil companies and car driving. If gas was $12 a gallon, I bet most Americans would still drive around in their SUVs. And tomorrow represents another one of those moments. A huge rivalry game, Cal-Stanford, ‘the Big Game’, is now being played in October in the middle of the season. It’s the kind of game that is supposed to define a season–beat the other, and you could be 1-10 and the season is still a success. It was the playoff game to end the year. Hard to have that kind of meaning now, when it’s followed by a game the next week against Washington State.