Signs Of The Apocalypse
Barry Zito. Coors Field. I’m still in disbelief, two days later.
It’s still amazing. And unpredictable. And Giants fans are thankful, even as we laugh our asses off.
Some don’t see it that way. Sure, Zito wasn’t really carried off the field by his teammates like the comic shows, but you’d think he was based on some of the post-game comments. “It’s no secret he’s been buried by the fans, the media and everything like that,” Aubrey Huff said. “All the haters out there, that’s for them.”
Eh. Fans have a right to be upset. Zito is getting paid big bucks, and he hasn’t been able to even finish a full season as a rotation starter in the last two years. But that’s how it goes. Tim Lincecum should be paying attention to this. So should Brian Wilson. And even Matt Cain. When you sign a big contract, people will hate you. Even if you do well, but especially if you don’t. Someone will turn on you. A lot of someones. Money doesn’t just change you, it’ll change how people think of you.
Watch out. But at least that’s a couple years off for Tim and Brian.
Baseball is a weird game. And that could just be said about Zito’s 11-pitch at-bat where he got a hit with some of the weakest swings I’ve ever seen above t-ball. A few more notes about this:
• Barry Zito has the third longest period of time between shutouts in MLB history. He last threw a shutout as a member of the Oakland A’s, on April 18, 2003 against the Texas Rangers. Only Tim Wakefield and Kirk Rueter waited longer.
• There was one player who was there for the last Zito shutout: Ramon Hernandez. Hernandez, who was the catcher for the Rockies, was behind the plate for the A’s when Zito threw his 2003 shutout.
• He was just the second visiting pitcher to throw a shutout at Coors Field in the last 13 years. (Roy Oswalt is the other). Notably, in the first four years, 17 visitors threw shutouts. But that’s when the Rockies were an embarrassment to expansion teams.
• This was also the first shutout thrown by the Giants at Coors Field.
• Not Zito-related, but I learned from this research that Coors Field is now the third-oldest stadium in the National League. Whoa.
• Tom Glavine has two shutouts at Coors Field. Zito has one. Other non-Rockies left-handers in the rest of the world? None.
• Jamie Moyer was 40 when the last Zito shutout was thrown.
• The Giants have scored 21 runs in 4 games. Barry Zito has thrown a complete game shutout. The team is 1-3.
Crazy. Just, crazy.