While Barry Zito has struggled recently at home, he may have the
ideal opponent and batterymate to end those woes Sunday when the
San Francisco Giants wrap up a three-game set with the Colorado
The left-hander is on the verge of his first 10-win season since
2009, but he has lost three consecutive starts at AT&T Park and
has a 10.24 ERA in the last two. Zito (9-8, 4.19 ERA), though, has
momentum and history on his side.
He did not walk a batter Tuesday for the first time since his
season debut four months ago, limiting St. Louis to two runs in 6
2-3 innings of a 4-2 win.
“He pitched a great game,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He gave up
a couple of home runs … but he didn’t let that faze him at
Facing the Rockies usually hasn’t fazed Zito, either. He tossed
a four-hit shutout at Coors Field on April 9 and improved to 6-2
with a 2.39 ERA in 18 lifetime appearances against them – the last
loss came in 2008. At home versus Colorado, Zito is 3-1 with a 1.67
ERA in eight starts, striking out 50 in 59 1-3 innings.
Zito could get help in extending his mastery of the Rockies from
catcher Buster Posey, who is likely to start again for the Giants
(62-52) after pinch hitting in the series opener. Posey hit a
two-run homer in Saturday’s 9-3 win, and he’s batting .444 with six
homers and 14 RBIs in 10 games this month.
“I’m comfortable hitting here and see the ball well,” said
Posey, hitting .443 with nine homers and 32 RBIs since the All-Star
break. “The park is big but all the gaps are big, too.”
Posey is 13 for 33 with three home runs versus the Rockies this
Despite Saturday’s loss, Colorado (41-70) still has a chance to
post a winning record on its six-game road swing against the top
two teams in the NL West after taking two of three from the Los
To enhance those chances, the Rockies may need Alex White (2-6,
5.75) to overcome the control issues that have plagued him this
season. On Tuesday, the right-hander exited after four shutout
innings against the Dodgers in an eventual 3-1 victory because he
walked five and quickly reached his pitch limit as part of
Colorado’s four-man rotation.
“We know what we’ve got. We’ve got 75 pitches, and our job is to
get as far as we can,” said White, who has issued at least four
walks in four of his past seven starts.
Drew Pomeranz also pitched only four innings Saturday, the
major-league leading 33rd time a Rockies starter has lasted four or
White was hit hard by the Giants in losing his only two career
starts against them in an 11-day span last September, getting
tagged for nine runs and 15 hits in 9 2-3 innings.
Carlos Gonzalez, in an 0-for-11 slump over his last four games,
is one of the few Rockies to have some success against Zito, going
8 for 23 with a triple and a home run.
Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler is questionable for this game
due to back spasms that prevented him from playing Saturday.