Zito won’t be among Giants’ playoff starters
Barry Zito pitched himself out of the San Francisco Giants’
rotation for the playoffs. As far as making the roster as a
reliever, he said he doesn’t know where he stands.
Manager Bruce Bochy told Zito on Wednesday he will not start in
the best-of-five NL division series against the wild-card Atlanta
”I just know I’m not pitching, I’m not starting,” Zito said
after the Giants’ workout Wednesday night. ”I’m disappointed in
myself for not cracking that rotation. Obviously playoffs is why we
play this game. It was a team effort to get to this place but we’ve
got to go with the guys now. I feel like I can help this team in
the playoffs and I have experience. But I stand behind Boch, he’s
the skipper. I stand behind his decision.”
Bochy is going with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez
for the first three games. After that, he will decide between
Lincecum and rookie Madison Bumgarner.
While it’s disappointing for the left-hander, it’s not
surprising. Zito (9-14), who signed a $126 million, seven-year
contract before the 2007 season, lost to the Padres on Saturday
when San Francisco had a chance to clinch the division. The Giants
wound up doing it Sunday in their final game. Zito gave up
consecutive bases-loaded walks in the first and was booed off the
field when done after a season-low three innings.
Now, Zito will turn his attention toward supporting his
”My heart and soul is in this clubhouse,” Zito said. ”I have
no other options in myself than to pull for every one of these
Zito, the 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with the Oakland
Athletics, has been largely disappointing since joining the
He failed to reach 10 wins for the first time since his rookie
season in 2000. His 4.15 ERA is the fourth-highest of his career.
He went 1-8 with a 6.72 ERA over his last 11 outings and 10 starts
and only had one victory in his last 15 appearances. The stretch
included a career-worst nine-game losing streak from July 21 to
Bochy said outfielder Aaron Rowand, who lost his starting job in
center to Andres Torres midway through the season, was on the
roster. With a $12 million salary this year, Rowand is the
second-highest paid Giant behind Zito.
”I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want to play in the
postseason,” Rowand said. ”I’m glad I’m on the roster and I will
try to help out anyway I can. You’ve just got to be prepared to get
up and put together quality at-bats.”