Back when “Moneyball” was just a book, Barry Zito was a good pitcher. A lot of things have happened since that time, especially in the form of earned runs, hits and walks issued by Zito.
But on Monday, Old Barry Zito unexpectedly returned to the mound for the Giants at Coors Field. Zito pitched his first shutout since April 18, 2003 in leading the Giants to a 4-0 win over the Rockies, snapping a string of 274 consecutive starts between shutouts.
Unsurprisingly, Zito’s streak between shutouts is the longest in baseball history — most guys don’t get a chance to go that many starts without one before getting jettisoned. However, since the Giants signed Zito to an albatross seven-year, $126 million contract in 2007 that option has never been exercised.
Zito has never had a winning record in his time with San Francisco, but he finally pitched like the guy the Giants imagined they were getting in throwing the first shutout by any visitor to Coors since 2008.
Are we witnessing a career resurgence?
It’s far too early to tell if that will be the case, though Zito has changed his delivery this spring. My initial guess is this performance will end up saying a lot more about Colorado than it does about Zito. After dropping two of three to the Astros, then their home opener to the previously winless Giants, the Rockies are looking like they may be in for a long summer.