Raise your hand if you thought Barry Zito had a snowball’s chance of pitching better than Justin Verlander during Game 1 of the World Series. Put your hand down because you have to be lying. The man with one of the worst contracts in history taking on the soon to be back-to-back Cy Young award winner. Imagine my surprise when I see Zito won the duel.
There is still plenty of time left for Game 1 to change hands, but both starters are already out of the game. The San Francisco Giants managed to get a solid 5 2/3 innings of baseball out of Zito. Verlander, on the other hand, went a crappy four innings. I figured you could flip those and it would be closer to true.
If there has been a better story than Zito during the MLB Playoffs, I would like to hear it. The man was an afterthought for the last few years. He had a huge contract and was absolute trash. It looked like a cautionary tale of not giving pitchers too much money. However, Zito has somehow found the old magic.
This is not the Zito that earned that big 126 million dollar contract. His fastball is not what you call fast. His stuff is not going to fool anyone anymore. He relies on cunning and guile. You can not get anymore cliche than that, but it is true. He has found something and turned it in to a gem.
Heck, Zito even added a RBI single. That is what you call doing it all. The Giants could still end up blowing the game, but Zito certainly gave them a chance to pull off a shocking win.