Zito (3-1, 3.42), coming off of the worst start of his career, jumped right back into his recent winning ways, allowing five hits with just one walk, four strikeouts, and no runs over seven innings. Zito started the season with 14 consecutive shutout innings, pushing his winning streak to 11 games and the Giants winning streak to 16 games when Zito started. But that streak was ended during last week’s start against the Milwaukee Brewers in which he gave up nine hits and nine runs in just 2 2/3 innings.
The fact that Zito was able to bounce back from that terrible outing and blank the Padres in his very next start on Sunday is huge for the Giants. Before Zito’s recent successful stretch, he was not able to mentally overcome bad outings, eventually leading to more poor performances and zero confidence. But there is a new confidence in Barry Zito, and the way he was able to immediately bounce back from his worst career outing may have been the most revealing thing in Zito’s new and improved game. The Giants organization has to be thrilled with what they saw.
The recent success of Zito has put him into consideration to be re-signed by the Giants despite his inability to fulfill his mammoth seven year-one $126 million contract in the early years. But being a Bay Area legend, a great mentor, and now having won two titles, being a major part of the second one, a good season by Zito may lead to a few more years in a Giants uniform. It would be tough to break up the dominant Giants starting pitching that has been so consistant for them over the past four plus seasons and I doubt that GM Brian Sabean will.
Zito’s next scheduled start is Saturday in San Diego. It will be a golden-opportunity to pick up another dominant win over a subpar Padres team.