Zito, who has had a rather dismal time in San Francisco, has been pitching very well in the last two years of his big seven-year deal.
The veteran continued his remarkable form, tossing seven strong inning, allowing just one earned run on four hits. Zito kept the Phillies hitters off balanced for the duration of his outing. His cut fastball induced many weak ground balls, as did his big 12-6 curveball, tempting hitters as it disappeared below their knees.
Pettibone held his own, allowing three earned runs over 5.2 innings pitched, but the veteran Zito clearly out pitched him.
With the team down late in the game, the Phillies offense produced runs in the ninth inning to win or extend a game for just the second time this year. The blown save was just the second surrendered by Sergio Romo since becoming the Giants closer last season.
In the end, however it was a rough loss for the Phillies after fighting so hard to tie it, but good signs can be taken out of this game and the series as a whole.
In the first two games, the Fightins played extremely well from start to finish. They got the timely hits in the big spots and played stellar defense behind exceptional pitching. The Phils started slow in game three, but they continued to battle and came through late in the game — something they have done very little of all season.
A sweep would have been ideal, but two of three from the defending world champions on the road is not bad either. Take it for what you will, but the Phillies seem to be finding their identity now, and things are starting to click.