This one is on the manager. The Giants had their chance, heading into the sixth inning with a 4-0 lead. Barry Zito lied to himself and lied to his manager, and he should be held accountable for his irresponsible action; but Bochy has to know better.
…. The Giants had to swallow many bitter pills, starting with a 4-0 lead that vanished in two swings. Fielder hit a three-run homer in the sixth against Barry Zito, who started the inning with a two-hit shutout but admitted he was “a little gassed” after running from first to third in the top half.
Bochy has to be able to see, with his own eyes, that Zito was done after the two walks in the fifth inning that ended up causing no pain. But, no. Bochy and Righetti foolishly allowed Zito to go out and fact the top of the order to the third time. And then, after two more walks, two walks in which it was obvious that Zito could not control where the ball was going, that he was gassed, he walked out to the mound and asked him if he wanted to continue; which begs the question, why bother managing at all? Why bother having someone who can see the big picture, someone who can help the players get the most out of their abilities, someone who can plan for the many points in a game where decisions can make or break a team; if, when the time comes, you have no idea what you are doing?
…. “You can't explain that,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “This is one of those games you can't explain, what happened here. No question, that was as tough a game as you can have.”
What? You can't explain it? Let me try. You allowed a pitcher who has been struggling for three years to stop himself from sliding into obscurity to face th
e top young power hitter in the game –with the game on the line– even though it was obvious to EVERYONE that you should have taken him out. There, that wasn't so hard, was it? Look here, even the idiots at the SF Chron knew:
Barry Zito's recent trend has been to pitch well early, then suddenly blow up. His last four starts:
June 27 vs. Brewers: Allowed no runs and 2 hits through five innings; allowed 2 walks and a three-run homer in the 6th.
June 21 vs. Rangers: Had a no-hitter through six; gave up 2 hits and 2 runs in the 7th.
June 15 vs. Angels: Allowed 2 hits and 1 run through three; gave up 6 hits and 6 runs in the 4th.
June 10 vs. D'backs: Allowed 2 hits and 1 run through four; gave up 5 hits and 3 runs in 5th.
In a game the Giants had in hand, Bruce Bochy decided to allow Barry Zito to pitch to the heart of the Brewers order even though Zito has shown no ability whatsoever to be able to handle the task; and now they get to talk about a tough loss, instead of Zito's great start, or Pablo Sandoval's first multi-homer game, or the team's 40th win of the season.
This one's on him.
PS…. Pablo Sandoval is becoming, as we speak, a monster. His June line is simply the best we've seen since Barry Lamar:
8 doubles, 8 home runs, 18 RBI, .405/.469/.786 1.255 OPS
UPDATE: Nice bounce back win, the Big Sadowski and Nate combine to salvage the series. 40-34 heading into St. Louis. Still last in the NL in runs scored, first in runs allowed. Still need a bat.