Barry Zito has a new delivery. Again.

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Every year people wonder if Barry Zito is ever going to be a good pitcher again. Not a lot of people. No, those crowds disappeared several years ago.  The number of people still hoping for a Zito turnaround is roughly the same as the number of those Iraq War protesters who still show up on that one corner every Saturday for some reason like it never stopped being 2003.

But for those optimistic and hearty souls, there is news. Barry Zito has a new delivery:

Barry Zito made a slight change to his delivery this winter he hopes will help him rebound from an injury-plagued season.

During the offseason, he worked on bending his front leg to get lower to the ground and speed up the momentum the ball gains traveling to the plate.

That’s great. It’d be even greater if he hadn’t done this before.  Like, say, in 2007, when he also said that the tweak in his delivery was to create more “momentum” in his fastball. Then in 2008 when he changed his arm slot. Then in 2010 when he changed his arm slot again. Then in 2011 when he did it again.

Hey, maybe this time he has figured it out.  I just think it’s way more likely that “he changed his delivery” or “he altered his arm slot” is empty Barry Zito-ese designed to either give fans or himself some sort of hope that something different will happen this year. Finally.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.