Barry Zito couldn’t get anyone out in an exhibition season that saw him give up 17 runs and 32 hits in 19 1/3 innings and ditch his experimental windup. The Rockies, though, were frustrated by him all day Monday.
Zito pitched his first shutout since 2003, allowing just four hits and walking none, in a 7-0 victory for the Giants.
Zito’s gem followed up a weekend in which the Giants were swept by the Diamondbacks, with Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain combining to give up 14 runs in 15 1/3 innings.
Zito completed just two games in his first five years with the Giants. His last shutout came in his fourth or seven years with the A’s. He had four career shutouts before turning into more of a six- and seven-inning pitcher beginning with the 2004 season. He went 3-4 with a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and four relief appearances for San Francisco last year.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.