It looked like Barry Zito had pitched his way out of the Giants’ rotation for the final time last week, but instead they gave him another start last night and he lost on the road again.
Zito was yanked after four innings against the Padres, allowing four runs while dropping to 0-9 with a 9.25 ERA in road games this season. He’s one month away from the Giants buying out his 2014 option for $8 million and saying goodbye to Zito after paying him $126 million, but manager Bruce Bochy told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that he won’t be dropped from the roster:
We pull for him, believe me. I can’t tell you how much we pull for him. He’s a good teammate. What he did for us last year, you hate to see him go through this. One thing about Barry: I know the results haven’t been good, but he’s all-in in his preparation and his effort. It’s just been a rough go, especially on the road.
As for his spot in the rotation, at some point you’d think being a nice guy and pitching for successful teams would take a backseat to being really, really awful. But who knows.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”