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Monday, April 16, 2007

Zito Gets First Win As a Giant

The Giants' 126 million dollar man finally got into the win column in his 3rd start of the season and the Giants' bats continued to come through even after being grounded for a few days in Pittsburgh. Finally a Giant not named Barry Bonds connected for a long ball as the Giants hit two Coors Field aided home runs. Ray Durham and Bengie Molina hit the first back-to-back home runs of the 2007 Giants season, with Ray's being the one that really put the Rockies down early. Ray Durham has now hit safely in all of the Giants 11 games. But the story of the night had to be Zito as he shut down the potent Rockies lineup for 6 innings. Zito got some great defense from Omar Vizquel and Pedro Feliz to help him with his scoreless effort, but this was by far the best the Giants have seen of Zito so far in '07. He seemed to have pretty good command of all his pitches, especially his changeup. So much is made over Zito's big 12 to 6 curveball, that sometimes you forget what a good changeup he has. He had the Rockies off balance numerous times on that changeup Monday night getting weak grounders hit all over the infield. Besides Todd Helton, who owns Zito, the Rockies didn't look too comfortable at the plate, and that's what I was most impressed with. Anytime you can roll into Coors field and throw 6 shutout innings up on the board, and do it rather easily, that's a damn good outing. The bullpen closed things out with 3 shutout innings as well to help preserve a rare Rockies shutout at Coors Field.

One important thing that needs to happen early is that the bullpen needs to get some kind of structure, and it looks like we may be seeing it. It seems like Bochy is confident in using Kevin Corriea, Vinny Chulk and Steve Kline as his late relievers, with Corriea likely getting the nod to set up. I like Corriea in the 8th inning. He seems like the toughest Giant reliever for opposing batters to hit, plus he has the capability to strike people out, which is crucial as a late reliever. One thing the Giants haven't had over the last 2 years is a set order there relievers are used, something that Bruce Bochy was so good at in San Diego. A big reason why the Padres have had such a successful bullpen over the years is because they have all been used in the same type roles for a while. I know the Giants haven't had the best resources to assign a set 7th, 8th and 9th inning guy, but you still have to try and get some structure, and it looks like Bochy is starting to do that with the Giants.
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4 Comments:

  • At 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Giants fans don't worry about Zito, he's always been a slow starter.

     
  • At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Awrigh01 said…

    Zito will be fine. He's not the best starter, but he's pretty solid. NL West is a pretty weak division with big ballparks.

     
  • At 1:18 PM, Blogger TC said…

    The NL West is actually a lot better than they have been in a few years. The D-Backs are for real, and even the Rockies are getting better.

     
  • At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bullpen blew it tonight, ugly loss

     

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