Alex Smith

Barry Zito rises above the nonsense


Twitter can give you the best and the worst in a moment’s time … on my way to a game where I would sit in Larry Baer-esque seats (thanks to a bet I won over someone I’ve been bantering back and forth with on Twitter for a couple years who has access to such great tickets), someone asked me on the 140-character thingamajig what the Giants would do now that Brian Wilson needs Tommy John surgery. Yikes, it was a sunny Saturday. Who wants to deal with that (even though we all knew it was coming)?

More on Wilson later (like Sunday and/or the rest of the season … we’ll have plenty of time to talk about his ruined right elbow): first, Zito.

I’ve never watched Zito pitch from such a close vantage point, and I don’t know … maybe it was the product of a new, better Zito. Maybe it’s the Pittsburgh Pirates’ roster (Andrew McCutchen and a truckload of boring). But Zito looked awfully hard to hit. His fastball wasn’t embarrassingly slow. His curveball curved. Zito’s the above-average fifth starter everyone wanted him to become, only (shhhhh) he looks even better than that so far. Pretty amazing since everyone expected him to get rocked on Saturday night (c’mon, admit it).

Luckily, on a night where the Giants’ offense didn’t take advantage of several run-scoring opportunities, the defense didn’t ruin Zito’s night completely.

ADHD Mutterings

— Pablo Sandoval isn’t winning the Gold Glove award this year, even if he rakes. He’s been the worst defensive player on the team thus far. Yes, even worse than Brett Pill. It’s still early, but let’s hope Sandoval doesn’t gain any more weight. The Giants don’t need anymore catchers or first basemen.

— Oh, Giants defense. Time to update the tally:

Error-free games: 3

3-error games: 4

— Then there’s Brandon Crawford, who by sheer aesthetic force is winning the hearts of Giants fans. “That shortstop, he looks good” is a statement that will be uttered this year about Crawford by at least a million people in Northern California. At least 100,000 of those mentions will stem from barehanded plays on slow grounders. The other 900,000 will come from his lustrous mullet, but you already knew that.

— Hector Sanchez scored from first on a Nate Schierholtz triple in the second. Hopefully he’s caught his breath by now.




— It seemed strange that Santiago Casilla (the guy who took over as the closer when Wilson went down last year) took over in the 8th, but Casilla pitched 1.2 innings and looked fantastic. Then Javier Lopez came in and vultured the win.



— Alex Smith and Joe Staley sat a couple rows in front of us. A lot of people asked Smith for his autograph:



While Staley and his wife spent the game looking happy and content.



— As you might be able to tell, I spent a lot of Saturday’s game snapping photos. That included the 9th inning, when Emmanuel Burriss hit a single, Ryan Theriot tried to bunt him over but failed (so he singled him over instead), then the Pirates intentionally walked Angel Pagan to face Melky Cabrera, because the Pirates are nematodes. The crowd chanted “Melky!” and he obliged, SMASHING a … grounder to second.



Game-winning RBI, y’all!



Time to celebrate!



Some players celebrate differently than others.



No wonder Theriot made the team. Don’t know if Fontenot can even reach Sandoval’s shoulders, let alone Panda’s sweet spot. On his neck! I’m talking about his neck…

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