Issue: Should you believe in Barry?
Analysis: Largely lost in the defensive debacle that was Monday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers was Barry Zito’s solid six-inning outing.
Say what you want about the merits of a so-called quality start — a year of six innings and three runs is, detractors will eagerly point out, a line that would leave you with a 4.50 ERA for the season — but also say you’d take a quality start from Zito every time out.
Six innings and three runs every time out would give the Giants a previously inconsistent and aggravating starter who doesn’t kill the bullpen and routinely gives the team a shot at winning. Money in the bank.
But Zito’s outing against the Dodgers came on the heels of one of those starts that prevent the fan base from truly believing that he can provide that kind of consistency.
It didn’t matter that Zito was borderline dominant, or at least as dominant as a guy can get when he’s channeling Jamie Moyer, through his four starts in April.
That Zito got off to a 5-0 start to the 2010 season and ended up without a spot on the playoff roster will never be far from the mind of every Giants fan. Thus, they’ll always have a hard time trusting that he’s truly found whatever he lost when he signed that massive contract before the 2007 season.
And when Zito walked the yard in his start against the Miami Marlins, it was, “Here we go; the real Zito is back.”
Then came Monday. Had the Giants played well, Zito might have won the game with that six-and-three line. He lost, largely because the defense went all Edward Scissorshands, but he still has the lowest ERA, at 2.21 through six starts, in the star-studded rotation.
So do you trust Barry yet? Be honest.
Probably not. And unfortunately for him, you probably never will.