As the Dodgers face the Giants on Wednesday night in San Francisco, they will battle a pitcher in his final outing with the rivals. Barry Zito starts the middle game of the three-game series at AT&T Park, in his first appearance in 23 days.
While the temptation is strong to go grave dancing over the seven-year, $126 million contract signed by Zito that was a joke the moment it was signed, it hasn't exactly hampered the Giants' ability to win in recent years. The LOLs are few and far between given that San Francisco won two of the last three World Series, and Zito was 2-0 with a 1.69 in three postseason starts for the Giants last season.
But on the whole Zito has been a bad pitcher with the Giants for his seven years. He is 62-80 with a 4.63 ERA, an 86 ERA+ in 206 games, including 196 starts with San Francisco. Among the 127 pitchers to start at least 100 games in the last seven seasons, Zito's 86 ERA+ is tied for 10th worst, with Nick Blackburn.
Zito's 2013 season has been his worst, at 4-11 with a 5.91 ERA, a 57 ERA+ in 28 games, including 24 starts. Opposing hitters have hit .323/.389/.500 in 587 plate appearances, a 158 OPS+ that if concentrated into a single player would rank third in the National League, behind only MVP candidates Paul Goldschmidt (163) and Andrew McCutchen (159).
He has allowed 42 runs and 14 home runs in his last 42 innings, and the Giants have lost 11 of those 13 appearances. He has allowed 75 runs in his last 88⅔ innings, dating back to May 14.
Zito in his career is 9-10 with a 3.65 ERA in 27 games, including 26 starts, against the Dodgers. But in the last four seasons, when Zito on the whole has a 4.77 ERA, a 77 ERA+, he has a 2.81 ERA against Los Angeles. He has allowed one or zero run in five of his last six starts against the Dodgers at AT&T Park.
Dodgers against Zito
- A.J. Ellis: 5-for-12, two doubles, five walks, .417/.588/.583 in 17 plate appearances
Jerry Hairston: 10-for-27, four doubles, home run, nine walks, .370/.541/.630 in 38 PA
- Matt Kemp: 24-for-58, three home runs, double, triple, eight walks, .414/.485/.621 in 66 PA
- Skip Schumaker: 7-for-19, three doubles, .368/.368/.526 in 19 PA
- Adrian Gonzalez: 15-for-47, home run, double, eight walks, .319/.429/.404 in 56 PA
- Carl Crawford: 7-for-22, sacrifice fly, .318/.304/.318 in 23 PA
- Michael Young: 21-for-89, four doubles, home run, seven walks, .236/.292/.315 in 96 PA
- Andre Ethier: 9-for-45, two doubles, seven walks, four HBP, .200/.351/.244 in 57 PA
- Mark Ellis: 5-for-23, two doubles, two walks, .217/.280/.304 in 25 PA
- Hanley Ramirez: 4-for-29, double, triple, three walks, .138/.219/.241 in 32 PA
Juan Uribe: 2-for-24, two walks, .083/.154/.083 in 27 PA
Ricky Nolasco: 1-for-1, double, walk, sacrifice bunt, 1.000/1.000/2.000 in three PA
Time: 7:15 p.m.
TV: KCAL, ESPN