Zito Starting To Roll
As I noted a couple of games ago, it was significant that he struck out more batters than total innings pitched, when he had 6 in 5 innings. He didn't quite reach that in the next game, but for pitchers like him, sometimes the balls bounce the wrong way and he's battered badly. Still, no walks, 3 K's in 3.2 IP. Now, with this game, he struck out 8 in 7 innings, and ended up with a 5 PQS game, a nice DOM start overall. That gave him 17 K's in 15.2 IP, with 19 hits and 8 walks.
Not great, but as I noted in this post, a sign that he is going good generally is his ability to occassionally go through at least 3 starts where he strikes out more than his innings pitched. He has typically been a second half pitcher, where he tires just enough finally where his off-speed pitches separates enough from his fastball that batters are fooled more often, showing up in more strikeouts and his being able to strike out more per innings pitched.
- Aaron Rowand went 6 for 12, with a triple, 2 homers, 5 runs scored, 2 RBI. As much as I would rather bat him 5th right now, we need somebody who is getting on base regularly for us at the leadoff position. Winn would be the ideal guy but hasn't been doing it against LHP this season, and Renteria would be an alternative except that he has sucked thus far. Just DL Renteria and bring up Frandsen to start at SS, period.
- Pablo Sandoval went 5 for 10, 2 doubles, 3 walks, but, oddly enough, no runs or RBI. Not good!
- Fred Lewis went 2 for 6, with a key 2-run homer and a walk.
- And the starters were very good again, overall, along with the bullpen, shutting down the Rangers for the series and saving games.
- Matt Downs have impressed enough that he's going to get an extended run as the starting 2B, even though Frandsen is available Monday. I agree, Downs have been OK, may as well ride the good hand until he proves otherwise.
- Jonathan Sanchez will start Monday against A's. Hopefully he's figuring things out, but I'm not holding my breath.