Since we've already said our goodbyes to Barry Zito, everything else is just gravy, baby. Our first scoop of gravy last night in Seattle wasn't quite the vintage Zito flavor, but we'll take it. His curveball wasn't really working, and the umpire's strike zone was pretty small, making it hard to put in any sort of dominant performance. But this game was a perfect example why Barry Zito is a much better pitcher in 2006 than 2004. He now has the arsenal to get through a whole game, even if he's missing some of his bullets.
So a solid, but unremarkable performance for Zito: 7IP, 1 run. He was helped by a good performance at the plate by Marco Scutaro, who hit a double and a homer filling in for Bobby Crosby, who hit the DL earlier in the morning. Jay Payton, who fortunately did not break his hand that HBP by Scot Shields on Wednesday, helped with a really nice catch on a drive by Ichiro to end the 7th. It all added up to a 5-2 A's win in Seattle.
Like last Saturday, when A's fans gave Zito a curtain call, probably the most memorable event of the game happened as Zito walked off the field after throwing his last pitch. As he got to the dugout, it was pointed out to Zito that he had pitched his last inning with his fly open.
Considering that Zito set the Mariners down 1-2-3 in that, um, condition, could we have seen the birth of the pitching equivalent of the rally cap?
The shutdown zipperdown? Ewwwww, let's hope not, but if it works...