If Barry Zito was unable to pitch on Sunday, you'd kind of have to forgive him. After all, the Giants pitcher was involved in a nearly-nasty car wreck that sent him to the hospital just on Wednesday night.
But manager Bruce Bochy said he was "95 percent" certain Zito was good to go for the Sunday night start against the Dodgers on ESPN.
That was following a throwing session in which Zito, who's been dealing with a sore neck and sore back following the accident, felt substantially better.
And, were it not for Zito's quick reflexes, we might not even be having this discussion.
"If I didn't make a decision to hit the gas when I saw him, he would've hit the front of the car," Zito said Saturday, per Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News. "Then it'd be a whole different story. It's a scary sound, you know? Just to hear metal on metal crunching.
"Overall, I feel a whole lot better today than yesterday. I expect it to feel even better tomorrow."
Zito's underwent an MRI that indicated nothing was wrong, and is still wearing heat packs and receive training for the soreness.
What remains to be seen, then, is whether or not the wreck derailed what was a pretty darn strong spring for Zito. Whereas expectations are fairly low (relative to his salary anyway) for the 2002 AL Cy Young winner, there seemed to be some good momentum building for a possible comeback season.
That obviously wasn't completely destroyed by the wreck, and given that Zito isn't dependent on a strong throwing motion, he might not be as vulnerable to soreness. But if he struggles, there's certainly a built-in excuse for why he might have cooled off from spring training.