Barry Zito will start Game 4 of the National League Divisional Series ... if the Giants get that far.
Game 4 in Cincinnati gets an asterisk beside it for now, as it's currently only "if necessary" -- the Reds are up 2-0 on the Giants right now, with Ryan Vogelsong and Homer Bailey scheduled to face off in Game 3 in Cincy at 2:37 p.m. PT on Tuesday.
Zito's an odd choice, considering that Tim Lincecum might potentially be available, but Bruce Bochy said that Zito's "earned this."
"He’s really just done a terrific job for us," Bochy said. "He’s been really on top of his game and I think he’s earned this."
The last time the Giants made the postseason, Zito wasn't even on the roster. In 2010, the Giants left him off after an abysmal job during the regular season. So it's obviously a bonus for the soft-tossing lefty to make the postseason roster this time around and end up getting a start.
“It’s encouraging that I know I got it done here,” Zito said. “I just need to be loose and free, and let my stuff determine what will happen.”
The craziest -- or perhaps you prefer "most terrifying" -- part of the next two games is that Vogelsong and Zito will hold the key to the Giants getting a shot at keeping this series alive and advancing.
Obviously the bats need to pick up and the bullpen needs to hold a lead/not give up five random runs so the Giants stay in any games that feature a starter getting chased early.
But strong games from Vogey and Zito would be huge. Of course, Zito even simply getting to pitch would be pretty big for San Francisco.