He threw seven shutout innings, striking out five and walking not a one in the Giants' 1-0 win over the Padres. But all he has to show for it is a measly no-decision.
It's something to be appreciated, though, as Zito registered his first shutout this season. How rarely has Barry Zito thrown shutouts in a Giants uniform? Last year he threw two all season.
A quick survey of Zito's game-by-game regular season stats over at ESPN.com shows that Zito didn't even manage a single shutout in the 2008 season until all the way into the month of August. At that point, he'd already been forced to serve time in the minors.
So one shutout in late April means he's already halfway to his total of two for 2008. The only two scoreless games Zito threw all last season were during a two-week period in August when he was particularly "on fire".
Just for kicks, 2007 game-by-game statistics reflect Zito's first season as a Giant. We see he had another uncharacteristic, stellar single month as he started in April. We also see that awful, six-consecutive-loss stretch beginning in May that started the disgust and animus from Giants fans that Zito has yet to live down to this day.
But I'm clinging to the positive here, and Zito has now finally thrown a good one this year. A few more of these, and we might be willing to forget about that all that disgust and animus.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who still does not see a Barry Zito bandwagon to jump onto.