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Barry Zito and The Silly Streak

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I appreciate what Barry Zito is doing this year. I wrote as much in July, and I feel the same way today.

But in the constant chatter about the Giants' post-season roster, I keep hearing the following refrain, and it's driving me bananas:

The last 10 times Barry Zito has pitched, the Giants have won, therefore Barry Zito has proven something to us. Most recently, I heard it last night on KNBR from Bill Laskey, former Giants' pitcher and current team something-or-other. Marty Lurie immediately concurred that Zito has been "fabulous" this year, and I'm still wondering which dictionary Lurie is using.

I understand that there's a bit of shorthand in play here. When a starting pitcher pitches and the team wins, there's a decent chance the result reflects well upon the starting pitcher. But not once have I heard guys like Laskey, Lurie, Larry Kruger, or the Giants' broadcasters discuss Zito's streak and bring up obvious caveats, like San Diego August 18, Houston  August 29, or Arizona September 3. Zito has pitched well several times, but he's also pitched badly a few times, too, only to be rescued by his teammates, who are scoring about 6.5 runs per game during "the streak." He's been quite good in September, but he's not been on what I'd call a major roll. He hasn't been plowing through the opposition.

This is not an argument for or against Zito pitching in the playoffs. This is an attempt to separate discussion of "the streak" from the argument whether Zito should be the fourth starter, or the long man, or the Bikram master, or El Duderino of the NL Division Series. It is irrelevant.  

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