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Gameday Thread, #54: 5/29 vs. Giants

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Barry Zito
LHP, 1-8, 5.65


Randy Johnson
LHP, 4-1, 4.03 preview [opens in new window]

Coming into the season, you might conceivably have predicted that we'd reach the end of May with Barry Zito's wins being the same number as Randy Johnson's losses. However, if you had that number as "one", I'd have been far more impressed. Zito did at least break his duck last time out, with 6.1 innings of one-run ball against Florida, but still has to count as one of the biggest busts of the season [in a year where it seems like everyone in the NL West has their albatross to bear].

Johnson, however, is rounding into form: it took a while, but in his last three starts he has a K:BB ratio of 19:1. Bob Melvin was certainly impressed, saying, "The last two, by far, have been the best, as far as his rhythm, his command, making pitches. He's not thinking about some of the things leading into it any more. He got a little frustrated early on with his mechanics. You could tell. Now he's not thinking about that. Everything is in line; he's just thinking about making pitches."

We certainly need a pick-me-up after the disasters of the first couple of nights on this homestand. The hitters can chip in by scoring more than three - when we asked for a more consistent offense, we didn't mean they'd restrict themselves to a maximum of three runs per night. In the dozen games since the start of the series against Detroit our collective line is: .208/.310/.358; we're averaging just 3.6 runs per game and have been limited to three or less in eight of the twelve. We've lost each of those eight, and won all the others, so I guess that gives us a target. Overall in 2008, we're 1-14 when scoring three or less, but are 22-3 at five or more. Let's get into the latter category tonight.