I know, I know, it's only spring training, but it's almost too funny that Sabean still has his job...
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Barry Zito allowed a grand slam in the first inning Saturday, didn't throw a fastball harder than 84 mph, has a 14.92 ERA this spring and has faced 67 batters without recording a strikeout.
Is it time to panic? Or at least nibble a fingernail?
No, Zito is never one to fret. Or at least show any outward signs of concern. He has two more starts before his opening-day assignment March 31, and he believes that time will be sufficient to be ready for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But he understands if Giants fans need some convincing.
"We want to please the fans, definitely," he said, when asked if he perceived nervousness from the home base. "We just can't cater to being result-oriented the first couple weeks of spring. . . . The last week here, we want to be looking in game form."
Zito said he would be more results-oriented in his final two starts and would begin setting up hitters as if the games counted.
He allowed Seattle seven runs Saturday, including Kenji Johjima's slam on a 2-0 fastball. The pitch was 83 mph, and Zito threw several others at 81 or 82. He threw 80 pitches - the Mariners swung and missed at just two of them
- and lasted into the sixth inning. Manager Bruce Bochy considered it a good effort.
"That's where we wanted him," Bochy said.
Zito is still trying to find himself as he incorporates a new-look windup. The change is for timing purposes, but Zito believes it could lead to an uptick in the velocity he has lost the past few seasons.
"Power is timing, too," he said. "It's getting the ball to feel more crisp out of the hand. When the ball comes out good, it's got that late life. . . . It always takes a while to kick in. All I can do is work on it. It's important to try to correct some things that have gotten out of whack the last couple of years."http://www.mercurynews.com/giantsheadli ... ck_check=1