March 9, 2011RATTO ARCHIVEGIANTS PAGE GIANTSVIDEO
Were not sure what Barry Zito is thinking when he says, I just want to keep things nice and quiet just the way to keep it nice and smooth out there.Life isnt meant to be smooth for B.W. Zito. At least not his baseball life. Every start has been a referendum on The Contract, and every story has been a direct reflection on his character.So it was hardly disturbing when he was asked after going five scoreless innings Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox if one can make anything out of the fact that he has allowed one earned run in the eight innings he has pitched since the Chronicle column claiming the brass was running out of patience with him.
No, no, he said before shifting the subject back to keeping things quiet. It was clear he wanted to handle that as much as he wanted to gargle coal dust.But as the first Giant to throw five innings as the high point of their 4-2 win over the Sox, Zito has at least quelled discussion of his impending expensive doom even if it was only empty speculation that would have shattered the old record for eaten money by 41.5 million.
RELATED: Zito tops Peavy, Giants beat White Sox 4-3
Especially since he cruised through 16 Sox with only a walk and one hit without his trusty sidekick, Curve J. Ball. In fact, the only useful one he had all day was one he lost that nearly nudged Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski in the melon.Useful, that is, if he was trying to curry favor with the eternally skeptical in-house crowd.If Im going to make a statement, he said with a smile playing at the edges of his mouth, the curve ball is the one to do it with.His other pitches worked fine, though, and he fell behind only Carlos Quentin, the walk, en route to an outing that could be called . . . well, quiet seems correct enough.He just kept the ball down better, he pounded the strike zone with everything, he did exactly what the game plan called for, manager Bruce Bochy said. He did everything weve asked.Zito now has four outings left to get himself to 100 pitches, at which point he will be ready for the regular season. In other words, he enhanced his chance of keeping the job he was never in any true danger of losing. It wont ever be quiet for him, but for the foreseeable future, it will be safe.What'syour take? Email Rayand let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag. Follow Ray on Twitter @RattoCSN.