San Francisco Giants starter Barry Zito had a rocky 2013 season, but his legacy in Giants franchise history was forever cemented in Game 5 of the 2012 National League Championship Series.
Zito went 5-11 this year with a 5.74 ERA in 30 games and 25 games started, allowing 173 hits, 94 runs, 85 earned runs, 54 walks and 86 strikeouts in 133.1 innings. The opposition batted .318 off him.
The Giants lefty struggled on the road big time this year, going 0-9 with a 9.56 ERA in 11 starts and the opposition batted an incredible .401 against him. Zito pitched much better at home, recording a 5-2 record with a 3.59 ERA in 14 starts and held opponents to a .261 batting average.
The Giants were 10-15 in his starts this year and Zito received a standing ovation from the AT&T Park crowd on the last day of the regular season versus the San Diego Padres. Zito has a $7.5 million buyout or a $18 million club option, but the Giants plan to buy him out and end his seven-year run with the team.
The three-time All-Star finishes with a 63-80 record with the Giants and 4.62 ERA in 197 starts, producing three complete games, one shutout and 787 strikeouts. The 787 strikeouts are the third most in SF Giants history for a lefty, trailing Mike McCormick (1030) and Shawn Estes (795). For his career, Zito is 129-9 when receiving four runs or more in a game.
While many will say Zito's signing prior to the 2007 season was a failure, the 2002 American League Cy Young Award winner carved his place into Giants history with his incredible pitching performance in Game 5 of the 2012 NLCS versus the St. Louis Cardinals. With the Giants trailing 3-1 in the series, Zito produced his best outing of his career, going 7.2 innings, allowing six hits, zero runs, one walk, six strikeouts and threw 115 pitches in a Giants 5-0 win. The Giants would not lose again the rest of the postseason and it all began with Zito's sensational performance.
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