This week's Diamond Digits explores a possible reason for the startling turnaround of a former Cy Young Award winner, the teams that can't win a pitchers' duel and a hitter who's a one-man stimulus plan for D.C.'s sad-sack squad.
Over the last two seasons few pitchers have been as disappointing as Zito, who signed with the Giants as a free agent at the end of 2006 for seven years and $126 million. But with Sandoval, the Giants' regular third baseman, behind the dish, Zito has looked like the same pitcher who won the 2002 AL Cy Young Award. On Friday night Zito held the first-place Dodgers to one earned run in six innings, picking up his first win since last September 19. That lowered his ERA with Sandoval catching this season to 1.86 in three games and all but guaranteed that Sandoval will remain his personal backstop. Like his brothers
This isn't the first time that Zito has been more comfortable with the backup than the well-respected starter. In his last years in Oakland, Zito was more effective throwing to backup
Here are the career ERAs with Zito's different batterymates (minimum 50 innings):
The defending AL champion Rays are the worst culprits, losing all 15 contests in which they've scored less than four times. That's in stark contrast to last year, when Tampa Bay was one of baseball's best at winning low-scoring games, taking 20 such contests, which placed behind only the Giants (22), Yankees (21) and Angels (21). Last year's worst team, Detroit, has already matched its low-scoring victory total from last year, having won four times already. The remaining teams in search of the first non-slugfest win are the Indians (0-13), Cubs (0-12), Orioles (0-12), Phillies (0-12) and Yankees (0-5).
There hasn't been a lot to celebrate in Washington this baseball season, as the Nationals are owners of the worst record in baseball (10-20). But if third baseman
Although his team struggled to a 3-4 record against the Reds, Braves and Rockies, you can't point fingers at the red-hot
Others deserving recognition were: Damon,
First the good news:
Others who had weeks they wish they could forget were: