The San Francisco Giants suffered a blow to their season yesterday, as the defending World Series Champions got knocked out of the postseason yesterday following a 5-4 loss to the Athletics. The A’s were well out a while ago, but it had to be feel good serving up a big loss to the Giants. I think people just assumed the Giants were going to turn it up at the right time and be right in the postseason. There are a lot of playoff teams out there that are not complaining that the Giants aren’t going to be in the postseason. Regardless of their seeding, they have been known to play good baseball in October, if you haven’t heard. San Francisco doesn’t have much to play for anymore, with a familiar face pitching against them today. Barry Zito, a long time Giant, makes his first start since 2013. With rotation injuries adding up for the Athletics they have to make the call for Zito today. No he isn’t a young guy that the A’s are testing out at the major league level, they just simply need another arm. Zito has been pitching since 2000 and he didn’t pitch at all last season. The only action he has had was a few days ago against the Astros.
Tim Hudson isn’t a youngster himself, but he has shown to be able to still pitch at this level. He is not where he used to be, however he is still pitching well enough to earn a spot in a starting rotation. Hudson will get a shot at his teammate, as Zito spent seven years in San Francisco without any impressive seasons. His career in fact started in Oakland, where he enjoyed the best year of his career in 2002 with a 2.75 ERA. That was a long time ago, over a decade. After coming to the Giants in 2007, Zito did not see another season of an ERA below 4.00. This game is more ceremonial than anything in a sense. Hudson and Zito have announced they will retire after this season and this start for Zito just feels like a final goodbye to baseball. A fitting way to end their careers.
San Francisco Giants vs. Oakland Athletics
Tim Hudson (8-8, 4.20 ERA) vs. Barry Zito (0-0, 18.00)
Zito spent his time playing AAA ball this season, also spending time on the disabled list. It is quite clear that the A’s brought him up to be able to have one final moment pitching in the majors. It isn’t like the Athletics are in a pennant race or anything, so the situation seemed fit to do it. Zito got a tune-up in the majors on the 20th, making an appearance in relief. He got hit for 2 runs in only an inning of work, with a 3.00 WHIP. You can’t really expect much from him at this juncture.
Hudson makes his final start as well, meeting a former teammate, and a guy that he started his career out with in Oakland. Hudson came into the league in 1999, Zito followed in 2000. After 17 years of pitching, Hudson has a career ERA of 3.48, a notch above Zito in that respect. In a perfect world both of these guys will pitch flawless games to end their careers. However, there are guys at the plate that are getting paid to play baseball, too. I don’t know how Zito is going to be able to hold up in this game, his arm is dead, he is pitching for like I said ceremonial purposes essentially. Hudson has proved he can still pitch, he even has a 1.10 ERA in his last three outings, allowing only 2 runs in his last three games. Despite losing yesterday and getting knocked out of the postseason hunt, the Giants should go hard to get a win for Hudson. The A’s will try for Zito too, but I am not confident Zito can hold up.
PICK: GIANTS TO WIN -122