Barry Zito's tenure with the San Francisco Giants has not been a good one. With his club facing elimination on Friday night in Game 5 of the NLCS, Zito pitched what might have been the best game of his career. If anything, it was the best postseason performance of his career.
The veteran southpaw tossed 115 pitches on his way to 7 2/3 innings against a red-hot Cardinals lineup. Zito gave up just six hits and a walk, striking out six. Unlike recent starts, he was able to elevate his fastball effectively, often forcing the Cardinals' hitters to swing right through it.
Manager Bruce Bochy elected to pull Zito with two outs in the eighth inning. Santiago Casilla is now entering the game to bridge the gap to closer Sergio Romo.
The Giants currently lead 5-0. San Francisco scored four of their runs in the fourth inning, aided greatly by a throwing error from pitcher Lance Lynn. Brandon Crawford delivered the big blow of the frame with a two-run single up the middle. Pablo Sandoval added an insurance run with a solo homer in the eighth.