Former Cy Young winners Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum, who have gotten through their troubles by leaning on each other, combined to stifle a potent Detroit Tigers lineup in the San Francisco Giants 8-3 win on Wednesday night.
The two pitchers have gone through a lot together says Barry Zito, according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News:
"Timmy and I have always been close, ever since the day he came up. But I think we got a little closer this year because I just tried to be there for him and help him out if he needed it this year."
Zito has been surprisingly stellar in his two postseason starts, winning both and posting a 0.68 ERA in 13⅓ innings. This is the same Barry Zito who struggled for most of his first five years with the Giants, the same Barry Zito who signed a seven-year $126 million deal, and the same Barry Zito who was left off the team's postseason roster in 2010. The Giants have won 14 consecutive times in games Zito has started.
Lincecum, who struggled for the majority of 2012 with a 10-15 record and 5.18 ERA, has flourished in a relief role that allows him utilize his slider more often and rev up his fastball a few notches since he doesn't have to save himself for two or three cycles through an opponent's lineup. And it's a role he's approaching with a simple, focused mindset, according to Kawakami:
"I'm just getting my outs. It's as simple a mindset as you can have. I'm getting my outs until they tell me I'm done.'
Wednesday night, Zito threw a solid 5⅔ innings, allowing one run, and Lincecum threw 2⅓ scoreless innings while striking out five.
First pitch for Game 2 on Thursday night is scheduled for 5:07 p.m. PT and the game will be televised on FOX.