Usually when San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito takes the mound at hitter-friendly Coors field, people envision long bombs from Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez and a lopsided Colorado Rockies victory. But it was quite the opposite this time around, as Zito had one of his best outings as a Giant. The Black and Orange dominated the Rockies by the score of 7-0, earning their first victory of 2012.
Zito had all his pitches working for him Monday, with complete control of his arm slot and the strike zone all afternoon long. He allowed only four hits, while striking out four, as part of a 114-pitch complete game shutout. This was only his second complete game as a Giant, and his first shutout since April 18, 2003 against the Texas Rangers. Zito never really got himself into any trouble and looked more comfortable and in-control on the mound than he has in a long, long time. Brian Wilson has yet to throw a pitch this season.
Pablo Sandoval got the Giants on the board after launching the first pitch he saw from Jhoulys Chacin into the cheap seats, logging his second homer of the year to make it 2-0. San Francisco opened it up again in the third, loading the bases early against Chacin. That led to an RBI single from Hector Sanchez and an RBI groundout from Angel Pagan to push it to 4-0.
The Giants would load the bases again in the seventh, as Brandon Crawford got his second hit of the season with a bases-clearing, three-RBI double that pushed the lead to 7-0. They were also helped out by two Colorado errors and seven walks from their pitching staff along the way.
All of the Giants starters got a hit today aside from Gregor Blanco, led by Melky Cabrera's 2-for-4 day and Pablo Sandoval's 2-for-5 day. Angel Pagan got his first hit of the year, while Aubrey Huff knocked a double and drew two walks in his first taste of the cleanup spot this season. Zito even worked reliever Esmil Rogers for a 12-pitch at bat that led to a single. Yeah, it's safe to say Zito had himself a nice day.
After an off day Tuesday, Tim Lincecum takes the mound for the Giants on Wednesday. He's looking for some redemption after his opening day struggles, and will face off against against Colorado's Jeremy Guthrie. The first pitch is set for 5:40 p.m. with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
Full box score can be found here.
For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles. For the Rockies view of things, make sure you check out Purple Row.