Now back in your starting lineup, sporting an 0-7 record and a 6.95 ERA, only the third starting pitcher since 1956 to go 0-6 before May ... Barry Zito. Thank you. It was a good spot for Giants' manager Bruce Bochy to bring Zito back from the bullpen. Wednesday's opponent was the Pirates, featuring the pitching stylings of Phil Dumatrait, who came into the game with an 0-5 record in 17 career appearances. Surely Zito could win under those conditions. Pirates 3, Giants 1. Sigh.
Here's the thing though: Zito didn't suck (loud crash as you drop whatever that is that you were holding). He began with three scoreless innings, and finished with five innings pitched, giving up three hits, two earned runs and two walks, with five strikeouts. Xavier Nady had a two-run homer in the fourth; did you know he leads the NL in RBIs? Dumatrait, by the way, went 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the win, so congratulations to all of you who have him on your fantasy teams. *Crickets.* But Zito; light at the end of the tunnel. I know he can win a game if we all believe. Clap your hands if you believe!
• His Mob Name Is Joey Three Times. Remember this day, my friends, as the day that The Big Red Machine returned to Cincinnati. The Reds hit seven homers — three by Joey Votto — to claim a 9-0 win over the Cubs. The seven home runs broke the Reds' team single-game record at Great American Ball Park, and it's the most the Reds have hit in a game since setting the NL record with nine in Philadelphia on Sept. 4, 1999. Four of them came in the fourth off of Jon "Danger: Flammable Contents" Lieber.
• Bring Back The Sex Doll Shrine. Carlos Gomez hit for the cycle, which last happened to a Twins player a mere 22 years ago when Kirby Puckett did it. Livan Hernandez took a shutout into the ninth, and the Twins beat the White Sox 13-1. By the way, a friend of mine who saw the shrine said it was nothing bad, and that the only reason there was a controversy was because the Toronto media was determined to make make a big deal out of it.
Beanball war! I hope the two teams harbor no ill feelings toward one another.
• Battle Of Unbeatens Results In One Being Beaten. Cleveland's Cliff Lee — the anti-Zito — improved to 6-0 in six total starts, handing Chien-Ming Wang his first loss in a 3-0 decision over the Yankees. Fun fact I learned from a blog named CastroTurf: Lee (0.81 ERA) is working on a streak of 28 consecutive innings without giving up a walk, which is the longest streak in the majors.
• Your Eephus Pitch Update. Today's victim of the eephus pitch is David Ortiz (actually Tuesday, I think). Enjoy.