DETROIT -- Barry Zito will be short on rest and long on enthusiasm Saturday night when he confronts the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.Zito will start on three days' rest, one fewer than usual. Moreover, he'll be facing a formidable Tigers lineup that features three hitters ranked among the American League's top 10 in batting average (Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta). But Zito, who'll be making his second appearance since recovering from a sprained right foot, sounded willing to go to the mound under any circumstance. "I'm just excited to pitch right now," Zito said Friday. "If it gets me another start even quicker, yeah, I want to take the ball."
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
Zito's competitive hunger grew last Tuesday, when he allowed only two runs and four hits in seven innings as the Giants defeated Chicago, 6-3, in the second half of a day-night doubleheader at Wrigley Field. After that outing, Giants manager Bruce Bochy called Zito into his office and informed the left-hander that he might be needed Saturday."We're going to be careful with the three days' rest," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "At the same time, if it's all going well, we're not going to baby him. There was no hesitation when I mentioned it to him." Zito said that skipping his long-toss throwing Thursday was the only adjustment he made in his between-starts routine. The fact that he throws more than the average pitcher between starts probably makes him better suited to handle this assignment. "I don't really make a big deal out of it as far as physically," Zito said. "You're either good to go or you're not. ... My body certainly can handle whatever the demands are. I think it should be no problem to go out there and throw 100-plus pitches." Zito never has pitched on three days' rest in the regular season. But he did so in the 2003 Division Series for Oakland against Boston. He defeated the Red Sox on Oct. 2, yielding one run and five hits in seven innings, before blanking Boston for five innings on Oct. 6. But Jason Varitek and Manny Ramirez homered in a four-run sixth, finishing him.
Burrell a late scratch with bone spur
DETROIT -- Pat Burrell was scratched as the Giants' designated hitter from Friday night's starting lineup with a bone spur in his right foot, manager Bruce Bochy said."He couldn't run," Bochy said. "Initially, I thought he was kidding."
Bochy indicated that Burrell has been able to play after being affected by the spur on previous occasions as long as he receives proper treatment.Bill Hall replaced Burrell as San Francisco's designated hitter, batting eighth. Performing as a DH for the first time in the Major Leagues, Hall went 0-for-5, with all but one at-bat coming with runners in scoring position.
Slumping Torres gets another break
DETROIT -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday that Andres Torres will be out of the lineup for "at least a couple of days" while the center fielder and leadoff hitter tries to work out of his slump.Torres' hiatus very well could last longer than two days. He was out of the lineup June 22 and 23 before returning on June 24 to go 3-for-4 against Cleveland. That night, Torres publicly revealed that he had been sleeping poorly and attributed his breakout game to new sleeping medication. From his final at-bat of that game through Thursday, Torres went 1-for-22, including 0-for-6 in the series finale at Chicago. That marked the first time in Torres' career to accumulate that many at-bats in a game and not record a hit. "We'll give him a chance to sit back and relax a little bit," Bochy said. Aaron Rowand replaced Torres in the lineup for Friday's series opener against Detroit and likely will continue to do so.
"We did all right doing it like this last year," Bochy said.
Cain quietly pleased about strikeout milestone
DETROIT -- Matt Cain termed his 1,000th career strikeout a milestone that's certainly flattering but also incidental."It's cool, but it's nothing I really thought about," said Cain, who reached the mark Thursday at Chicago by retiring Koyie Hill on a called third strike. "You don't really think about that as a goal early in your career. It just kind of happens, I guess."
Right-hander Tim Lincecum, who passed 1,000 strikeouts earlier in June, spoke proudly of his teammate."He's got power stuff, a 93-mph fastball that I'm sure looks like 97 out there," Lincecum said. "His control has improved the last few years. He's becoming a smarter pitcher." Cain realized long ago that while strikeouts are impressive, they're not always conducive to winning. The romance of the strikeout was never stronger, he said, than in high school. "Through the Minor Leagues I still was thinking of striking guys out," Cain said. "But you start to see, am I winning games? Is the team winning? And I'm out of the game after five innings. So you try to stay in the game longer, and to do that, you try to get guys out quicker." Cain joined Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, Jason Schmidt and Lincecum as the only Giants to total 1,000 strikeouts since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.