04/17/2013 2:02 AM ET
Zito's streak great while it lasted
By JR Radcliffe / Special to MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Left-hander Barry Zito went into Tuesday's game against the Brewers with victories in his last eight regular-season starts, and the team had won his last 16 appearances, counting three postseason games in 2012. It's the best stretch of his career in that regard, topping the nine straight wins to close the 2001 season and 11 overall after first two games of 2002 (he lost a postseason game in between).
The streak came to an end quickly. Zito gave up a solo homer in the second inning, then the floodgates opened in the third, when the Brewers scored eight runs.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the only other Giants pitcher to start the season with seven or more scoreless innings in his first two starts of the year was Al Worthington, who threw back-to-back shutouts on his way to 19 scoreless innings in 1953. Zito has consecutive outings of seven scoreless innings, the longest run to start a season since Ryan Jensen went 14 1/3 in April 2002.
The streak of 13 straight regular-season wins in Zito starts is the franchise's top total with any one pitcher since the New York Giants won 13 straight started by Sal Maglie in a run that spanned 1951 and 1952. The Giants won 22 starts by Carl Hubbell from 1936 to 1937 and 19 by Al Demaree in 1913.
Giants to place Affeldt on DL with strained oblique
MILWAUKEE -- Left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt has a history with bizarre injuries, and though this one lacked the element of the unusual, it still came as a surprise.
Manager Bruce Bochy said that Affeldt would be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique, an injury that didn't pop up until the off-day on Monday, and that the team is poised to recall right-hander Jean Machi from Triple-A Fresno.
"It just tightened up on him," Bochy said. "We had an MRI today, and he's probably going to be out at least a week, so we're going to go ahead and make a move."
Affeldt blew a save chance on Sunday in Chicago, allowing two runs and a hit with three walks, but Bochy insists Affeldt was fine, with the soreness emerging the following day.
"I feel like I could probably come back sooner than later on this, but I'd rather not go out and put the team at risk," said Affeldt after Tuesday's loss in Milwaukee. "In Kansas City I had it on the right side. … This is my power side, so I have to be more careful. I did pitch through it for a week or so [with Kansas City], and then it went away completely and I missed eight weeks. For me it was a process of learning from my mistakes and not trying to be a hero 15 days into the season."
Affeldt becomes San Francisco's first in-season placement on the DL for 2013.
Machi appeared in five games for Fresno, going 1-0 with a save, allowing zero runs on five hits with one walk and five punchouts. He allowed four earned runs in 10 innings during Spring Training, good for a 3.60 ERA.
"We like the way he threw the ball, so he'll get the first look," Bochy said, adding that Javier Lopez and Jose Mijares are options to retire left-handed batters late in games. He envisions George Kontos, who has delivered scoreless appearances in five of seven outings, picking up some slack in the seventh.
Machi, 31, made his Major League debut with the Giants last year after a long career in the Minors, posting a 6.75 ERA in 6 2/3 innings over eight games.
Affeldt's history includes a lacerated hand, an injury sustained in 2011 while separating hamburger patties, followed by a sprained knee, sustained catching his son jumping from furniture. Last year he jammed his hand in the playoffs falling backward to avoid a Gregor Blanco line drive in the dugout.
Giants have deeper appreciation for Robinson
MILWAUKEE -- A contingent of players and personnel enjoyed a private screening of the Jackie Robinson biopic "42" during Monday's off-day in Milwaukee.
In 1997, under the direction of Commissioner Bud Selig, Robinson's No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball in an unprecedented tribute. All players and umpires wore the number to commemorate Jackie Robinson Day, celebrated on Monday (and Tuesday by teams that were idle).
"I watched the movie last night and really enjoyed that," manager Bruce Bochy said. "I learned more about the man. It's amazing what he had to endure and handle, how much he changed not just baseball but society. The courage that he showed, and Branch Rickey …
"The players [who] went with me to the movie, they had, I think, an even deeper appreciation of what the man had to go through and the courage he showed in that first year."
The movie corralled $27.3 million in its opening weekend, the best showing ever for a baseball movie.
• The Giants won three games in the past week (April 9 vs. Colorado, April 11 and 13 at Chicago) in which they rallied from a three-run deficit. The team won seven such games in all of 2012.
• Per MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatofTheDay on Twitter), Hunter Pence is first Giant since Barry Bonds (May 1998) to hit a game-tying two-out homer in ninth or later when down to his last strike. Pence accomplished the feat on Sunday in Chicago, with the Giants ultimately defeating the Cubs in extra innings.
• Manager Bruce Bochy turned 58 on Tuesday.
JR Radcliffe is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.