OAKLAND –- Barry Zito’s day didn’t go according to plan, but at least he had company.
The A’s former Cy Young winner left after issuing a walk to begin the top of the third, having allowed four runs on six hits in two-plus innings against the Giants. His work day actually lasted longer than his “Big Three” counterpart, Tim Hudson, who lost the strike zone and lasted just 1 1/3 innings before Giants manager Bruce Bochy came to get him.
It wasn’t how the script was written for this celebrated battle of one-time A’s pitching greats, but the love they felt from a sold-out Coliseum crowd was the same as if they’d put up nothing but zeroes.
Zito and Hudson received standing ovations as they came out to warm up, when they took the mound in the first inning, when they each departed the game, and again after a curtain call between innings.
It appeared as if Zito would be the first to depart, after he allowed Marlon Byrd’s two-run double in the first and two more runs in the second, including Jarrett Parker’s homer. But he closed out the second at 42 pitches. After he walked Buster Posey to begin the third, A’s manager Bob Melvin came to get the 37-year-old veteran, who is leaning toward retirement, like Hudson.