SAN FRANCISCO – Barry Zito might get to wave his cap after all.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he is planning one more potential appearance for Zito this season, so fans can give the left-hander a proper show of appreciation for coming through at critical times in the club’s World Series run last season.
Zito even put on batting gloves and grabbed a bat Thursday night, potentially going to the plate as a pinch hitter to put a sacrifice bunt down. But the Giants didn’t get a runner on base in the seventh inning.
Would Bochy send up Zito to hit this weekend against the San Diego Padres?
“Zito? Yeah. No,” Bochy said. “He’s not going to hit.”
The fan backlash was severe after Bochy gave Zito a chance to return to the rotation Wednesday only to lift him for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning with the Giants already leading. Zito was upset and wanted to stay in the game longer, but Bochy said a curtain call wasn’t on his mind at that juncture.
Bochy hasn’t issued a mea culpa for the way he handled Zito’s start, but his actions indicate that he understands the left-hander didn’t go out the way he wanted – even though he received a victory in Wednesday’s win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Similarly, Bochy didn’t make any ceremony about taking Tim Lincecum out of Thursday night’s game, which could have been his last as a Giant. That move was more understandable. The Giants want to re-sign Lincecum, who will be a free agent, and perhaps Bochy didn’t want the night to take on any air of finality in the mind of the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
Pablo Sandoval was sent home because he was vomiting and not feeling well. Nick Noonan started at third base instead.
Brandon Crawford received the Bill Rigney Good Guy Award for cooperation with members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Aubrey Huff, upon receiving the award in 2010, joked that he would start being a jerk to reporters as soon as he signed his new contract. We thought he was joking. He wasn’t.
Little danger of that happening with Crawford. He’s always approachable, affable and gives you a thoughtful answer to any question.