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News » Giants notebook: Zito says he only has himself to blame


Giants notebook: Zito says he only has himself to blame


Giants notebook: Zito says he only has himself to blame
SAN FRANCISCO Barry Zito makes his season debut tonight in San Diego, and for the first time as a Giant, the embattled left-hander is at peace.

"After all the things I've gone, through, I think I'm wiser," Zito said Thursday. "All I can be is myself. I see things differently now."

Zito hasn't come close to fulfilling the expectations that came with signing the then-richest contract ever for a pitcher after the 2006 season. In two seasons with the Giants , Zito is 21-30 with a 4.83 ERA, and he regularly was booed at home last season.

But Zito enters 2009 in a much different place.

He was the Opening Day starter each of the past two seasons but enters '09 as the No. 4 guy in the rotation. Many national outlets have tabbed Zito as a prime candidate for a bounceback year, which he finds humorous, joking, "it's because I set the bar so low for myself, right?"

After a tumultuous 2008 season that saw him lose his first eight decisions and briefly his spot in the rotation, Zito hopes to build off a strong finish (he was 4-2 with a 3.76 ERA in his final eight starts) and an offseason of soul searching.

"I want to deliver, to give these fans a good show, but I took (the fan and media criticism) personally last year," Zito said. "It ultimately was my own fault because I took all of that out with me to the mound.

"I know what I'm capable of. I'm only 30. I still have a lot more years left in this game."

Head games

Giants ace Tim Lincecum used much of his bullpen session Thursday to focus on varying his delivery time to the plate after the Brewers ran wild against him Tuesday. Future opponents figure to try to duplicate the tactic against Lincecum, the 2008 Cy Young Award winner.

"The Brewers had a lot of leadoff guys on base and had them in motion, trying to mess with my head, and that's what they did," Lincecum said. "You've got to be ready for whatever comes."

Short hops

After hitting under .200 in spring training, center fielder Aaron Rowand has had two hits in all three games. He opens the season 6-for-11 with three doubles and a home run. ... A moment of silence was observed before national anthem in memory of Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart and the two other passengers who were killed in an automobile accident early Thursday in Fullerton.

Laurence Miedema, MediaNews staff


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 10, 2009

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