Has Barry Zito Earned His $126 Million Contract?

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# 4 – Postseason Hero

In the 2012 playoffs, San Francisco’s eventual championship run started off more than shaky; it had fans grinding their teeth into the ground.  And down in the LDS 0-2 with no room for error, Zito didn’t exactly quell this problem in the first game he pitched against Cincinnati, as he lasted only 2.2 innings, and gave up two earned runs in the process.  So it wasn’t his game to shine in, as Tim Lincecum would eventually come in to earn the victory.

Oct 24, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants fans cheer as pitcher Barry Zito (75) is welcomed back to the dugout after being relieved in the 6th inning during game one of the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser, USA Today Sports.

But during the LCS, Zito was back to his newfound dominance. Down in the series 1-3 against what looked like an unstoppable Cardinal team, No. 75 came in to shut down the Redbirds 5-0 over 7.2 masterful innings, giving the Giants exactly what they needed to stave off elimination yet again, by stepping up, and becoming a hero for the first – but definitely not last – time during that postseason.

He was equally impressive during the World Series, where his accomplishments had not gone unnoticed, as he was rewarded by being named the Game 1 starter.  And boy, would he deliver, matching up against the mighty Justin Verlander, who was abused for five earned runs (thanks in big part to Pablo Sandoval taking the Tiger yard twice) at that pivotal point of postseason play.

In a nutshell, his contributions during the Giants magical 2012 postseason run was more than imperative to their success; he became the deciding factor for San Francisco’s season by pitching on two elimination occasions, coming through both times.