Giants to skip Zito's next start

Giants to skip Zito's next start

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants officially adjusted their starting rotation Tuesday, as manager Bruce Bochy announced they would skip Barry Zito's scheduled start Friday against the Brewers.

Instead, right-hander Matt Cain will get the start on normal rest due to Thursday's off-day, and Bochy said Zito's next start will come either July 27 or 28 against the Phillies.

"We're going to skip this turn around for Barry," Bochy said. "With the day off, it allows us to do this. We've been using this 'pen quite a bit, and meanwhile, he can help out there until his next start."

Zito had three impressive starts since returning from the disabled list on June 28, but that stretch came to a screeching halt Saturday against the Padres. The left-hander lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits (including two home runs) and four walks. Before that, Zito had pitched 21 innings and allowed only three earned runs, posting 11 strikeouts to only four walks.

After his outing in San Diego, Bochy said he considered the poor start to be an isolated struggle, and Zito chalked up all his problems to poor execution.

"When you execute pitches, guys miss the barrel [of the bat]," he said Saturday. "You fall behind [on the count] by not executing and things get a little more difficult out there. It was difficult to get the ball down tonight. For the most part, the curveball didn't have the finish down. The changeup, either."

Cain's career numbers against the Brewers aren't great (2-4, 4.73 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 37:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 40 innings), but Zito's are even less encouraging (2-3, 5.48 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 32:21 strikeout-to-walk ratio and eight home runs in 42 2/3 innings).