SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Don't tell Bruce Bochy that the Giants' 23-5 exhibition loss Saturday to the Oakland A's was meaningless. It was too embarrassing not to have some significance. San Francisco (1-3) allowed 29 hits, beginning with seven by Barry Zito in the first inning as Oakland scored eight runs. The A's proceeded to score multiple runs in six separate innings, including each of the first four. "It's been a long time since I've seen one played quite this bad -- pitching and our defense," Bochy said. "That's as ugly as it gets right there. It's hard to do, really, what we did."
Bochy hopes that sheer repetition will help cure the Giants' ills. "That's why you have Spring Training," he said. "I know we're going to have days like this, especially with younger players." Additionally, the pitchers who yielded Oakland's 15 runs after Zito departed -- Osiris Matos, Kevin Gryboski, Victor Santos, Brian Anderson and Billy Sadler -- are unlikely to make the season-opening staff. Still, Bochy said, "that's not acceptable to have a game like that. I don't care if it is Spring Training. ... We want to get some consistency here, and our game's going to have to be pitching and defense. That's the only way it's going to work, and certainly none of it was there today." Zito's unruffled: Zito remained upbeat despite beginning his Cactus League season with a 108.00 ERA. Then again, his Opening Day start at Dodger Stadium was still 30 days away. Zito focused on his physical condition, not his statistics, as pitchers tend to do at this time. "If I felt terrible and the results were better, it wouldn't have been a win in my book," said Zito, who lasted two-thirds of an inning. "Right now, it's about having the body feel good and getting the pitch count up. Obviously you don't want to give up runs, but this is Spring Training." Zito took solace in his fastball, which he said he threw "downhill," and from his perception that most of Oakland's hits off him came on low pitches. "I want to start missing below the glove this year," Zito said. "If I'm throwing balls, I want to be down."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.