Zito looking ahead to next start

Zito looking ahead to next start

DENVER -- A sweet aftertaste was with Barry Zito two days after pitching his first shutout in nine years as he began preparing for his next start Saturday at home against the Pirates.

"I think I was able to enjoy it probably a little more than I have in the past," said Zito, who blanked the Rockies on four hits Monday and won, 7-0. "Definitely -- it's been nine years, so you got to soak it up. But it only goes as long as the next workday, which is today."

That included work with pitching coach Dave Righetti, who said after Zito's struggles in Spring Training he couldn't see a shutout coming at Coors Field, or anywhere for that matter, given that Zito's last shutout was April 18, 2003, against the Rangers while pitching for the A's.

The key, of course, will be whether Zito, who is 44-61 since joining the Giants in 2007 after signing a seven-year, $126 million contract, can sustain his success, something that has been hard since he joined the Giants.

"We'll find out," Righetti said, "but to dismiss [it] and say, 'Oh, it's only one game,' in a lot of ways it wasn't, because it's important for him, more than most guys at this point. He faces [criticism] every day in our little world, the Giants world, regardless if he's pitching [or not]."