The Giants made the right decision regarding Barry Zito

San Francisco Giants Barry Zito pitches in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park in San Francisco on October 2, 2010. Zito walked in two runs in the first and took the loss in the 4-2 game.  UPI/Terry Schmitt...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Photo via Newscom

Despite the fact that he hasn’t lived up to his ridiculous contract, Barry Zito is a good dude. He’s a consummate professional, he never complains and he does more for charity than people outside of San Francisco realize.

He’s also been a brutal pitcher of late, which is why the Giants decided that he won’t start during the NLDS against the Braves this weekend.

Zito has more postseason experience than Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez (the three pitchers who will start for the Giants vs. Atlanta) combined. He also has a 6.06 ERA over his last seven regular season starts, which is why he’ll take a backseat to 21-year-old rookie Madison Bumgarner if the Giants need a fourth starter in their opening series.

It’s a bad break for a veteran like Zito, but in the end he only has himself to blame. Baseball, just like any other sport or profession for that matter, is a production-based business. And Zito’s production of late has been slightly above garbage. He had an opportunity to right the ship last Saturday when the Giants needed one more win to clinch the NL West, but he lasted only three innings against a San Diego club that wound up taking San Fran to the brink before collapsing on Sunday.

Bruce Bochy has a tough job figuring out whom he wants on his 25-man roster for the postseason, but he made the correct choice in sitting Zito. And knowing the 32-year-old lefty, he’ll be the first one rooting his teammates on when the NLDS kicks off on Thursday.

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