Zito out after 7⅔, Giants still up going into 9th

Every manager has a tic that drives you nuts. Bruce Bochy consistently had one throughout the regular season for the Giants, and it had to do with leaving a starting pitcher in for the eighth or ninth inning, and then removing him when the leadoff hitter reached. It was like a plot to give the other team a free runner, and it would happen in close games, blowouts ... constantly.

So when Barry Zito surprisingly came out for the eighth inning, Giants fans were probably expecting a leadoff runner. Instead, this was the first batter:


But the second batter reached -- Jon Jay hit a ball off the glove of first baseman Brandon Belt. And then it seemed logical that Bochy would walk out and get Zito.

Except he didn't. He left Zito in to face Carlos Beltran in the eighth with 109 pitches on his ledger. Which seemed a little crazy. But Zito got Beltran to fly out, and Santiago Casilla came in for the final out of the inning, striking out Matt Holliday.

And that's the story of how Barry Zito pitched the game of his life exactly when the Giants needed him to. It will be up to Sergio Romo, most likely, in the ninth.

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