I was watching the Blue Jays' broadcast of the Jays-Giants game because Michael Milken makes me want to strangle myself, and the guys in the booth got to talking about Barry Zito. Here's Buck Martinez:
We talked to Bruce Bochy, his manager about that, and he said it took Barry Zito a while to understand he didn't have that zip on his cutter to pitch right-handers inside. And he continued to try to pitch the same way he did with the Athletics, and he needed to make an adjustment.
Barry Zito's no doubt made a lot of adjustments during his (now) seven seasons with the Giants. If you Google barry zito adjustments you'll get a google of results. Which makes his consistency all the more interesting, because when it comes to performance Barry Zito's been almost exactly the same pitcher since joining the Giants.
This season he's got an 88 ERA+ and a 1.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
As a Giant, he's got a 91 ERA+ and a 1.6 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The best things you can say about Zito are a) with the exception of 2011, he's been quite durable, and b) absent his adjustments, he might well have steadily declined over these last seven seasons. It's probably a testament to Zito that he's the same pitcher now as he was in 2007. Everybody just wishes he would have been better in 2007.
Granted, it's hard to argue with two World Championships.