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October 19, 2012

Barry Zito


San Francisco Giants – 5
St. Louis Cardinals ‑ 0

Q.  Everyone is saying that's the greatest start of your career.  I'm wondering how you would describe it.
BARRY ZITO:  Yeah, all things considered, you know, there's definitely some playoff memories there, but they were all in a different uniform.  This was probably the biggest one for me.

Q.  I know you were professionally in the moment tonight when you came out of the game and between innings did you have any thoughts about how far things have come in the last two or three years to this point?
BARRY ZITO:  You know, it's hard to kind of think about all those things.  We're still fighting to win a game and stuff.  I think in time to reflect it might happen after everything is said and done and I'm back home in the off‑season, but right now there's a lot of work to do.

Q.  What kind of adjustments did you make from your last start against Cincinnati?  And also what does it mean to you that the team has now won 13 straight games while you've been on the mound?
BARRY ZITO:  As far as the second part of that question, you know, there's so many factors that go into it.  The boys tend to score some runs when I'm out there and that's awesome.  But all I can really be concerned with is what I'm doing out there.
As far as my adjustments from my first postseason game this year, I was just trying to be too fine, I was nitpicking the corners, just missing.  Today I wanted to make the adjustment and put the pressure more on the hitters to put the ball in play instead of trying to just be too fine.

Q.  What particularly was working?  Looked like you were spotting the fastball particularly well.
BARRY ZITO:  Yeah, my fastball is set up by my offspeed, that's no secret.  So if I can command the fastball to both sides of the plate and throw most of my off speed for strikes, I'll get them to miss the barrel and that's what I'm going for.

Q.  Bruce talked a little bit about just while disappointed in 2010, but just how professional you were when you were left off the roster.  I'm wondering what it meant to you this year after what happened in 2010 to just be a major part of this team and obviously in a do or die game this evening to just go out and pitch the way you did?
BARRY ZITO:  Well, you know, it was certainly a huge blow just personally to be left off that roster.  But you've got to be professional.  You can't pout and such like that.
I worked on a lot of things that off‑season, came back stronger for it, I think.

Q.  Do you want to rank the defensive plays made behind you in terms of which you liked the most, and also what does that do, the process of pitching, as you're going through this evening?
BARRY ZITO:  Yeah, well, I don't know if I can rank them, but there's four that stand out in my mind, Hunter's basket sliding catch, which was just a testament to his athletic ability, incredible.
Panda (Sandoval) making that diving catch on the cutter into Allen Craig was awesome.
Scutaro making that play on Robinson on the curveball, the four‑hole, that was awesome.
And Pagan who we tend to be spoiled by Pagan's defense because he's making diving plays out there like that once every two or three games.  They were all huge.  And I think in the postseason every pitch is huge.  So the boys definitely picked me up tonight.

Q.  Were you aware of the rally Zito thing on Twitter, that you were a trending topic worldwide?
BARRY ZITO:  No, I tried Twitter a couple of years ago and it was a pretty devastating experience for me (laughter).
I learned to not check the inbox.  So I got off Twitter.  I'm excited that the fans are fired up.  And they're going to bring all that momentum into the stadium these next two games here.  So I'm just happy for the team and happy that the fans get to see us back at AT&T Park.

Q.  Also Righetti was saying that you were calm, not antsy at all today.  Did you feel different or anymore ready than you normally would considering that it's such a high pressure situation?
BARRY ZITO:  The situation with the postseason is that you have to manage your emotions.  And stay calm and keeping the game slow around you is probably the biggest thing that we all try to do.  And if you do that you have a good chance of letting your talent be maximized.  If you get too caught up in the hype and everything else, things get erratic out there.
I was focused on slowing everything down.

Q.  That bunt for an RBI, was that all you, did you see that there?  Was that called in any way or was that your play?
BARRY ZITO:  It's something we worked on.  Flannery has done great work with me on the bunting side of things.  I knew I didn't have much of a chance of hitting off Lynn.  But I saw a situation where I could possibly get one down and get another run in, so I tried it.

Q.  A couple real quick ones.  According to one website that tracks these things, you had never had an actual bunt single before.  Do you think that's true?
BARRY ZITO:  Yeah, I do.  I'm known for my Arabian horse gallop, as Wilson calls it.  Just not that fast.  And to bunt for a hit you've got to be perfect, and fortunately it was there.

Q.  And then the second one, when you're in a situation after you walked Kozma and the bases were loaded are you actually trying to get a ground ball from the pitcher in that situation?
BARRY ZITO:  No, you can't ‑‑ I'm not a sinker ball guy.  I think sinker ball guys can say I'm going to throw this and it's going to sink and he's going to hit it in the ground.
For me it was just about making my pitches and I threw a curveball back door where I wanted to and had some depth to it and was able to get that 6‑4‑3, it was huge.

Q.  I know the Giants have won a bunch of games in a row, 13 for you.  Did you surprise yourself?  This is a tough place to pitch and against a tough right‑handed lineup to go seven and two‑thirds shutout is pretty amazing.
BARRY ZITO:  I was living pitch to pitch, moment to moment.  And looking back on it things worked out and the defense picked me up.  Crawford had a huge hit on that 3‑2 curveball.  I don't think anybody thought a curveball was coming with bases loaded and he put it up the middle.  And I think that was the difference momentum‑wise.

Q.  I know you can downplay it, but I know how hard you worked over the last couple of years to get to this point.  What were the factors and what did you feel that you needed to do both mentally and physically to overcome what's been a very tough road for you here with the Giants?
BARRY ZITO:  It's hard to sum it up in one answer.  It's just a plethora of things that I've done and gone through here with the Giants.  But the most important thing was to come out and give everything I've got and let the Cardinals play out how they did.  So I think that's what happened tonight.

Q.  The play that Lance Lynn threw to centerfield, as a pitcher, how difficult is a play like that to coordinate?
BARRY ZITO:  Yeah, it is.  You're off‑balance.  And when you make an off‑balance throw and you've got a guy that can run that's putting the pressure on the second base, the shortstop right there, you know you've got to be good with it.  It's definitely not an easy play at all.

Q.  When the camera often catches you it looks like you're talking to yourself on the mound.  Do you talk to yourself and can you share with us any of the things you were saying to yourself?
BARRY ZITO:  Yeah, I'm not even aware of what I say.  I'm just talking to myself, trying to get my focus back where it has to be.  And if it gets off a little bit then I just talk myself back to where I have to be.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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