For the second round of playoffs in a row, $126 million will get the San Francisco Giants a nice cheerleader in the dugout.
Starting pitcher Barry Zito did not make the Giants' NLCS roster.
Nor, again, did outfielder Jose Guillen.
Guillen is easily understandable, given that his legs are old, he can't move very well and the Giants acquired a batch of other outfielders along with him this summer (well, Pat Burrell and Cody Ross, at least). Also, Guillen is nursing a bulging disc in his neck. Manager Bruce Bochy says Guillen is available as a replacement in the event of another injury during this NLCS.
As for Zito, rookie Madison Bumgarner passed him in the regular-season rotation (in terms of effectiveness) and supplanted him on the roster both in the first round against Atlanta and, now, in the NLCS against the Phillies.
Zito went 9-14 with a 4.15 ERA in 199 1/3 innings in 2010. He was not helped by a lack of run support, which was an issue in the first half when he went only 7-4 despite a 3.76 ERA over 18 starts. In the second half, though, the roof caved in: Post-All-Star break, Zito was 2-10 with a 4.70 ERA. In August, he was 0-4 with a 7.76 ERA.
Bochy did not comment at length on Zito before Game 1 Saturday, preferring instead to stay more generic.
"We could have gone with another left-hander [on the roster]," Bochy said. "We had [Dan] Runzler and Zito. We talked about that ... adding another pitcher, things like that. But it really just came down to we didn't want to change the roster [from the Division Series against Atlanta].
"With Guillermo Mota being our long guy, Jeremy Affeldt can help out there, too. We felt comfortable in that area."
The Giants, like the Phillies, are going with 11 pitchers in the NLCS.