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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Warriors Need to Find Their Barry Zito

On October 18, 2012, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 8-3 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series (NLCS). Things didn't look good for the Giants. The next day the Cardinals were sending All-Star Lance Lynn to the mound, while the Giants were sending Barry Zito, who didn't get out of the 3rd inning against the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Division Series (NLDS) the week before. Zito, however, shocked the baseball world by pitching 7 2/3 shutout innings, the Giants won 5-0, and the Giants went on to win three straight games to win the NLCS. Zito was almost as impressive in the first game of the World Series, out dueling Detroit Tigers' ace, Justin Verlander, as the Giants won the first game of their four game sweep of the Tigers.

It is no secret that Zito struggled during his time with the Giants, and many argued that the 7-year, $126 million contract the Giants signed him to in 2001 was one of the worst ever ("Is Zito's Contract Really One of the Worst Ever?"). However, while it would be hard to argue that Zito's contract was a great deal for the Giants, most Giants' fans probably believe it was worth it ("The Redemption of Barry Zito") for the simple fact that the Giants wouldn't have been World Series champs in 2012 without him.

The Golden State Warriors need to find their Barry Zito. They need someone, who no one expects to step up, to step up and help the Warriors beat the Thunder on Thursday night. I don't know if it will be Ian Clark, Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezeli, or someone else. But someone needs to step up. The Warriors won't be NBA champs in 2016. But, then again, they may be an odd-year team.

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