Zito either shut down the opposition so the Giants hitters could take a day-off of sorts, or the bats would come alive when their pitching compatriot needed a pick-me-up on a bad day at the office.

For example, when Zito would hold opponents to two runs, the offense would merely drive home an adequate four; when he limited opponents to one run, the bats would only need to drive in three.

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We’re talking about a veritable pariah in San Francisco—a perennial scapegoat for all the city’s ills—taking on the savior of a franchise who receives effusive praise from even the most diehard of enemies.

Up until the concluding portion of this season, Zito could do no right; no matter how gregarious he was with fans and media.

And I'll agree to be featured only if I can wear my Queensryche shirt from the 1991 Empire tour. The blurb calls him "The Derek Jeter of the Bay Area," which is gross.

Until then, they're concerned with photogenic athletes and models and such.

Management finally said heck with it and left him off the 2010 World Champion roster.

All the while in Detroit, the Tigers reveled in the glory of Verlander’s 90 during the same time period (2007-11). Barry Zito will consummate the recently mended relationship between himself and San Francisco Giants fans with a gutsy, if not historic outing, in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series.

And he’ll do so against the mighty Verlander, who some deem as an unconquerable force on a pitching mound. The Giants have walked down victory lane in Zito’s last 13 starts, and have done so for a reason—however bizarre as it may be.

It really amounted to some sort of odd symbiotic relationship.

Through three starts and 24.1 innings pitched, Verlander is a perfect 3-0 with 25 strikeouts and a 0.82 ERA. Compounding matters for Zito and the Giants is Verlander’s 7-0 record in his last seven starts dating back to September 14.