SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After three spring training starts, Barry Zito remains an enigma.
He struggled in his first year with the San Francisco Giants after signing a $126 million, seven-year contract, and still looks nothing like the pitcher who won the 2002 AL Cy Young Award with Oakland.
Every starter can expect one awful outing during spring training, and Zito had one in his first assignment, allowing eight runs, seven hits and two walks. He failed to finish the first inning.
He looked completely different in his next outing, allowing one run and two hits in three strong innings. He didn't strike anybody out, but didn't walk anybody, either.
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On Monday, he took several steps backward. Zito was extended to 3º innings but gave up another eight runs and walked four batters. He still hasn't recorded a strikeout this spring.
"Well, I was working on a couple of things mechanically, so I was just trying to get comfortable with that," Zito said.
"Obviously, the ball was up a little bit -- more than I would like, so I will just get back to work."
Zito, who had his first professional losing season (11-13) and his highest ERA (4.53) last year, is expected to anchor the Giants' young starting rotation. He's started more games (255) than the rest of the projected rotation (186) combined.
"Spring training is an opportunity to work on some things in the games, in game situations," Zito said. "You can use the adrenaline that you don't usually get in a practice session or a bullpen. It was the first time doing it, and I think it's important to stick with it and really work with it to get the timing."
Zito, who turns 30 in May, is working to become slightly more compact in his delivery, despite seven successful seasons in the AL with one windup.
"It was eliminating the hands going over the head in the windup," Zito said. "I'm trying to have a little more continuity, and less movement. It just feels more comfortable."
GIANTS 8, BREWERS 4, at Phoenix -- Milwaukee ace Ben Sheets was tagged for his first five runs of the spring and San Francisco batted around in the second inning. Giants starter Matt Cain allowed two runs in the first, but struck out four and didn't allow any more runs in four innings.
A'S 6, CUBS 4, at Mesa, Ariz. -- Three Oakland pitchers limited Chicago to seven hits, and the A's scored five runs against the Cubs' bullpen in the sixth and seventh innings to rally for the victory. Jack Cust homered in the first inning and Bobby Crosby hit a three-run homer in the sixth for Oakland.
SELIG DOING WELL -- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig earned about $14.5 million in baseball's latest fiscal year, roughly the same as the previous year. Selig received $14,515,071 in compensation during the 12 months ending Oct. 31, 2006, according to Major League Baseball's tax return, which the commissioner's office released Tuesday. That was up from exactly $14.5 million in the 12 months that ended Oct. 31, 2005.