When you think of players who helped the Giants win the National League West with 10 days to spare, you have to start with MVP candidate Buster Posey.
Six months ago, the question hanging over Posey was not how well he would play, but how much the catcher would play coming back from a season-ending injury.
Just as well, where would the Giants be without center fielder Angel Pagan? Where would they be without infielder Marco Scutaro after picking him up at the trading deadline?
But mostly, where would the Giants be without Barry Zito?
With most of the starting rotation struggling at one point this season, Zito is concluding his best year since signing a seven-year, $120 million contract with the Giants in 2007.
Once a lightning rod targeted by Giants fans, Zito finally has the support and confidence of Giants fans. He has won 13 games his most in any season as a Giant and San Francisco has won his past nine starts.
After being left off the 2010 playoff roster and handling it with class, Zito deserves a starting spot in the 2012 postseason rotation.
Ryan Vogelsong, who has no postseason experience, has pitched better lately after a rough past month. But he would be better suited coming out of the bullpen in October.
Ignore Zito's 4-3 postseason record in Oakland. He simply gives the Giants a better chance to win.
And mostly, he deserves it.
What to watch
NFL, Green Bay at Seattle, 5:30 p.m., ESPN: A Seahawks victory would move Seattle into a tie with the 49ers for second place behind the Cardinals in the NFC West.
Who should start in the Giants' postseason pitching rotation?
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Weekend poll results
Who will finish with more wins this season?
Total votes: 177
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Victor Contreras
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at email@example.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.