The Giants' visit to their Triple-A affiliate really was a big deal. Chukchansi Park was sold out long ago, local hero Mark Gardner tossed the ceremonial first pitch and the teams lined up along the base lines for introductions as if this were Game 1 of the World Series.
One of the squads appeared set for Opening Day, and it wasn't the Giants, who lost to Fresno 4-3.
In his final appearance before he starts the opener against the Dodgers, Barry Zito allowed four runs (three earned) over 62/3 innings against a Grizzlies lineup in which Nate Schierholtz was the Big Man On Campus, with 112 big-league at-bats. For the spring, Zito gave up 24 earned runs in 25 innings.
And you thought the horror wouldn't begin until Monday.