After Tim Lincecum singled to break up Anthony Bass’ perfect game, we knew that all bets were off. It’s like when you’re watching a movie, and you while everything may be a little weird, it hasn’t quite crossed over into the realm of “supernatural.” People are moving and doing crazy things, but you could probably close your eyes and just pretend that somebody really could run up that wall, or dodge those swords. Sure they could.
And then Timmy gets a hit, and the world broke. Peter Parker shoots webs out of glands in his wrists. Shia LaBeouf ended up with Megan Fox because giant robots. Clearly you’re not a golfer because nobody fucks with your fucking lady friend when there’s a beverage here, man, but that’s just, like, my opinion, man.
The story tonight is Tim Lincecum. Because he pitched, and pitched well. He also got legged out an infield single to break up a perfect game. I’m not sure if I mentioned that.
Still, Lincecum isn’t all the way back. His velocity is still way down, averaging 88.6 mph on his fastball and topping out at 90.6 mph, way down from 92.2 in 2011 and 94.0 (2008) and 92.4 (2009) in his Cy Young years. He also walked four hitters, but allowed just three hits and one unearned run in eight innings.
I’m not too concerned, though. The Padres ain’t a great lineup, but they actually do rank fourth in the majors in walk rate, and it seemed like most of Lincecum’s walks came on breaking balls in the dirt that the Padres hitters held up on. Lincecum’s MO is to get ahead in counts and then get hitters to whiff on pitches in the dirt, which still worked more often than it didn’t tonight. He got 10 swinging strikes and managed to do it with each of his pitches (3 on 4SFB, 1 on Changeup, 3 on Slider, 3 on Curveball). If Lincecum’s 2012 velocity is the real Tim Lincecum, then he’s going to need to rely more on movement and location than raw speed. Which he’s doing. Still not completely out of the woods yet, and I do remember saying almost this exact same thing about Wilson a couple weeks ago, but these are steps in the right direction.
Also, very impressed by Melky’s defense.
Brandon Watch 2012:
Belt: 1-for-3 with a go-ahead double in the 7th, some weird base-running and good (and bad) defense. I would say that we’ll probably see him out there again, but really I have no freaking clue. The Giants are facing a lefty tomorrow, but Brett Pill did go 0-for-4 yesterday, so I’m not placing any bets. Best guess: Team Righty, with Pill in left, Posey at first, Sanchez behind the dish.
Crawford: 0-for-3 with few defensive plays. His average is slipping back down to the Mendoza line, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of Joaquin Arias against lefties.
Stats of the Day:
51: Total errors combined between the Giants and Padres this season
3: On a scale from 1-10, how worried I am about Tim Lincecum
1: 0-fers by Pablo Sandoval this season
1: Hits by Tim Lincecum
5: Hits by the rest of the Giants
Bonus Stat of the Day:
9: Times I checked on the Dodgers/Nationals game to see if Bryce Harper had gotten his first hit yet