Posts Tagged Tim Lincecum
Back from No-no is an “Oh-No!”; Terrible outing for Lincecum, SF Giants as Cincinnati revives Big Red Machine, 11-0
In your wildest dreams, maybe Tim Lincecum would come up with a 2nd no-hitter, a back-to-back that would make history. No one has done it in 75 years, not since Johnny Vander Meer did it for the Cincinnati Reds.
It certainly didn’t happen tonight for Lincecum and the Giants.
Baseball records are made to be broken, but not on this night when Lincecum simply just didn’t have it from the first pitch.
But Bronson Arroyo did.
The Reds starter pitched a 7-hit complete game shutout, powered by a 11-run, 17-hit attack and buttressed by some good defense, including a circus catch by the substitute center fielder Derrick Robinson in the 9th. The Giants’ Jeff Francoeur had hit a long fly to center that Robinson caught over the wall with his glove. As his gloved hand came back from over the wall, the ball popped loose, but Robinson ultimately managed to keep it from hitting the ground to record the final out.
A fitting end for a strange bombast of a game won by the Reds, 11-0.
That’s right 11-0. The sixth time this year, the Giants have lost by 10 or more, but never by a shutout like this. (They’ve been shutout 7 times this season).
Lincecum was pulled after 3 and 2/3rds innings, after giving up 9 hits and 8 runs, all earned, including 3 home runs.
Normally this season, you could see flashes of his brilliance amid one bad inning. In this game, every inning he pitched there was trouble.
The no-hitter had been a nice diversion in a season where Lincecum has lost ten of his last 12 decisions. Pitching on nine days rest, Lincecum said after the game, he felt fine going into this one.
It just seems like we’ve returned to the troubled Lincecum, as the afterglow of the no-no has now officially ended.
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Tim Lincecum was all smiles before the game tonight (7/20). Last night he was given a standing ovation from the dugout by the fans who still wear his #55 and live and die with every pitch he throws.
Lincecum is scheduled to start Monday night, and has said he’s ready to go after the 148- pitch no-hitter he threw on 7/13 against the Padres.
In the meantime, the Giants need a good home-stand to put them back on track for a post-season run. They started a new streak with a win against the Diamondbacks on Friday. But they are still 5.5 games behind Arizona and in fourth place in the NL West.
Lincecum was the focus of trade rumor talks well before the no-hit performance. But that may have only increased his value, if the Giants consider themselves “sellers.” The Giants’ front-office was quick this week to say they expect Lincecum to remain a Giant until the end of the season.
But you never know what might get dangled in front of the decision makers.
Judging from Lincecum’s pre-game demeanor tonight, the Asian American ace is staying loose and not letting any speculation spoil his post-no-hitter mood.
On his 7th day of service in the major leagues, Kensuke Tanaka pinch-hit in the 8th, but grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Sergio Romo came out in 9th and gave up a run, but got former teammate Cody Ross to strike out and end the game.
With 4-3 victory, Giants take first two from NL West leading Diamondbacks, and will try to sweep the series on Sunday when the Giants’ real ace, Madison Bumgarner goes to the mound.
UPDATE: 7/21/13 9:30PM
The Giants couldn’t complete the sweep against the Diamondbacks, and lost the third game in the series, 3-1, despite a great performance from their de facto ace, Madison Bumgarner.
Coincidentally, it was poor outfield play by left fielder Kensuke Tanaka at the start of the game that resulted in the first DB run, and that held up for most of the game.
Tanaka’s eighth day of service turned out to be not so great. The first-inning play was just the first of two that exposed him for being a converted infielder playing the outfield. Another play, a ball in which Tanaka seemed to get a late jump, turned into a double, but did not end up costing a run. A third play, a base-running gaffe, saw Tanaka get thrown out at second after trying to advance on a misthrow to first. It stifled a last inning rally that seemed to be developing for the Giants.
Later, Giants skipper Bruce Bochy told the media Tanaka’s first inning episode was a matter of poor defensive positioning and not his inability to play outfield. But I doubt if anyone in the front-office is considering Tanaka the solution to their left field needs.
The loss did keep the Dodgers from taking over first place from Arizona. LA beat the Nationals and were poised to take over if the Giants won. But that didn’t happen. LA is a half-game behind the Diamondbacks. The Giants remain in 4th, 5.5 games off the lead.
Still, the vibe is positive as Tim Lincecum takes the mound Monday night against the Cincinnati Reds. It’s the first start since Lincecum’s 148-pitch No-Hitter week from Saturday in San Diego.
Though a longshot, there’s always the possibility of a back-to-back no-hitter. Johnny Vander Meer did it 75 years ago on June 11 and then June 15. It’s the only time it has ever been done. And Vander Meer’s team? The Cincinnati Reds.
Are the stars aligned this week? Lincecum has looked good in his two starts prior to the no-hitter. In fact, he lost to the Reds when Homer Bailey no-hit the Giants on July 2nd.
I’m not worried about the 148-pitch count. Lincecum is well rested, and seems to have his confidence back in spades.
B2B no-hitters requires a lot of luck, especially with catching teams at the right time. The Reds are 5-5 the last ten games and just lost a close one at home to the Pirates Sunday. And now they’re back Monday night? The tired, jet-lagged, time-shifted visitors may need some time to get used to the road, which means Lincecum is likely to have success keeping hitters off-balance with his fastball and change-up. Lincecum got the Padres to whiff in his no-hitter. And that should continue with the Reds.
There are a lot of positives going for Lincecum on Monday that say this is as good a time as there’s ever been for a back-to-back.
Besides, I figure there’s more than a few of his Filipino fans saying multiple rosaries hoping for something special on Monday night.
Linceblog: SF Giants in San Diego finally turning page on bad chapter? Yes, if Tim Lincecum can keep pitching like he has… UPDATE: LINCECUM NO-NOs SAN DIEGO PADRES, GIANTS WIN 9-0
There have been no darker times in the 2013 season than what we’ve experienced the last two months. Injuries, miscues, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, and it all dates back to May 14th.
That was the start of that miserable series in Toronto, and to date, that’s covered 54 games that look like a death spiral to the NL West cellar.
19 wins, 35 losses, a .351 win percentage, the second worst in the majors (after Minnesota) since that May 14 date.
And then came San Diego.
The Giants streak has given hope to those who thought rigor mortis had set in at Third and King.
After these last two months, a good team gone bad needs a 10-run, 17 hit Friday victory.
And what do you know, they’ve got a two-win streak!
(Really, there is no dishonor beating up on the Padres. Not when you consider what the missionaries were really all about).
Here’s the bad news. The Giants have never won more than two in a row at any point since May 14th, while they like losing streaks of three games or more and have done that SIX times.
So can they add a third win?
Why not? It’s a Tim Lincecum night.
(Now you know all the Filipinos in National City are excited about this appearance. Lincecum is the pride of Filipinos everywhere. But he’s typical of a lot of 2nd generation American Filipinos).
The Linceblog has noted that Timmy has pitched well enough to win his last two starts, almost matching Homer Bailey in Cincinnati (who just happened to throw a no-hitter). And then in the last start against the Mets, Lincecum deserved a victory dueling All-Star Matt Harvey were it not for some horrible defensive plays and an offense that stopped after Posey hit a two-run bomb.
Still, Lincecum had the magic. He had 11 strikeouts that night, the 33rd time he’s struck-out ten or more in a single game in his career, but just the first time this season he’s done it.
It’s an indicator that the bullpen talk is still premature.
Tim’s still got it. And the late-bloomer is finally coming around this year.
Now he’s up against the Padres. This season against SD, the Lince-line is decent: in two games, he’s 1-1, 1.32 era, 13.2 innings, 10 hits, 2 runs, 2 er, 5 walks, 17 K’s….
That’s more than one strikeout an inning. And the game he lost was a 2-1 duel with Cashner.
Timmy can do it.
And he has baseball voodoo on his side.
The Giants were in first place, two games up. And it was a Mother’s Day special.
And now look who’s pitching exactly two months to the day of the start of that bad Toronto series, but Timmy L.
It would be a nice bookend to the badness, and the real beginning of a post-All-Star game streak that ends with a September beat-up of the NL West and a three game final series in San Diego.
You see, there are hopeful scenarios even without some trade deadline miracle.
Lincecum can help turn it around with a win tonight.
And then Zito on Sunday to complete a sweep.
UPDATE: 10:16 PDT
Tim Lincecum, who has suffered through a hard-luck season of doubt and defeat, no-hit the San Diego Padres on 148 pitches, as the SF Giants won their third straight, 9-0.
Lincecum’s Giant teammates helped him out with a 10-hit attack. Hunter Pence added a home run and 5 RBI, and made a special defensive save, catching a low-liner off the bat of Alexi Amarista to end the 8th inning.
It was Lincecum’s first no-hitter in his career.
After the game he told a TV interviewer, “It was kind of surreal.”
Considering the way the first half of the season has gone, when his erratic performances inspired talk of being relegated to the bullpen, or being traded, or not being resigned by the Giants, Lincecum made a statement tonight.
He’s still something special.
Linceblog: San Francisco Giants’ Lincecum shows old ace magic with 3-hit, 7-inning mastery over Toronto Blue Jays in 2-1 win; Best start this year comes amid bullpen talk, though Lincecum says that was no factor on this night
All the bullpen talk over the last few days must have done something to Tim Lincecum.
But he won’t let anyone think that.
The one-time, unquestioned Giants ace turned in a throwback performance—a solid 7-inning start, his best since Mother’s Day (May 12)–holding the Toronto Blue Jays to just one run on three hits, walking just one batter, and striking out six.
Lincecum was in control. In 100-pitches, 61 for strikes, he showed everyone why he’s not quite ready to be relegated to the pen.
Later, Lincecum insisted that news reports where he discussed a bullpen move weren’t on his mind on this night, when he was just focused on being a good starter.
That, he was.
It wasn’t exactly an auspicious start. Lincecum was ahead of Former Giant Melky Cabrera 1-2 but then gave up a single. The defense saved him with a 6-4-3-double play. But then the next batter, Edwin Encarnacion hit a 1-0 fastball into centerfield for his 17th home-run of the year to give Toronto a 1-0 lead.
Lincecum later said that pitch to Encarnacion was a “good pitch,” not a mistake. “You tip your cap to him,” said Lincecum. “And you move on.”
But with 2-out and clean-up hitter Adam Lind coming up, would it be the beginning of that typical Lincecum pattern this year of the one-big inning, early?
Not on this night.
Lincecum restored confidence striking out Lind on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
And then the Giants, as they have most of this season, came back to pick-up Lincecum. In the bottom of the second, Andres Torres hit a 1-1 pitch from Toronto’s Josh Johnson on a line over the centerfield wall. Hunter Pence, who had singled, scored ahead of him to make it 2-1.
That’s all they needed, as Lincecum was ready to throw a gem of a game.
In the second, despite a hard hit ball by Toronto’s Colby Rasmus, it was a quick three-batter inning. As was the 3rd.
And the 7th.
The noticeable exception was the 6th. He faced one more batter. The inning started creakily, with Lincecum giving up his lone walk of the game with one-out–to his opposing pitcher Josh Johnson. Pitchers are supposed to be outs, as Lincecum has acknowledged in the past.
Would it be his undoing in a close one-run game?
Cabrera, the former hero and doper, who had been dodging boos and indifference all night from conflicted fans, then singled to right.
But then it was Lincecum against the dangerous former home-run champion, Jose Bautista.
Bautista hit a liner to Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who quickly relayed to second baseman Marco Scutaro to get the lead runner Johnson.
Scutaro had the ball for split second, then in a scooping motion with his gloved, dropped the ball.
Did he hold it long enough? Did he even beat Johnson to the bag? Second base umpire Alfonso Marquez said he did, though Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons continued arguing as the inning ended . Giants Manager Bruce Bochy later said he’d probably be out there arguing too. But he thought Johnson was out.
With solid defense behind Lincecum like that double play, and hard hit fly balls to left run down by Torres, Lincecum shutdown the Blue Jays methodically. He had the fast-ball command early, and got his slider and change-up over for strikes.
The bull-pen came in to hold the game with Affeldt in the 8th, and Romo in the 9th. The closer needed 20 pitches to get the Blue Jays’ heart of the order out.
But even in the final inning, the Jays were a threat, with the tying run on first, and the winning run at the plate in the person of Edwin Encarnacion.
The Blue Jay slugger’s 17th homerun in the first inning was his team’s only run. His soft liner to second base would be its last out.
So the Giants bullpen did its job.
And for a change, so did the Giants starter named Lincecum.