Posts Tagged Tim Lincecum

World Series an anti-climax? SF Giants must top that Game 5 NLCS finish; Ishikawa home run legendary for so many reasons; And will we ever see Tim Lincecum again?

I am still buzzed about that dramatic home run by Travis Ishikawa. I wrote about it on the AALDEF blog here.

I was in the stadium that night and took this picture as Ishikawa was approaching home.

IshikawagreetedbyariasHe’s slammed down his helmet in exuberance, and is confronted by one of the runners who scored ahead of him, Joaquin Arias.

But notice the player in the left corner.

It’s Tim Lincecum, heretofore, the most incredible Asian American native born major league player of part-Filipino heritage ever.

He’s never been on the margins in his career. But he is now.

Lincecum hasn’t pitched an inning in the post-season. And in those times when his number would be called, it’s been someone else. Petit, most notably. But also Strickland. And the specialists like Lopez and Affeldt.  Lincecum can’t get in the game. Manager Bruce Bochy has him slotted where he can be trusted. Top of a fresh  inning where any damage due to Lincecum’s control issues can be minimal. But the longer Lincecum goes without pitching, you wonder how ready he’ll be for any situation. You kind of hope he doesn’t get in, because it means the Giants’ starter was ineffective, and the team is losing. Meanwhile between injured Cain’s $20 million a year, and ineffective Lincecum’s $17 million, that’s nearly $40 million on the Giants’ bench.

And the team’s still winning.

From having talked to Lincecum in the past, I know his attitude is, “I’ll pitch whenever they tell me.” He’s always positive; always a team guy. He’s never had his status fall like this. But I think, he’ll use this to come back stronger than ever.

I’ve always said he had an Eckersly like career arc forming. If he uses this period to get his mechanical issues straightened out, the man who never ices his arm, could find there’s a formidable second act in his future.

Just an odd thing to catch him on the edge of the frame, watching Ishikawa–who has never been  a star, always a marginal guy. But in Game 5, he was the man of the hour. And for more than just baseball reasons. See the AALDEF blog for that story.

 

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SF Giants’ Lincecum still has homer-itis, but keeps team in game till it decides it wants to win in 12th; After nearly five hours, Giants beat Dodgers 3-2 on Jackie Robinson Day

 

On the night when all the heroes wore No. 42, it was too bad the San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum couldn’t get the win.

On Jackie Robinson Night, the Giants sent Lincecum, the premier Filipino American player in baseball to the mound. The Filipino fan favorite pitched well enough to win. In a 93 pitch performance in 5 innings, he struck out 5 and had zero walks. The Dodgers managed just five hits, but that included a solo home run in the 2nd inning to former teammate Juan Uribe. On a full-count, Lincecum challenged with a slider, and Uribe pounded it half-way up the left field bleachers.  The Dodgers coasted on that run most of the night. By the time the Giants tied it on a Brandon Crawford sac fly that scored Hunter Pence, Lincecum was out of the game–but off the hook.  He’s still looking for his first win, but so far he’s got 17 Ks and 1 walk in 15 innings pitched, indicative that the mustachioed Lincecum isn’t plagued by some of the control issues he had last year. Indeed, this year, he’s not wild, just prone to the fat pitch and the homerun ball—he’s given up 5 in 15 innings.  Uribe got him on this night. After the Dodgers took a2-1 lead, the Giants tied the score again  in the bottom of the 9th, but left the bases loaded ( as they did three times in the game). The game went into extras, past midnight. Nearly five hours after the start, the Giants finally pushed through a winning run when Hector Sanchez singled in Brandon Crawford for the 3-2 final. The walk-off win gives the Giants a first place tie with LA in the NL West.

 

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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.

 

Lincecum:First pitch back from No-No, was a ball. And it was downhill from there.

 

 

 

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. 

See  more of the  Linceblog at www.asamnews.com

 

 

 

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Linceblog: Lincecum all smiles, awaits next start on Monday (updated for 7/22)

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.

UPDATE (7/20)
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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