Tag Archives: Colorado Rockies

Linceblog: Tim Lincecum’s first inning blues; one pitch golfed into the stands makes all the difference.


(Lincecum pictured here on a much better day).

He still made batters miss tonight. But the Giants’ Tim Lincecum’s  28 pitch 1st inning set the tone against the Rockies Wednesday night.

A walk and a hit put runners on base for Colorado batter Nolan Arenado, last night’s defensive star.  ‘

Tonight he was the offensive star.

With two pitches, Lincecum fooled him badly and looked like he had him with two strikes in the count. But Arenado anticipated the next pitch, a slow curve outside, and golfed it into the left centerfield seats to make it 3-0, Rockies.

Usually you can weather that if you have a decent offense.

But when you have a team that can barely muster a run, giving up three in the first make the home team’s bats even heavier.

Lincecum had some good ball movement in the first. But he isn’t showing much velocity. His fastball only hit the gun at 88 mph, which doesn’t make for enough of a speed variance to fool hitters consistently.

The Arenado sequence went 72, 80, 78.  Even with some movement, the pitches start looking the same.  Lincecum tried one more slop pitch away and Arenado got him.

Lincecum’s line didn’t look all that  bad.  He went 5 innings;  88 pitches; gave up 6 hits; 4 runs, 3 earned,1 walk (good control), and 4 strikeouts (he still fooled some of them).

He just didn’t get run support.

But then, this is the team that scores in the post season with  sac bunts, double plays and normal outs.

It just seems more charming in the post-season. Early in the regular season, it just seems …less  charming.

Giants got back a run in the first with Aoki (HBP) and Pagan with an RBI single scratching out some offense.

They didn’t get shut out.

The Rocks added a run in the second  to make it 4-1.

And you know Lincecum would have wanted that one pitch to Arenado back, as he watched the rest of the game from the dugout.

UPDATE: Matt Duffy added a homerun for the Giants in the bottom of the 8th.  And that made the score appropriate for Jackie Robinson Day.  In a game where everyone wore No.42, the score ended up appropriately, 4-2.



Linceblog: The San Francisco Giants’ dramatic weekend

Are you SF Giants fans feeling a touch nostalgic about 2010’s “torture” yet?

That was when the Giants were “all pitch and no hit,” and we wondered how they’d eke out a score on anything but a bases-loaded double-play.

Now the Giants spot teams like the Rockies two-runs early, as the starters try to keep the pitch count to under 70 in the first three innings. Meanwhile, Giants’ batters figure out how to work themselves into a rally frenzy to win it all in the end.

It’s very much like Sea Biscuit, the legendary champion race horse who would spot his challengers 10 lengths or more, only to turn it on late to win by a nose.

So which do you prefer? Slow drip or late rush? To paraphrase the Bard, would torture by any other name smell as sweet?

Depends on how you want the excessive drama in your life.

The two victories over the Rockies this weekend sure fit the come-from-behind nature of the 2013 Giants.

From Giants stats machine: Over half of the Giants’ 27 wins this season have been come-from-behind victories…their 14 such wins are tied for the fourth-most in the bigs…SF also has 10 wins in their last at-bat, tied with the D-backs for the most in the Majors.

As for one-run squeakers? Saturday’s was the 11th this season, tied with the D-backs, Reds and Indians for the most in the Majors.

Saturday also provided this obscure first, according the folks at Elias: The 10th inning victory was the first in 4,408 games in San Francisco in which they won after overcoming a deficit of four or more runs and in extra innings.

Glad that’s settled.

Personally, when it comes to victories, I’ll take mine in nine.

Cain’s work on Sunday, and Pagan’s ITP HR on Saturday are games worth savoring and replaying when all seems lost.

Some fans and the media seem disappointed when the Giants don’t win every game. But the Rockies series offers us some real perspective.

For the players, these kind of games should now be forever installed in their baseball DNA. Never say die? Don’t give up? You know it’s not empty rhetoric after this Rockies series.

And how do Giants’ pitchers survive 65 pitches to get just six outs in two innings?  Well, after this weekend, Matt Cain knows how it’s done.

Remember these two weekend games for future reference.

More immediately, they also help flush and forget series like that abominable road trip to Canada and Colorado last week, eh?

Linceblog: Death march averted; SF Giants, Lincecum show no surrender in comeback victory over Rockies

Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum, the pride of Filipino-American baseball fans everywhere, had no idea he was pitching on what is known in U.S./Filipino WWII history as Bataan Valor Day—the day the U.S. surrendered Bataan to the Japanese, leading to the infamous death march.

That coincidence of history aside, Lincecum and the Giants could have easily given up Tuesday night with the Rockies ahead 6-2 in the 6th inning.

Instead, Lincecum regained his command just enough to keep his team in the game so the Giants’ offense could stun the Rockies 9-6.

“I thought he threw the ball great and he didn’t let the game get out of control,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy speaking of Lincecum. “He kept us from going to the (bullpen) early, and gave us a chance to make that comeback and what a great comeback the guys made.”

Lincecum looked like he was in control from the start, but the second inning by his own estimation was “a doozy.”

After a nine-pitch first inning, Lincecum began the second with a four-pitch walk to Rockies slugger Troy Tulowitzki, the last two 91 and 92 mph fastballs that missed.

It would be the first of three walks that inning alone, including a walk to the pitcher Juan Nicasio. (“Pitchers should be outs,” said Lincecum later, frustrated by having walked Nicasio twice in the game). The self-inflicted trouble loaded the bases and was compounded by a two-run Dexter Fowler double, followed by a Josh Rutledge two –run single.

When I asked Lincecum the difference between his pitching between the first and the second innings, he knew right away.

“Rhythm, I guess you can say, that’s about it,” he said. “It wasn’t mechanical or just a timing issue.”

Lincecum said he righted himself by looking at video on his own after that second inning.

What did it show?

“Stuff I needed to see,” he said. No reason to give away any of his trade secrets.

He also said it wasn’t a matter of stamina.

“I think I’m where I need to be stamina wise,” Lincecum said. “But I can still get better at locating my pitches and erasing those five-run innings.”

Lincecum said after giving up those five runs, he was “just trying to settle in, be competitive and battle as long as I could.”  

Take away that second inning, the 4 walks, and the six earned-runs,  and his pitching line wasn’t all that bad: 104 pitches, 61 strikes, 43 balls, 7 strikeouts.

Bochy said he was impressed with Lincecum’s stuff and feels that in spite of missing time in spring training,  Lincecum is where he should be now.

Interestingly, I noticed how all the pre-game talk, the “Hector-Sanchez-as–DLC (Designated Lincecum Catcher)” was hardly worth a mention later.

Does the Hector for Posey thing really make a difference to Lincecum?

“Not really,” he said. “I got to go out and compete. Whether you got someone else in the outfield or catching, I have to do my job.”

The Giants didn’t miss Posey’s offense either, which at 5-24 (.208) hasn’t been great anyway.

In fact, the Giants, overall, were hitting just .231 and averaging under 3 runs a game for the first six games.  But on this night it wasn’t just the hot hitters: Pagan, Panda and Pence carrying the load.

Brandon Crawford delivered a three-run home run to left off reliever Adam Ottavino to get the Giants to within 1 run in the 6th.

And then in the 8th, the Giants scored 3 more runs on 5 hits.  The game saw contributions up and down the lineup, including Scutaro (3h, 1RBI), and Blanco (a bunt single RBI).

So the victory was a good boost for the team. And except for that one inning, a boost for Lincecum, too. He didn’t get the win, but he didn’t take a loss either.  A wash? If he learned a lot just watching film on that second inning, this game could be a gold mine.

He’s not totally back to his prime. But after two imperfect starts,  if  Lincecum keeps his poise and battles like he did tonight, his 2013 campaign should be far from a death march.

Linceblog: It’s Lincecum night–but not Posey night at AT&T

Bruce Bochy insists that it’s no big deal, that Buster Posey wasn’t going to catch both Tuesday night and Wednesday’s day game against the Rockies, so he chose to let him rest tonight and play tomorrow.

Oh, by the way, Tim Lincecum is pitching tonight.

Coincidence? A Posey aversion to Lincecum? A full-fledge conspiracy going into Game 8 of the long season?

Bochy was cagey in his dugout interview tonight and pretty much said what he’s been saying all along about the “Timmy/Buster” catching situation.

In the political realm, you would say he’s pumping up  his cover-story– a scenario that satisfies the need for an answer.

What is puzzling is if Hector Sanchez becomes Lincecum’s “personal catcher,” say like the Green Hornet’s Kato, does that help the Giants more than Lincecum?

Sanchez was not exactly doing Lincecum any favors behind the plate in the Dodger game. Lincecum is hard to catch, true, but Sanchez wasn’t making him look better.

So it’s Sanchez’ bat the Giants want in there? Well, what about Posey’s bat? Don’t you want your first string catcher in there?

As Bochy puts it, it’s just coincidence.

“Most of this will be how it falls,” said Boch. “It’s not a bad thing when a back up catcher ends up with the same pitcher.”

OK, and then when it’s not coincidence, then what is it?

Conspiracy theorists start your engines.

Incidentally, it’s the 71st Anniversay of the fall of Bataan, offically known as the “Day of Valor.” It’s a national holiday in the Philippines, but also an important part of America’s WWII history.

Lincecum won’t be facing the odds of those Filipino scouts in Bataan, but he will be going to battle tonight without the National League MVP behind the plate.