|The "New" Tim Lincecum|
Maybe his next nickname can be Houdini, or Freaky Houdini, or Loudini... ok we'll work on that.
Tim Lincecum is going to be a story all year long with his impending free agency next year and no one really sure what he'll be worth at the end of this season. What Timmy knows is that he has to do everything in his power to put up the kind of numbers that will restore confidence in general managers looking to sign him including perhaps our own GM Brian Sabean.
As I said in an earlier post about Timmy, it's almost impossible to imagine that he would put up the kind of numbers he did last year, where he was last in the league in almost every category besides strikeouts. He had the highest ERA among qualified starters last year with a 5.18 ERA. Why? you might ask, well starters with 5.18 ERA's are usually injured for some or most of the year, or are relegated to the bullpen or happen to be your grandmother.
Suffice it to say, Timmy will have a better season this year, the question is how much better. I think first and foremost what we need to realize is, that Tim Lincecum we knew, the one who won 2 Cy Young awards and beat Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in the 2010 Postseason, that guy is gone. There is no coming back to that Tim Lincecum, he was a great Giant and everyone loved him, but he's gone. This stage is called acceptance.
Now that you've accepted that, realize that a new Tim Lincecum, let's call him the Great Lincecumini... okay let's not. This new Timmy can be successful if he utilizes good location with his fastball which reaches a top speed of about 91 mph and can keep batters off balance using his slider and his changeup. However, with bad control, this new Timmy can be blasted time and time again, and issue walks like San Francisco parking tickets, with impunity.
What this "new" Timmy did yesterday was scatter 7 walks, but somehow get out of trouble every time. He turned it on when he needed to and that's really all we can ask of this kid from now on. In the postgame interviews, pitching coach Dave Righetti told Timmy to just take this win, take it and build up his confidence. I guess I'll take it too.
More promising news was on the bullpen front and our Guillermo Mota replacement, Chad Gaudin, looked very good yesterday pitching 2 innings and throwing in a nasty little slider to Matt Kemp for a called strike three. Gaudin was touching 93 on the gun and just looked on top of things, he coaxed 3 pop-ups in the 7th also.
Speaking of Matt Kemp, the Giants kept the Dodgers' pride and joy to 0 hits leaving the bases juiced twice yesterday. If watching Matt Kemp throw a hissy fit in the dugout after grounding into a double play doesn't make you smile then I can't help you.
And finally, one small mention of how well Sergio Romo has done in his past 2 games. His gameplan vs lefties/righties is spot on right now and he showed off that slider to end the game yesterday on a huge swing and miss by Luis Cruz.
Laws of the Day
The Dodgers hit 2 for 27 with runners in scoring position good for a .074 average. But before you get too cocky, the Giants hit .091...