Yeah in case you missed it, this actually happened this year.
Just a few days removed from his comments that he would be open to going to the bullpen to help the team, Timmy breathed some life back into his starting pitching career and it couldn't have come at a better time with the offense scuffling against the Blue Jays tonight.
A Giants' starter has only picked up the decision in a win 3 times this season if the Giants score 1 or 2 runs. The last time that happened was on April 20, and it happened to be Timmy in a 2-0 win.
This is exactly how the Giants used to win, way back then in 2012. Giants score 2-3 runs, and the pitching lets it hold up. The starter was different every time too. Every pitcher who took the mound was capable of going deep into the game and giving the team a chance to win so long as they scored a couple runs.
This year the Giants have regularly scored more, but gotten less support from the starters. As it stands, the Giants' starters rank 25th in the league in quality starts and only Bumgarner and Zito have ERA's under 4.00.
Of course the Giants finally got a great pitching performance from the unlikeliest of sources. Chad Gaudin made one of the biggest starts this season in a 6 inning 79 pitch performance that gave the Giants the happy flight home from St. Louis with a 4-2 win.
As Dave Righetti stated in an interview yesterday, these starters need to stop feeding off each other's failures and be a little more selfish. However if they want to feed off an 11 year journeyman reliever then go right ahead, Timmy was first up and he followed Gaudin's performance with 7 innings of his own 6 strikeouts, 1 walk in probably his best start of the year.
Timmy was hitting 93 mph at times and mixing in his slider and curveball well to keep the Blue Jays off balance. As bad the Blue Jays have been, their hitting is probably as good as any in the league, so Timmy's game is nothing to scoff at. He got outs on some very dangerous hitters including the former Giant Melky Cabrera.
The most important thing that this start did was to quiet some of the reliever talk that was hovering around Timmy over the past weekend. Andrew Baggarly of Comcast heard from a source within the Giants' organization that Timmy would be put in the bullpen "in a heartbeat" if the Giants had any depth whatsoever at starting pitcher. Since that depth does not exist, Timmy stays a starter for the foreseeable future.
Even when asked about the possibility of becoming a reliever, Timmy resigned to the fact that he may have to move to the bullpen sometime this year to showcase his ability to be a reliever to possibly help his market value this coming offseason when he becomes a free agent. But everyone knows that starters make more money that relievers and if there's any way that Timmy can revive his career as a starter it could mean the difference between 5-10 million dollars a year for the next few years.
If he's going to do that he has to do what every Giants starter needs to do right now and that's throw strikes. If this team is going to the playoffs this year, the starters will have to start carrying this team at times like tonight where the offense can only manage to scratch a few runs on the board.
Tomorrow Barry Zito takes on reigning Cy Young winner RA Dickey in the Giants' shot at a payback sweep of the Blue Jays. Lets hope the quality starts keep on coming.
Laws of the Day
Zito has had 5 quality starts this year and all of them have been at home where he gave up 2 runs in those 5 games.
The Giants are undefeated this year when Zito pitches at AT&T Park a perfect 7-0, while the Giants have lost all 4 of his road starts.