|9-hitter for Lincecum|
In a day filled with news of PED's and scandal after Ryan Braun took a deal for a 65 game suspension to effectively end his season, the Giants took their first step to a lost season very quietly.
The fact remains that the only way the Giants can come back into this race is to win more than 40 games down the stretch and lose not much more than 20 of them. Going .500 is not going to cut it. Going 16-32 against non NL West opponents isn't going to cut it either, but the Giants have completed both so far.
Falling out of the race this week could have major implications for the impending free agents on the roster, Pence, Lopez and Lincecum.
The news out of the front office is that Lincecum is probably not going to be moved regardless of what happens, but that Pence could be moved if the Giants are out of the race or overwhelmed by an offer from another team. The Giants sure looked overwhelmed by the Reds, but I'm pretty sure that's not what they had in mind.
If the Pirates are indeed the leading suitors for the services of the Reverend Pence, the trade piece that might be most coveted by the Giants would probably be Jameson Taillon, the top end starting #1 prospect in the Pirates' farm system. If you're looking for a guy that the Giants might be "overwhelmed" by, this is the guy. Taillon was ranked as the 11th best prospect in the nation at the All Star break and has a devastating fastball/curveball combo with his fastball averaging 94-96 mph and a hammer curveball that is his knockout pitch.
But seriously, what general manager in their right mind would mortgage away a potential ace starter for a rental right fielder... (See Zach Wheeler for Carlos Beltran).
In this particular scenario, Taillon is Zach Wheeler, and Hunter Pence is Carlos Beltran. If this season is lost, getting back a top-end rotation guy for the future to pitch alongside Bumgarner and Cain would be a huge coup in the coupiest sense.
Now this is not to say the Pirates are willing to part with Taillon who they view as the future top of their rotation with Gerrit Cole. I'm just saying that if there IS a shot to get this kid, and we already know this season is over, the Giants would pull the trigger if and only if Taillon is in the deal.
If other teams were watching to see if Tim Lincecum's 148 pitch no-hitter would have a negative effect on his trade value, they found it. Timmy lasted just 3.2 innings and gave up 8 runs on 9 hits and a walk including 3 homers. Yeah, I don't think he'll be pitching for another team this year either.
Lincecum dropped to a 5-10 record on the year with a 4.73 ERA.
Laws of the Day
As bad Lincecum's start was, it wasn't the worst no-hitter hangover in recent history. In 2008, after his no-hitter, Carlos Zambrano followed it with a 1.2 inning outing and gave up 8 runs. Last year, Johan Santana threw 134 pitches en route to the first no-hitter in Mets' history and followed that performance with a 5 inning outing giving up 6 runs on 4 homers.
In March of this year, Santana got shoulder capsule surgery which effectively ended his season before it began.