Sharp Lincecum slices through Dodgers
Tim Lincecum night is always a good time.
Fans chant and cheer on the Freak, always happy to see him toe the rubber whether an erratic season or a solid one. AT&T Park loves Tim Lincecum, and Lincecum loves it back.
Wednesday night the Lincecum party hit its peak, amid a 4-0 Giants win over the visiting Dodgers; the starter took the opportunity to extend some streaks and break some milestones.
A long fly out to center from Juan Uribe in the seventh — Lincecum’s final out of the game — extended his scoreless inning streak at AT&T Park to 22 innings and solidified his third-consecutive shutout home game.
And, for a little added Freak-like spice, Lincecum pushed his name further up in the Giants’ history books.
Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay
A fastball up and out of the zone whiffed slugger Adrian Gonzalez, but most importantly, gave Lincecum his 1,680th career strikeout. The Freak now sits at fourth, one strikeout ahead of Carl Hubbell among fellow Giants in the all-time strikeout rankings.
Lincecum (W, 4-2, 2.08 ERA) was well aware that that strikeout was a big one, all smiles after today’s game:
“Today was a good day for the Giants and a good day for me.”
Lincecum has been especially impressive at home. He’s rocking a 1.13 ERA in front of the home crowd this season, and has allowed only four earned runs including a rocky April. Manager Bruce Bochy is confident that his starter is back on track:
“He’s got a lot of confidence going. He’s in a good rhythm … He’s really kept that rhythm, especially at home.”
Bochy acknowledged Lincecum’s recent mastery over his fastball, a pitch he struggled with against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on April 27. In that start, Lincecum fell back on his vulnerable off-speed stuff, allowing eight hits and four runs in four innings in his worst outing of 2015.
He’s bounced back in a big way, Bochy noted:
“He’s reinvented himself a little bit.”
Dodgers starter Brett Anderson (L, 2-2, 3.61 ERA) iced the Giants’ bats through five innings, but crumbled in the sixth.
Crawford is the Giants’ go-to lefty with a southpaw on the mound. After tonight, he’s 12-for-29 against lefties with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs this season. Crawford said his approach doesn’t change much, no matter who he is facing:
“I’ve been feeling good against lefties … I feel good.”
Posey had a nice day at the plate, pounding a game-sealing homer to deep center in the seventh off Yimi Garcia and was a triple away from hitting the cycle. He went 3-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to 12 consecutive games.
He also made one of two spectacular catches when he nabbed a foul ball over the Dodger dugout rail.
Angel Pagan made the other, a leaping catch with one out to save an extra-bagger off the bat off Yasmani Grandal in the seventh. Pagan’s play earned an expletive-filled celebration from Lincecum. Bochy was pumped up on his team’s defensive efforts:
“We’re doing a really nice job of catching the ball … Angel made a nice catch at the wall. Pence had one yesterday.”
The win tonight ties the Giants’ season-high win streak at five games, a win tomorrow will make it a new season-high six … Los Angeles teams are 0-8 at AT&T Park this season … The win also marked the Giants’ sixth shutout of May, prompting a reaction from Bochy: “It’s impressive, not getting around that. Does it surprise me? No.”