Andrew Susac

Giants come back to beat Rockies, lose Lincecum, gain new starting catcher

andrew susac

The Giants fell behind 3-0 early. After San Francisco tied the game with a three-run rally in the third inning, the Rockies took a 5-3 lead the very next inning. With the way Colorado has spanked the Giants so far this season, it looked like another Giants losing streak was on its way. Instead, the Giants clawed back with a solo homer from Matt Duffy and a bases-clearing double from new everyday catcher Andrew Susac that carried the team to a 7-5 win in one of the more intriguing games of the season.

Yes, everyday catcher. Well, just about. Susac went 3-for-4, and he’s 11-for-24 with six extra-base hits in his last seven games.

None of this should surprise anyone, including the part about Madison Bumgarner, who’s the anti-Lincecum in that he only seems to want to throw to Buster Posey. The Giants need offense from their outfielders, Nori Aoki and Hunter Pence aren’t coming back anytime soon, and Justin Maxwell is hitting .158 in June with over 30% of his plate appearances ending in strikeouts.

On Wednesday Bobby Evans told Tom Tolbert and Ray Ratto on KNBR that trade discussions end quickly when other teams bring up Susac’s name. After today’s game, Tim Flannery talked about how much he looked forward to watching Susac over the next several years. You never know, if the Giants’ rotation gets slammed by more injuries and a guy like Johnny Cueto comes available and looks likely to sign an extension, they might consider including Susac in a deal … but that sure doesn’t seem likely now, does it?

The Giants simply don’t part with young players who prove themselves at the big league level. They’ll gladly move prominent prospects who haven’t made it past Double-A, but Susac is quickly putting himself in that Posey/Crawford/Belt/Panik/Duffy group of players. Not that any one of those guys is equal to Posey, but this isn’t a franchise that gets rid of homegrown guys who gain the manager’s trust, and Bruce Bochy sounds like he’s all in on Susac.

Lincecum may skip the bullpen and head straight to the DL

Tim Lincecum didn’t have it, and he got hit so hard that he got hit hard — literally. Lincecum took a D.J. LeMahieu liner off his right forearm in the second inning and left the game immediately. He was probably going to be lifted anyway after allowing three runs in the first inning and loud contact in the second. An outstanding play from Posey and Susac (Posey retrieved the ball that smacked Lincecum and Susac made a nice tag at home) saved a run, but Lincecum wasn’t fooling anybody.

With Matt Cain and Jake Peavy likely starting for the Giants on July 2 and 3, Lincecum was a candidate to head to the bullpen (as I wrote yesterday). Since dropping his ERA to 2.08 on May 20, Lincecum’s ERA over his last seven starts is 7.53. Jon Miller was absolutely crushing Lincecum’s stuff on the radio side, referencing his 85/86 mph fastball, but his curveball and changeup weren’t doing much to fool the Rockies either. Maybe some forced time off will do him some good. It couldn’t hurt.

Extra BASGs

— Matt Duffy jumped ahead of Joe Panik with his seventh home run. With his 3-for-4 day, Duffy moved his OPS to .800 on the nose.

— It’s hard to quantify just how much Duffy’s breakout season has helped the Giants, because (1) he never played Triple-A and wasn’t a high draft pick (18th round in 2012), so it’s a total shock to just about everyone that he’s this good, and (2) Casey McGehee is still unplayable.

— McGehee came in with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth, so of course he grounded into his 15th double play of the season. McGehee is grounding into one double play for every 9.2 plate appearances. McGehee is to double plays what Barry Bonds was to homers in the ’00s.

— The Giants only struck out two Rockies all day. Lincecum had one strikeout, Sergio Romo had the other. Yusmeiro Petit didn’t strike out anyone, but he had a prototypical “long man” outing, giving up two runs over 4 1/3 and keeping Lincecum’s line from looking worse by getting Troy Tulowitzki to ground out in the second.

— Romo hasn’t been on top of his game lately, and his bum knee is probably at least partly to blame, but his slider and facial expressions were on point today.

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