The story going into pregame was Tim Lincecum (you should read Wendy Thurm’s post if you missed it — and not just because she wrote it for this site, it’s really good). Lincecum was also the key player in the beginning of Tuesday night’s game between the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies in a bad way, when he surrendered an early 1-0 lead by allowing the Rockies to score five runs in the second inning even though they only collected two hits (a double and a single).
The Giants’ defense didn’t give Lincecum all the help they could have, as Marco Scutaro tried throwing to second when he had zero chance of getting the out and the ball went past Brandon Crawford. Still, all five runs that inning were earned anyway. Lincecum allowed six earned over six innings overall, with four walks and seven strikeouts.
Lincecum didn’t get tagged with the loss however, thanks to an offensive attack that was Posey-free but featured plenty of Crawford and Hunter Pence. Crawford hit a three-run homer over the left field wall to bring the Giants within one in the sixth. It was only Crawford’s second career homer at AT&T Park and the first opposite-field home run of his career.
Then the Giants kept the rally going. Nick Noonan hit a single and Angel Pagan followed with a single of his own, then a Scutaro sacrifice bunt was followed by a Pablo Sandoval intentional walk to load the bases. Pence came through with his second opposite-field RBI single of the night to tie the game.
Soon, Scutaro made up for his defensive miscue in the second with a great running catch in center field (I think his back is feeling better now), which was followed by Sandoval making a similarly sensational catch of a foul pop down the right field line near the stands.
The Giants bats took over again in the bottom of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Andres Torres hit a leadoff double to right, then Angel Pagan knocked one back up the middle that nearly drilled Matt Belisle in the head. Scutaro collected his third hit of the game, then Pablo Sandoval knocked Pagan in with a single to right. After Pence’s liner was caught by second baseman Josh Rutledge (it would’ve been his third opposite-field RBI single of the night), Gregor Blanco later “drove” in Scutaro with a bunt single.
Then Sergio Romo came in and slammed the door once again for his fifth save of the season. The Giants’ bullpen pitched three shutout innings one night after pitching 3.1 shutout innings the night before, and the Rockies (whose bullpen allowed nine hits and five earned in three innings) are left to wonder if they’re a team on the verge of a breakout season after all.
It was a Coors Field type of game at AT&T Park, meaning it was weird (Hector Sanchez even walked … twice!). However, because the score outweighs everything else in the hours following any game, the feelings are good. If the Giants’ fielders and hitters didn’t come through, this one could’ve spelled several days of teeth-gnashing over another wild outing for Lincecum, who walked pitcher Jose Nicasio twice. Lincecum has now walked 11 men over 9 innings this year, including the opposing pitcher three times.
– I asked Brandon Crawford if he remembered his last opposite-field homer. He did.
– Neither Bruce Bochy nor Lincecum said much that one wouldn’t expect about Lincecum’s outing. Bochy thought Lincecum threw the ball well overall and was pleased that he finished six innings after such a wild second frame. Lincecum said he needs to command his pitches better and that he can’t walk the pitcher. “Pitchers should be outs,” he said. Lincecum did mention that he figured out something he was doing wrong mechanically when he watched some video after the second inning. What did he see? “Something I needed to correct,” he said.
– I talked briefly with Noonan while everyone else was waiting for Crawford. Noonan made an otherwise forgettable 14-3 loss on Sunday a memory he’ll always cherish with his first Major League hit. Now he has two hits and a .400 average.
BASG: You get your first hit on Sunday, and now you get number two. Is it getting easier?
Noonan: Yeah, actually. It felt natural going up there to hit.
BASG: How’s your first Big League experience been?
Noonan: It’s been great. Pretty hectic the first week with travel and moving. Nice to be settled into San Francisco now. Got my feet wet and it feels natural now.
BASG: Are you still in a hotel?
Noonan: Yeah we’re staying at an extended stay, so I think that’s what we’re going to do.
BASG: You’ve always been known for your defense as you moved up through the system, and once you got brought back your offense picked up. Is that how you feel it’s gone?
Noonan: Yeah, the last week and a half of Spring Training I felt really comfortable at the plate and kind of took that into the exhibition games and now into the season. Just got some confidence and some aggressiveness and things are rolling my way.
– Around 11:30 pm, after all the lights had turned out and the seagulls had left to go wherever it is they sleep with bellies full of nachos and garlic fries, we saw a man getting ushered out of the stadium. He was wearing a suit, and it appeared he passed out in his seat and needed to be woken up by a security guard. He might be a little late to work tomorrow.