Andres Torres

Happy Darren Ford Day!

You have to admit, there’s less of a jinxing possibility to that headline, isn’t there?

Tim Lincecum just did several things tonight:

1. He became the same active observer from the dugout that we remembered from the good ol’ days.

2. He made Brian Wilson’s beard look more intimidating just by pitching like he used to, even though that makes no rational sense whatsoever.

3. He matched Ubaldo Jimenez, and then some.

The focus should be on 8 innings, 1 ER and 9 K’s, only we just saw what is was like to watch Wilie Mays run the bases in the early 1950’s, so let’s try to get a hold on what we just saw.

Lincecum barely got the bunt down in the bottom of the 8th(!), but it didn’t matter because Darren Ford was already stealing second base. Wow. Then he decided to steal third against a completely overmatched Miguel Olivo, and that was your ballgame. This wasn’t just about the Giants calling up a man who can steal a base against any catcher. The speed Ford showed after he gathered himself at third base and sprinted home was something to watch. It was like watching Lincecum at his best, if you need a comparison.

If you turned the footage to black-and-white and told us that was Willie Mays or Jackie Robinson running from third to home after Olivo’s throw sailed into left field, any of us would have been fooled.

We thought Eugenio Velez was fast. We thought Andres Torres was fast. And then Ford showed us speed that made every viewer feel at least a little bit like Bengie.

Oh, and Timmy’s back. No tipped pitches, no frisbee changeups and a fastball that suddenly became less hittable tonight. It doesn’t matter what the Padres did tonight. If Lincecum didn’t do what he did tonight, the Padres could win the NL West with Eric Show taking over Mat Latos’ starting spot for the rest of the season.

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