Throughout Spring Training, Tim Lincecum gave up a lot of loud contact. That trend hasn’t gone away in two starts against the D-Backs, and it seems to only be getting worse. Lincecum allowed seven earned runs in four innings against Arizona on Wednesday night, giving Bronson Arroyo and the D-Backs all the cushion they needed in a 7-3 victory.
“He was really off all night. It was pretty evident,” said Bruce Bochy. “From the get-go, you could tell. He had trouble getting the ball where he wanted. He didn’t have his good stuff or command.”
Paul Goldschmidt, the man with legendary statistics against Tim Lincecum that can only be described as “videogame on rookie mode-like,” hit a three-run home run that landed in the arcade near the right field foul pole in the first inning. That was after Gerardo Parra hit a triple and a walk to Martin Prado.
Last season a lot was made about Lincecum attacking the mental side of the game, especially after some prodding from Chad Gaudin. When faced with the inevitable questions about Goldschmidt, Lincecum said the key may be studying a little less and getting back to basics.
“I think I’ve got to start learning a little more on my strength and not necessarily his weaknesses. I know he’s got his holes here and there but it’s having me mix up my pitch counts and my pitch routines. And right now I’m falling into backwards counts where he’s pretty dangerous,” said Lincecum, who struggled with poor mechanics all night.
“I think it’s more of a timing issue with going towards home plate. My arm doesn’t get up and it flattens out, tries to find the quickest way to home plate.”
Goldschmidt gets most the ink and a lot of groans from Giants fans, but Parra was an even bigger thorn in Lincecum’s side. He hit for three legs of the cycle, getting a single off Lincecum in the third and a homer against him in the fourth to go along with his first inning three-bagger. Lincecum gave up seven hits in all, so over 10 innings this season he has allowed 15 hits and four home runs.
Arroyo wasn’t exactly untouchable either, also giving up two home runs in five innings. Michael Morse hit one at least 20 rows deep into the bleachers in left center that was measured at 449 feet, and Buster Posey hit a line drive shot that barely cleared the wall in left. Unfortunately for the Giants, both were solo shots on a night where the team went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
— Would it have made sense to walk Goldschmidt in the first inning, with men on first and third and no one out?
“No. I need to get my out any way I could,” Lincecum said. “And I didn’t get any out.”
— Lincecum, Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong have combined to allow nine home runs in 25 innings. That’s 3.2 home runs per nine innings.
— Angel Pagan went 3-for-5, extending his hitting streak to nine games. He now has seven multi-hit games this season, which leads the majors.
— Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-4, lowering his average to .143. See, maybe what I wrote about the Giants not having room for him after this year wasn’t so bad!
— Lincecum has allowed 15 home runs in his career to the Diamondbacks, seven of which have been hit by Goldschmidt.
— Seagulls sensed this one wasn’t close during the middle innings, and they were relentless in the ninth inning until the Giants played that “Everybody Clap Your Hands” sounder to scare them away (briefly).
— If you’re looking for a silver Lincecum lining, he has 12 strikeouts in 10 innings this season. Did that help? Didn’t think so.
— David Huff is left-handed, he sprinted in from the bullpen, and yesterday he shaved everything but his mustache. That makes it official: he’s the new Craig Lefferts.
— Before the game I took this photo of Santiago Casilla “hitting” off Brandon Crawford. Pablo Sandoval is catching, and you can see Duane Kuiper and Lincecum behind the cage if you strain your eyes.
I just figured that if everyone loves Casilla at-bats (and I’m pretty sure we all do), a photo of his unorthodox stance might be enough to tide us over until the next time he gets to hit.