Monday, May 5, 2008

Stressful Tim

It is only early May and it is already getting to be a challenge to put out meaningful commentary about Mr. Lincecum. (Who knew writing a blog would be this hard? Bloggers, maybe?) How does one exactly analyze a pitching performance? Well, how about...

END RESULTS: Hopefully in a couple years we will be back to this being the ONE measuring bar, but that sure is not the case now. (If you used this for Matt Cain, he looks a lot like Zito.) Bottom line, Tim definitely kept us in the game, as he has EVERY START SO FAR.

STATS: We all love the numbers, don't we? Six innings AGAIN and NO EARNED RUNS. Can't complain there. Only six hits, 3 for doubles though, no home runs, which is great in that park. Five strikeouts and two walks (one intentional) is not too exciting, but gets the job done. The two wild pitches that figured into the scoring are bad. I didn't see them and I wonder if Holm was a little overmatched. The worst number (AGAIN) is probably pitch count - 110 for six innings. However, much of that is due to errors that extended a couple innings and contributed to...

STRESSFUL SITUATIONS: This may be one of the most over looked aspects of evaluating pitchers, yet I feel it is crucial. Especially with our youngsters, it is all about MATURATION and these situations are where it happens. Tim was in an almost constant state of stress. Four of his six innings started with baserunners, twice with leadoff doubles. He responded wonderfully, especially against the amazing Utley, which he struck out looking and popped out twice, all in big situations. The best example of Tim's continuing maturation came against Jenkins, a pretty good veteran hitter. Lincecum went back and forth between fastball and changeup masterfully and the helpless Jenkins was no match.

All in all, if our defense had dealt with stress as well as our boy, we probably would have taken the series. An exciting weekend of close baseball against a very good team. Maybe we can build on it.

I know Tim will.


Anonymous said...

Brother Bob:
Those wild pitches couldn't have been caught by ANY catcher. I got to watch almost the entire Philly series. It was exciting baseball. Imagine what Philly would be like if Rollins was healthy and Howard's head wasn't way up his butt.
While I was watching Lincecum I thought he was having a lousy game. Then I read the box score this AM and realized he did okay. Our expectations for him are extremely high.
The story was Velez' crappy play at 2nd. I want him in the lineup but such poor defense is unacceptable. If he plays right field, what happens to Winn? He's starting to warm up and contribute to the offense, and he's just the kind of guy you want on a team.
Speaking of which, I can't help thinking we would have been better off keeping Feliz. He's better than what we replaced him with, and he wouldn't have cost all that much. I know Jon will disagree vehemently.

Zo said...

The SF Chomic said that Feliz wouldn't agree to come back for less money - and that is what he was offered. We really, really need some pop. The fact that we couldn't find some at that time is irrelevant and does not make Feliz a more attractive option in retrospect. No one ever thought Castillo was an upgrade, just the best of limited options with more upside than downside, which he has shown so far. Feliz is fine on the Phils with a ton of sluggers, they could afford mediocre offense and got good defense.

JC Parsons said...

I may not be as vehement as you suspect. Yes, I am glad we did not keep Feliz, but only from the point of view that he is not part of our future. Since we have done NOTHING to improve or alter our future at third, then I guess we could have just kept him. Actually, now that you mention it, third is about the only position that we are making NO ATTEMPT to fix. At least Burriss and Bocock are future possibilities at short, and Ortmeier/Bowker might work at first, even Holms has a shot. Are we waiting on a third base prospect that I don't know?? or a free agent??

M.C. O'Connor said...

We all hold Tim to a higher standard, but he's earned it. He has pitched brilliantly in his short time with us. Expectations are huge, but he is rising to the challenge. He is still wild and throws too much, but these are quibbles. He has such a beautiful motion, you get the feeling injury won't be an issue. He seems fearless--Philly is a tough lineup and park. The only thing that will hold him back is him. He'll have to really learn to pitch to stay on top. Over time, even guys with tremendous stuff get hit if they don't adjust. If Tim can get outs with less than his best, and get outs on fewer pitches, then he will be the one of the league's elite. He's not far away. He has to work hard, and then harder still. We have to be relaxed, and patient. Ours is the more difficult task.

I'm glad Feliz is gone. Even with Jose Castillo, a man who makes Feliz look spectacular. JCP is right: we have not tried to fix the 3B problem. Wait--we did. Rich Aurilia was supposed to give us a pile of savvy veteran starts at 3B.