Our beloved Giants took yet another series, this time from the "mighty" Phillies. And although the spotlight was on newly acquired Carlos Beltran, the real story for the Giants' 4-1 victory in Philly today was what it always is for the defending World Champions : pitching.
Following on Matt Cain's masterpiece yesterday, Tim Lincecum (9-8) completely nullified the highly regarded NL East leader line up. Tim was remarkably strong considering his recent bout with food poisoning and the muggy 85 degree weather. I guess he has something to prove to the rude Phillie fans. Well, he did.
6 innings 3 hits! ZERO RUNS 4 walks 6 strikeouts (game score 68)
The key to Tim's success tonight was his complete domination of Chase Utley. Every time Utley (who I consider the best all round hitter in the NL) came up against Lincecum there was a runner in scoring position. Normally, this is a recipe for a loss. Tonight it was as sweet as could be:
1st inning - runners on 1st and 3rd, one out: limp pop up to short
3rd inning - 1st & 3rd, two outs: got him out on called strike three, made him look bad doing it too
5 inning - 1st & 2nd, two outs: made him look even worse striking out on a ball in the dirt
Tim has done this to Utley for a while, something like 2 for 23 lifetime against The Franchise. Just another aspect of the Freak that is a little hard to fathom. By the way, Utley immediately roped an RBI double after Lincecum left the game. Dude's a stud...Tim's just better.
I guess I should make note of Carlos Beltran's debut. From first glance, it would seem like he really wants to fit in this lineup. After all, it would be rude to show everybody up right away. Personally, I think sacrificing a nifty 32 consecutive game streak of reaching base is a little too nice. Striking out twice against a guy he had faced 20+ times previously with only one strikeout was a nice touch though. Good job, Carlos. Today you looked like you've been batting third for the Giants all year long.
It's alright to stick out a little bit next game, OK?