Tim Lincecum took the hill tonight in San Francisco with his long, dark locks and his tall, black socks and pumped 95-mph fastballs to the first batter and struck him out. It was an auspicious beginning. Unfortunately the Diamondbacks had other ideas. They raked the Freak for nine hits including five doubles and a home run in his five-plus and put an emphatic stamp on the NL West race. The Giants worked starter Ian Kennedy for 64 pitches in the first three innings but could only manage one run. He settled down after that and got quick outs while his teammates added on. Kennedy is undefeated this season against division foes. Rookie phenom Paul Goldschmidt made himself into Timmy's personal nemesis by blasting a massive home run to take the lead in the 4th and stroking an RBI single in the 5th to make it 3-1 for the front-runners. This guy hit his first big league bomb off the Franchise on August 2nd, a two-run shot to give the D-backs a lead they would not relinquish. They won that game 6-1 and tied the Giants for first place in the standings that night. They've been on fire since then, going 18-11 while the Giants stumbled to 12-17. Carlos Beltran had another perfect night at the plate but was thrown out at second on a stupid play in the 8th, the Giants scoring on a sacrifice fly by Pablo Sandoval, his second of the night. The Panda was 0-4 last night and hitless again tonight. The D-backs show no sign of loosening their grip on the lead as the Giants are six back once again. With only 23 games left to play the math looks mighty grim.
p.s. JC, hope you had fun, mate. Watching the team ace fall flat in the biggest game of the year was not. Fun, that is. I'm assigning you Tuesday night's game against the Padres. That's Eric Surkamp's turn.