Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Heart-breaking Tim

Start #7:   Loss  (2-3)     5 innings   8 hits   4 runs   2 walks   8 strikeouts

This game, a sickening 6-2 loss to the doggers, will unfortunately be remembered for one pitch.  Not just any pitch, mind you ... the worst pitch of Tim Lincecum's wonderful career.  Actually it might qualify as the worst pitch EVER.  Nah, that's harsh. After all, no one died.

It looked so good early.  Not only was Timmeh humming through the first 3 innings with a fastball hitting 94 mph, he got a frigging RBI single and executed a perfect sacrifice bunt! Life was good. Then the wheels came off in the fourth:  three hits in a row for a run, a ridiculous wild pitch, a walk, and then ... the aforementioned atrocity of a pitch: an 0-2 changeup over the heart of the plate. Even the weak Tony Gwynn Jr. saw it for what it was ... a gift.  His three run triple was the death blow to our hopes of a "significant victory."  I know it is early but my heart felt like we really needed this, hence the title of this post.

The Good:  Matt Kemp took an 0-5, including getting K'ed by Tim three times.  Brandon Crawford got a couple hits and didn't make any stupid errors.  Actually, against Billingsly several Giants had long, good at bats. Too bad they were allowed to change pitchers.  Their bullpen schooled us.

The Bad:  Tim dominates this category tonight, however there were some other noteworthy contributors. Our "bottom" bullpen, for example.  What a group of meh.  Oh yeah,  Nate Schierholtz screwed up majorly in a way you don't see too often. Kemp threw behind him at second right before Belt crossed the plate.  Literally cost us a run. Pity it didn't really matter.  We blew early chances and then got blown away late. Bad combination.

Tomorrow will be a tough off day but maybe it is best to take a break.  After all, one day is plenty of time for a heart to heal. I'm sorry to say I know that from experience.  Let's get the snakes this weekend!


nomisnala said...

The first screw-up was Bochy's. There was a good chance Arias would walk, as Billingsley was struggling with control. So Bochy sends Schierholtz and he is thrown out. Of course Arias walks, and it is followed by more offense. Could have been a big inning. We all know the baserunning screw-up that Schierholtz did. If he kept running, and did not go back to the bag, the run probably would have scored before they tagged him out. Then in the dodger big inning, several times while timmy was ahead in the count with two strikes on the batter, he layed one right down the middle of the plate. He had looked much better up to that point. It seems to me his control, concentration or both, are really hurting him. His 60th wild pitch of his career hurt him too. I do not like the way he is mixing his pitches this year. His stuff did look a lot better tonight, to no avail. He really needs to keep his focus, concentration, and make better pitch selection. He needs to keep a tighter reign on any baserunners he allows to reach base. The positive of tonight's game. Kemp was 0 for 5.

M.C. O'Connor said...

This is a BAD team for stolen bases (18 for 28 or .643). Terrible. Fast guys are great and I like having them, but outs on the bases are the worst. Nate's blunder was a killer. The game was all LA after that. It was a huge momentum shift, the game was in the balance, Giants got a big two-out hit, and he ran us out of the inning with a Little League move. Terrible, absolutely terrible. This offense cannot afford to take runs off the board.

Tim is fine, physically, which is good news for all of us. But mentally he is not all there. He is not tuned in to every pitch. He started elevating pitches in the 3rd and then got creamed in the 4th. The fat one to Gwynn was one of several. He would throw beauties and get to two strikes and then lose it.

It's a grind. The guys who last and stay successful are the ones who keep their heads. The game is mostly mental. Every athlete at this level has the physical tools, but it's the ones who keep making adjustments and keep their confidence and STAY FOCUSED that continue to succeed. Tim has his mind somewhere else and he'll have to get it back to baseball here pretty soon.

Very disappointing loss, the Dodgers were ripe for the plucking and the Giants could not follow through. Happy to see BCraw looking good with two hits and a walk. Nice DP turned with MannyB to get the very fast Dee Gordon, too. MannyB had a hit and a walk as well, much to my surprise. He has a better OBP than Nate and Angel Pagan!

M.C. O'Connor said...

Good game stories from Baggs here and here.

In the first he talks to Boch about the Schierholtz play and the second he talks to Tim. Good stuff. We are pretty lucky as fans to have him covering the team, he's fair and thorough. Add in the good announcers and a handful of excellent bloggers and it is a good time to be a Giants fan. Now if they could just get back to winning . . .

Zo said...

I was really wanting a win to serve notice to the doggers that they lost the series without having to face either of our two best pitchers. Last night did serve notice, unfortunately, that our team is not real good right now. Maybe the youngsters just need some time to gel. A sound snake-whacking would be just the thing.

Shankbone said...

Manny B is hanging in there, I'll give him that. I'm pissed he went first pitch swinging with Billingsley showing terrible control though. One of these days he'll get a ball down the line and have his first extra base hit.

Pagan hasn't been the player I was hoping for. Still time for him to warm up, but his OBP has been too hitting dependent. I agree, for all this new team speed, the SB success rate is bad, but they need to find a better way to put pressure on the defense.

Still, 1 out of 3 is acceptable, if barely, and we're 5 out instead of 3 out. These early series count just as much as in September, they had best go to fight in Arizona. Somebody needs to step up and lead this team.

JC Parsons said...

That game was so "Jekyl and Hyde" is was hard to take. For the first few innings we looked so good and patient at the plate while Tim was looking nearly unhittable. Then a switch was thrown and our batters were overmatched while Tim threw 0-2 meat kabobs up to the plate. Sheesh. Guess we better shake it off...after all we face those bums only 15 more times this year!

nomisnala said...

Right now in just 10 games Andres Torres has almost as many hits with runners in scoring position as our whole team. Then look at Beltran, and see what this lineup could have had. Of course Beltran is fragile, but so far an outfield with Beltran in right would have meant several more wins for our giants. Pagan makes contact, and he has even gotten on base a bunch of times by using his speed to inflict errors on the oppositions infield. But he does not walk. Melky has been ok, as good or better than expected, but his power numbers are a tad disappointing so far.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Losing Torres was tough, he was such a part of the team and the 2010 championship. I really thought Pagan would be better. He's not a classic leadoff type, but neither was Andres. Their career lines are really close, and it was a reasonable gamble that Pagan would be healthier over the long haul. I still think he will.

The Giants weren't ever going to sign Beltran, that was all fan fantasy. He was a "roll the dice" move to take a shot in 2011. It didn't work out as he hit poorly right away and then hit the DL. The contracts for Cain and Bumgarner (and Buster this off-season) were already penciled out and they were not going to commit to an expensive OF when they had a pile of cheaper ones. They gambled they could get reasonable production from Schierholtz, who had disappointed despite a fast start.

Melky has only hit one HR but his career SLG is only .401 (.449 this year) and he has never hit more than 18 in a season. He's a doubles and triples guy, perfect for AT&T Park. He has a real shot at 200 hits again. He won't get the 309 TB he had last season, but he has a real shot at a career high OBP. I think he was one of the best trades we've seen in a while. Great move by the Brian Trust to move JSanchez who seems to have peaked. Melky is the feel-good story of the year for this offense. He's scored 18 of the team's 113 runs, and has the most walks (12!) of anyone.

Zo said...

So the Giants are going to Phoenix for the second time and the snakes have not yet come to SF? Weird.
We got five runs against LA. Including the game against Kershaw, that we won. We have to do better, we cannot have our pitchers have to go through another year like 2011 where they have to throw shutouts to have a chance of winning.
Last year, we averaged 3.52 runs per game. This year, we are currently at 3.65 runs per game. Seems to me that just a little over one additional run in ten games isn't going to do it. Also, last year we were outscored by our opponents by eight runs for the season. This year, we are behind by eight runs at this point. A few good games in the desert air and a few against the Padres may be able to alleviate some of that,