Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dealin' Tim

Analyzing the game of baseball, which is what I think we are trying to do around here, is a ridiculous endeavor.  I didn't say it wasn't noble, just ridiculous.  Case in point: the last two games against the pesky Brew Crew.  Yesterday was a shattering defeat that left many of us wondering why we ever followed this sick excuse of a sport in the first place. And then ... Today the joy and thrill of our proud pastime was on glorious display, highlighted by a brilliant Tim Lincecum performance. It is hard to believe that the same sport could deliver such divergent experiences.  One moment I'm looking for a sharp razor blade; the next I'm scheduling a visit to the hot springs! Trying to analyze something that is so complex that it can produce such crazy ass emotions feels a lot like analyzing a kaleidoscope.

So I won't analyze it, I'll just revel in it.

Tim Lincecum quite nearly matched his July 13th no hitter as the Giants cruised to a 4-1 win over Milwaukee.  A few too many curves and the resulting blister may be all that kept him from his second complete game ever. Eight dominant innings, ONE frigging hit and a blistering 87 game score.  Eighteen swinging strikes, his second best this season, leading to eight strikeouts.  Dude was dealing! It seems like it was his curveball that was his key tonight.  That makes about six of his last seven starts, quality starts ( a simple metric that I still appreciate ).  He had about six quality starts in his first 17 this year.  I would say this definitely qualifies as a resurgence.

Which makes me think of the other way Tim is dealing right now. Free agent dealing. His agent can probably buy another yacht based on Timmeh's new success. Oh yeah, that no hitter helps some too.  I fear if Tim keeps up this "resurgence", the slimy Yankees, or even worse, the "new" Yankees on the west coast will throw a HUGE amount of dough at him and it may knock us out of the running.  We should shut down Matt and MadBum, but we need to take a hard, long look at Lincecum.

I can often post without mentioning the offense, but this time a couple shout outs are in order.  First, Brandon Crawford seems to be finishing the season much as he started it and that is a very good sign for next year.  Three hits tonight gets his average to .279.  Sweet, huh?  Secondly, it would be remiss not to mention Brandon Belt's big homer out of the clean up spot.  The rest of this year is a great chance to stick Belt in the middle of it and get a final look.  He is certainly good and he may be great, but I'm still not impressed for a first baseman.  For example, his OBP is only 8 points higher and SLG 46 points higher than Crawford, our shortstop.  Maybe he can prove me wrong with a surge at the end though. It is worth the look.


Brother Bob said...

So apparently Tim Lincecum is a great pitcher after all. His crap start after the All Star game was the aberration. This is pretty exciting.

Ron said...

Please don't scare me with a post title like 'Dealin' Tim' - for a few, horrid seconds, I thought that we had traded him.

Since I have now mentioned it, I think that we now need to shut him down, so that the Yankees & their West Coast pretenders think that he is hurt.

I would love the Giants to keep him & consider the Mariners as the legitimate main contender for him - I think that he loves SF & the Giants, but an acceptable alternative for him would be going home. The Mariners have a penchant for over-paying on a splashy move to try to appease their fan base.

M.C. O'Connor said...

The Dodgers will make a move for Tim.

Regardless, it was great watching him pitch yesterday. They had a lot of super-slo-mos of his changeup, both split-finger grip and what looked like a circle-change grip. It was popping out of his hand like a knuckler, waving around, then plunging under the bat. Awesome stuff.

Belt's a better hitter this year than he was last year. I like to see improvement. He's improving. He just topped 1000 PA this season. Most guys don't hit their peaks in their first 1000 PAs. Most guys aren't Buster Posey.

Ron said...

LA has about 9 legitimate starting pitchers coming to Spring Training next year - everyone that they have now, plus some people back from injuries, plus decent minor league prospects. While that is a bit scary, luckily, that also decreases the chances that they would go after Lincecum.

No problem on my end continuing the Belt maturation process - he gives frequent enough hints that he is going to be more fearsome each year. The high whiffs are a concern - the only key offensive stat that is worsening is the whiffs.

Also, going back to a comment yesterday, Crawford is also showing frequent pop - not necessarily HR's, but solid line drive contact & an acceptable # of RBI's in big situations.

Shankbone said...

The Franchise! I was comfortably at 60-40 he's back with the good guys next year, and then he pulls these deals. 5% reduction in odds each one? Too much? Alls I know is why would anybody in their right mind want to go to Seattle? That is a terrible franchise with a terrible losing culture. I mean, lots and lots and lots of losing...

Zo said...

Good point, Mr. Shankbone. Tim has two world series rings with us, he can kiss a third one goodbye with Seattle. The Yankees can always out bid anyone (except for maybe LA) by about $100 million dollars, but they are on the downslope. A-Rod, Jeter, Rivera, those guys are spent, Texiera and Sabathia are getting old fast, and the rest of the team is mediocre. And they have no farm system. Ron is correct about the blue slime, although they probably could make an offer, what makes anyone think that the Giants couldn't match anyone's reasonable offer? They have $20 mil for Zito coming off the books, and they basically have to go to the free agent market if they don't sign Tim.