Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Superhero Tim

Game Summary :
 JUNE IS OVER! Can we dream that the nightmare is over? Well, maybe if Tim Lincecum pitches every night! The Freak delivered a second consecutive dominant performance and beat the tough Cardinals 5-0. It all came together: huge starting pitching, good defense and, yes, a dinger.  A special dinger at that as Pablo got his 100th career home run! Add to that the doggers getting thumped (they hit into a triple play! what losers) and July is looking real good so far.

Tim Facts:
Start# 17  Win  (7-5, 4.09)  8 innings  4 hits  0 runs  0 earned runs  2 walks  6 strikeouts  0 hr

Not quite as awesome as the no hitter, but actually it was very similar. Once again, Timmeh had total command of all four pitches. Also, he seemed totally comfortable in the stretch. Case in point was the amazing job Tim did in the fourth to get out of a bases loaded no out jam. That is a HUGE difference from earlier in the year, as reported here repeatedly. Tim has really figured something out and HE CAN REPRODUCE IT. First time in his career to get back to back 8 inning scoreless games.  Let's see how long he can ride this pony. Isn't nice to be excited about Tim again? I can't wait to be excited about the whole team again.

Highlights and/or Lowlights:

Some nice offense from Pablo (2b, HR), Hunter (2 hits, 2 runs) and Buster (RBI). Pablo and Brandon  Crawford made a couple great plays. But the absolute hero, actually SUPERHERO, was totally Tim. If it wasn't for Lincecum, this last couple weeks would have been intolerable. Not just because of getting some wins but giving us some RESPECTABILITY.  Let's see if we can't rebuild and get this back on track. Tim has done his part, now it is time for every one else.


Russian River said...

A fine tuned Ferrari runs best when all cylinders are working together in harmony. Good pitching, a bit of offense, solid defense and a little luck = wins. It feels good when we play well and win, n'est-ce pas? Go Giants!

Brother Bob said...

Let's hope Tim can inspire the other starters.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Giants got back-to-back excellent starts over the weekend and lost both games. As RR says, you got to have all the parts working together in harmony.

Happy to see Tim being more like Tim. But now that Tim has "done his part" as you say, does that mean he takes a breather? Sits out the next few? I don't understand. Isn't his part on-going? For that matter, aren't ALL the parts?

Win as a team, lose as a team.

Go, team!

JC Parsons said...

Cute sentiments but it takes GOD LIKE INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS when your team is as flawed as ours. Face it, our gods, MadBum, Buster and Matt have to step it up or we are going nowhere. Cain showed wonderful progress last time but he and MadBum are just not matching up to the other aces. Plenty of time left, of course.
Also, don't count on a "balanced" attack. We don't have the offense. If we make it, the pitching will be the key. It is all about runs allowed now. Sure we have to score some but the dinger fest is over. I think we have enough but it will be close.

M.C. O'Connor said...

One individual can be the best in the game and the team can "fail." This you know. The Giants had the best pitching (individual and team) we ever saw in 2009 and finished third, 7 games out. It takes pitching, fielding, hitting, etc. Tim was great, but if the team gets no runs and doesn't catch the ball then he gets Cain'd. This you also know. I like to root for everyone to perform because it takes all 25 guys. (All 40, actually.)

It's a nice myth that Tim had an extra bowl of Moxie™ cereal one morning in the middle of a losing streak and decided he would personally change the direction of the team because "that's what it takes." I'd be willing to bet every pro athlete in every team sport gets up regularly and decides they are THE ONE WHO WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. And when they succeed fans and sportswriters gush about their courage, leadership, and resolve. Or clutch-i-ness or god-like-ness or whatever. And when they don't it's a non-story.

Tim's had a couple of great starts and looked good. Wonderful. Bodes well for the club. I LOVE IT! But he will have some bad starts the rest of the way, too, and the club still has to find a way to win. It's not specifically about Tim--after all the Giants were World Champs when Tim was the worst starter in the NL. Explain that one!

George Scott summed it all up for me:

“If we’re gonna win, the players gotta play better,
the coaches gotta coach better, the manager gotta manage better,
and the owners gotta own better.”

- Brewers first baseman George Scott, to the club chairman

(probably my favorite ballplayer quote ever)

M.C. O'Connor said...

Interesting note from Baggs (via twitter):

Tim Lincecum has NEVER thrown as many as 17 shutout innings over a two-start span in his career.

Hard to believe, especially the way he pitched in 2008-09. Cool, though, very cool. Keep it rollin', man!

Ron said...

So, speaking of how in the hell we are going to pull this off, any latest news on the possible 2014 return of Brandon Belt or Marco Scutaro? This Belt thing has gone on longer than projected. The Scutaro thing blew past the projections months ago.

If Belt returns, the playing rotation is actually disrupted a bit, especially with Hanchez again being the 'Designated Catcher' for Lincecum (I'm not a big fan of Designated Catchers, especially when they hit .201). What if a RFP is pitching for the opposition who Buster rakes, but now you are stuck with Hanchez at C & Belt at 1B. Buster sits? Bad option.

The Scutaro thing is urgent. Hicks is regressing to his normal level. Panik needs more seasoning. We either need Scutaro healthy, or we need to make a quick move.

Zo said...

Belt is close - he is playing in San Jose and should be back any day now. He homered in his first at bat. Scutaro will be unlikely to play before September. What we need is for Morse to get back on track. It is one thing to lose Pagan at the top (and Blanco is diheartening - he seems to do wonders as a spot starter but suck full time as a regular), but to lose both a hitter at the top and a hitter at the back end of your power really squeezes your offense. Morse hit a double last night and that was huge for him. Also Pence, although he has not been useless.

On the stepping up thing: Buster hit .362 for June. Too bad no one was around to help him. Matt threw shutout ball last time out. But Jon has a point. Tim's ability to put 2 stunning performances back to back is huge. You could see the confidence in him past the fourth inning - and the way he was dealing rather than hoping each pitch would work like he can do when struggling. Today is tough - Wainwright against Vogie,and Vogie hasn't looked too sharp lately. The biggest June problem, though, has been relief. That is where we need to focus our energy if we need to make a change (and I am not sure that we do as long as Casilla pitches well and Machi gets back to form). All the fill-in second basemen in the world aren't going to help that.

Zo said...

We started out with 7 victories against the Cardinals, Cincinnati and Mets. Then we came home and sucked. We dropped 3 to Washington before salvaging the final game of that series, and dropped all 3 to Colorado. We went to Chicago to play the Sox and dropped 2 games, then Arizona and won 2 of the 3. We came home again and dropped the first 2 to San Diego before Tim threw his no-hitter in the final game, and then dropped all 4 to Cincinnati.

Here is how it shakes out:
DC: Vogie/Kontos were bad (L)
Madbum was good, no offense (L)
Cain was just OK (4 runs - L)
Hudson was good (W)
COL: Romo (L)
Romo (L)
Madbum/Guteierez (4 runs each - L)
CWS: Cain bad (L)
Hudson bad (L)
ARZ: Tim was just OK (4 runs, no offense - L)
Vogie was OK (4 runs - W)
Madbum was good (W)
SD: Cain bad (6 runs - L)
Hudson bad (L)
Tim brilliant (W)
Cin: Vogie good (1 run, no offense - L)
Madbum bad (5 runs - L)
Romo/Lopez bad (L)
Hudson good (but Bailey's near no hitter - L)

So, of our 15 losses, I count them like this:
Madbum: 1 good start, 1 4-run start, 1 bad start
Cain: Cain 2 bad starts, 1 4-run start
Huddy: 1 good start, 2 bad starts
Tim: 1 4 run start
Vogie: 1 good start, 1 bad start
Romo: 3 bad outings (1 w/Lopez).
So the Giants spent June losing games when the starters gave up 4 runs and losing some games when the starters pitched well or very well.
So if you don't count the 4-run starts as "bad", even though you can't count them as good, you get 2 bad starts for Cain, 2 for Huddy, 1 each for Madbum and Vogie. Our problem has been offense and relief.

M.C. O'Connor said...

If you rank baseball things in terms of importance, I completely agree with JC that starting pitching is number one. Top o' the list. That's why seeing Lincecum pitch well is so exciting. But starting pitching without fielding, hitting, and relief isn't going to win you enough games. Case in point--Huddy and Cain delivered back-to-back great starts at home and the team lost. No hitting, poor work in the field, and no 'pen meant L instead of W. Seems like a no-brainer. The starters are the foundation, but you can't live in a foundation. Gotta have walls and a roof, too. That's why they got 25 and 40 man rosters.

I wonder what kind of team you would have if you rounded up all the best pitchers (Kershaw, King Felix, Darvish, Wainwright, you-pick-'em) and the rest were "replacement" players. Would they be .500? Interesting idea, eh?

I can live with 2B by committee if Belt and Pagan get healthy (and Cain starts pitching like Cain again). I'm worried Scuts is out for the year.

nomisnala said...

Lets hope we do not get hit with reciprocal shutouts. Giants will have to score some runs against Wainwright.

Brother Bob said...

Belt has been a Fresno Grizzly for 5 games and has put up huge numbers: SLG 1.000, BA .526, OPS 1.550