Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Commandless Tim


 The pesky Pirates snatched the game and series from our boys this morning, 4-3.  These two teams appear quite equally matched; the series featured extra innings, a walk off replay and today's one run game.  Basically, today it boiled down to the starters. Pittsburgh brought quality with Gerrit Coles and the Giants brought ... well, they brought Tim.

Start #7  Loss  (2-2, 5.55)   4 innings  8 hits  4 runs  4 earned  2 walks  4 strikeouts  0 hr

The general consensus seems to be that Tim has lost both his velocity and command.  Hmmm, sounds like a #4-5 starter to me. And that is clearly what the once dominating "Freak" has become. Bleh. Today was a good example of this year's variation on Timmeh's decay. He has cut down on his walks and is throwing a higher percentage of strikes. Sounds good doesn't it? Well, it should be. But the way Tim does it is more like batting practice.  Hit after hit! Thank Willie there were no long balls. The ones that killed me were the 0-2 hits! I think there were five of them TODAY.  You should give up five A YEAR. Bleh.


Brandon Belt has clearly reawakened from his latest zombie vacation.  Today he went deep (#9!) and doubled to drive in all our runs.  I really can't think of a streakier Giant, can you?


nomisnala said...

Tim has never improved on the little things that help a pitcher win in the majors. Things, like holding runners on, keeping wild pitches to an absolute minimum, and keeping your concentration for every pitch. Did you notice after the 4 consecutive hits, that the giants changed their signs, and suddenly the pirates were not squaring up every pitch? I think because of the deceptive quality of many of his pitches, especially the change-up, if the batter knows what is coming, his effectiveness in lost, as he no longer has a high 90's fastball. For Timmy he needs to finally not lose games on the little things, also he needs to spruce up his command, and do so on every pitch. Thirdly he has to make sure that neither he, nor his catcher is tipping off his pitches. If he can make improvement on those 3 accounts, he would probably drop his ERA by about 2 points. He still has swing and miss stuff, unless he is facing Goldschmidt, whom he should walk every time. (exception to the rule) Or not waste any pitches and just gently HBP him on the first pitch.

nomisnala said...

The lowly Marlins are in first place. The Mets who recently lost a series to the fish, left a bit disgruntled as they accused the Marlins of stealing signs throughout the series. It would behoove the giants to be especially guarded with their signs against this over achieving Marlins team. They do have some good pitching. If the pitching remains on schedule without rain outs, the giants should miss Fernandez when the series comes up with the fish. Losing the series to Pittsburgh was a bit disturbing, especially after Tim Hudson lost his game by a walk off reviewed play.

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I don't get what is so disturbing about losing to a good team like the Pirates were last season on the road. Especially since the second game was stolen from us by an itchy trigger finger review umpire.

Part of me wonder if they did that on purpose because the Giants complained about the prior reviews where we lost the review.

Thanks for sharing that they were stealing signs.

Unfortunately, Cain has never rubbed off onto Lincecum. Had Lincecum had Cain's passion and focus, he would probably be looking at a Hall of Fame career right now, instead of being a struggling 4th starter.

Still, as a 4th starter, I have much lowered expectations out of him. And what he did in his first starts, going so many games without giving up so many walks, I was mighty impressed with that. And he's human, so I can't expect him to keep that up every game.

Also, he's learning so I expect bumps in the road. I would compare his bumpy road now with how long it took Koufax and The Big Unit to finally figure out how to control their pitches and become successful. Maybe Lincecum never figures it out, but to my view, if a guy has swing and miss stuff, which Lincecum clearly still has, it is a matter of working on all the other little things that pitchers need to do to be successful. He never had to learn because he was just so good, and now he is humbled and trying as hard as heck to get back to some relevance.

I still think he can do it. It is a matter of being more consistent, as nomisnala notes, not lose focus as much.

Plus, I think he needs to pitch inside more. I recall from one interview that he's a bit afraid to do that because he's afraid of hitting the batter. There is the concept of being effectively wild, and he's missing out by not pitching inside, professional hitters know how to jump out of the way, by not making the hitters a bit more uncomfortable.

And really, any pitcher is toast when the other team knows whats coming. Babe Ruth was a great pitcher, but when he started tipping off his pitches, the other team hit him like a batting practice pitcher until his team realized that he was tipping off his pitches with his tongue sticking out for certain pitches. That's on the catcher for not hiding the signs better, not Timmy. And it was that sequence that cost us the game.