Forget that he’s only 22. Forget that he’s got a lightning bolt for an arm. Forget that his curve was filthy. All of these things are important but what I liked most about Tim Lincecum’s first career win was that he made adjustments. He started off the game pumping fastballs but quickly mixed in his breaking stuff, which was working quite well in Coors. He made the needed adjustments from his first start against the Phillies in which he got knocked around a little.
Lincecum kept the Giants in the game until Josh Fogg started pitching more like his career 4.92 ERA-self. The Rockies bullpen went atomic and the Giants capped of a much needed win in the NL West. Here’s some notes from the game
- When was the last time that you can remember the Giants starting two rookie position players in the same game? Fred Lewis and Dan Ortmeier both got starts and did fairly well. Lewis went 1 for 4, with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. I love Fred’s speed. Ortmeier went 2 for 4 with 1 run scored. Todd who?
- Klesko made a crucial defensive play late in the game that prevented the Rockies from scoring a run that would have tied the game. In the 8th with 2 away and a runner on 2nd, Hawpe hit a bouncing ground ball up the first base line that kicked off the bag. Klesko reacted quick enough and got a glove on the ball to make a nice play to finish the inning. The spirit of J.T. Snow must have taken over Rhino’s body for that one play.
- Lincecum maintained his velocity all game. Staying around the mid-90′s even after he passed the 100 pitch mark. In the Philly game Lincecum’s velocity was down in the 4th and 5th innings. It was good to see him maintain it for the full time he pitched.
- Sanchez came in the 9th, up by 5, and immediately had trouble throwing strikes. Walking 2 in .2 innings of work is not the way to earn yourself more playing time. Nothing is more frustrating than watching a reliever come in and walk guys when a team is up, especially by 5 runs. I’d like to see the Giants swap Misch and Sanchez, so that Sanchez can go down to AAA and start. He obviously needs regular work.
Once again the Giants seemed to have trouble scoring runs until late in the game. They scored all their runs in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings. The biggest positive that I can take away from this game was Linecum’s performance, which should earn him a couple of more starts even if Ortiz is off the DL. All in all, a very encouraging start from Lincecum that not only earned him his first career win, but also his first career NHFSK (Naked Hug From Steve Kline).
Still fully dressed in his uniform, Tim Lincecum eyed his teammates warily, figuring those overgrown adolescents would devise a dastardly plan to commemorate his first major-league win.
It proved to be a one-man conspiracy. Resident goofball Steve Kline interrupted Lincecum’s postgame interview and gave the kid a big hug. Kline was buck naked, of course, warmed only by the forest of hair on his chest and back. As the lefty reliever walked way, Lincecum wasted no time before yelling, “Next time you hug me take off your sweater.”
A forest of body hair may be the worst-slash-best-slash-worst again, adjective ever used in the history of mankind to describe someone’s body hair.