If you’re a pessimist you’ll probably say …
Tim Lincecum didn’t look at all that great. In Lincecum’s first start of the year he struck out seven batters while walking just one over 5.1 innings. Lincecum, at times, looked a little rusty, as his command wasn’t exceptionally sharp for most of the night. According to Brooks Baseball Lincecum’s velocity topped out at 91.2 miles per hour; and, by Brooks, Lincecum threw 42 four-seam fastballs, 16 sliders, 15 changeups, 14 curveballs, and 7 two-seam fastballs. (Your mileage may vary with PitchF/X pitch classifications.)
If you’re an optimist you’ll probably say …
Lincecum didn’t look all that bad, actually. If you erase his first inning, and the two home runs he gave up, things don’t look nearly as bad. In the first, Lincecum gave up a two-run homer to Chris Young on a fat changeup (MLB Gameday says it was a slider, but it looked like a change to me) and a couple of batters later Tim’s archnemesis, Paul Goldschmidt, took him deep for a solo shot.
Ultimately, I’ll have a hard time getting worked up over a single start, and an Opening Day start no less. It’s early in the season and there isn’t much need to panic just yet. Lincecum had periods of cruising — he didn’t throw over 15 pitches in an inning between innings two and five — and the defense didn’t do him any favors by committing three errors on the night.
In the long run, I think he’ll be fine. He usually makes adjustments pretty well between starts.
More stuff after the jump, including random thoughts and a couple of .GIFs
Other random assorted thoughts:
* Melky Cabrera had a successful debut for the Giants. Melky went 2-5 with a double and a two-run home run. Bochy had Cabrera hitting in the two-hole tonight and I have to say, I like Cabrera hitting at that spot. Gives the Giants a little bit of firepower near the top of the order and, in theory, Cabrera should get some good pitches to hit in front of Pablo.
* The defense. The defense didn’t look so hot at times. Crawford was credited with one error. He had a pretty hard time during the game fielding routine groundballs (jammed thumb a problem?). Posey had a tough fielding error on a Jason Kubel swinging bunt in front of the dish, and Sandoval committed a throwing error in the bottom of the 8th that drew Brandon Belt off the bag.
* Speaking of Posey, not to go all strawhat on you, but by my eyes he looked pretty good behind the dish. Moved around fine and didn’t seem restricted in any way.
* The bullpen was solid, throwing 2.2 scoreless innings. Clay Hensley made his 2012 Giants debut by striking out two hitters in 0.2 innings pitched.
* Brandon Belt went 1-4 with two strikeouts (the last one being borderline). More importantly he made some nice scoops at first base. I think fans are going to enjoy watching Belt on defense at first base.
* Pablo Sandoval’s first hit of the year was very Sandoval-ish
I love that guy.
Losing to a divisional rival like Arizona to start the year isn’t fun by any stretch, but it’s the first game of the year and the offense showed some life at times, which is incredibly nice to see. For now, that’s good enough to send me to bed happy.
Bonus .GIF: Angel Pagan Presents ‘Nghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhshoot!’