Tag: tim lincecum

Deconstructing the Restructured Giants

During World Series week we discussed the complete overhaul of the San Francisco Giants starting lineup from 2010 to 2012. I suggested that theirs was a strategy of “doing it wrong quickly” and after looking more deeply into the matter, I’m standing by that theory. Further, it seems to be a strategy that the Giants have employed for a while, and it’s worth investigating the construction of their 2010 squad as well. Let’s start with the 2010-2012 turnover first, however, honing in on the World Series starters at each position.


We Like[d] Ike!


Ike Davis gives me headaches. I throw on the Mets game after a friend told me what Kung Fo Panda just did. After watching Dillon Gee struggle, I get to watch Ike Davis strike out looking with the bases load in the 8th inning against the San Francisco Giants. The Mets would lose 7-2.

After striking out, Davis properly mutters something he shouldn’t have, and throws his bat like an underhand toss. He un-straps his batting gloves and proceeds to look up to the sky as if the answers lie there. But the answers lie in his attitude at the plate.


Mets Game 15: Loss to Giants

Giants 6 Mets 1

The weather conditions were reminiscent of those that might be experienced during an early season game at old Candlestick Park — cold, wet, windy. And as was often the case in those San Francisco games of yesteryear, the Giants beat the Mets.


Mets Game 30: Loss to Giants

Giants 2 Mets 0

This was sort of reminiscent of a game from the 1970s; it could have been John Montefusco and Jon Matlack on the mound facing lineups that include “hitters” like Chris Speier, Ken Reitz, Marc Hill, Roy Staiger, Mike Phillips, and Del Unser.


Off-Topic: A Matchup Not To Be Missed

On Saturday night at 7:30 PM the Phillies will face the Giants in Philadelphia to begin the NLCS.

While it’s true I’m a Mets fan, I’m a BASEBALL fan first, and therefore excited to watch this game. Why? Because it pits two of the best pitchers of our generation in a playoff contest — and those two pitchers are coming off two of the greatest postseason pitching performances in baseball history. All signs are pointing to extreme entertainment value for hard-core baseball enthusiasts.

Which team will I root for? Hard to say … probably neither. Likely, I’ll be watching rather than rooting — though what happens during the course of the contest may change that. Sure, as a Mets fan I can’t stand either club, but I’m going to approach this game the same as I would a movie: for entertainment value; to enjoy the story. I will sit and enjoy the plot of the game develop, and “root” for a hero when and if one emerges.

Of course, it’s very possible that one or both of the starting pitchers craps the bed and the game becomes something less dramatic than what we are expecting. And if that’s the case, well, maybe there will be something interesting to watch on Spike! or HGTV … and Saturday Night Live will be on at 11:30.

While we’re on the subject of pitching freaks, be sure to check out Greg Prince’s article about Lincecum and Christy Mathewson at The New York Times. It is a good read by a great guy; Greg and Jason Fry were among the first Mets bloggers on the interwebs (see Faith and Fear, if you haven’t already), and both are truly fine gentlemen. Congrats to Greg for contributing to such a venerable and highly respected publication as The Times — it’s nice to see good things happen to good people!


Mets Game 89: Loss to Giants

Giants 2 Mets 0

It was a tough loss for Johan Santana Mike Pelfrey R.A. Dickey and the Mets.

Dickey pitched his heart out, allowing one measly run on five hits in seven innings of work — proving beyond argument that it didn’t matter it was he and not Santana or Pelfrey pitching the first game after the All Star Gimmick, because the offense wasn’t going to score against Tim Lincecum no matter who was pitching for the Mets.

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey is making it very difficult to remain skeptical of his success. Is it possible that he simply has finally figured out how to tame the knuckler? Do knuckleballers get better with age, as a direct result of experience and rote? Or is he still riding that element of mystery vs. the National League? Keep on rolling, R.A.

Carlos Beltran made his first appearance of 2010 and managed a single in four at-bats. Naturally, Jose Reyes was out of the lineup with his lingering oblique injury. Beltran looked maybe a touch aggressive and rusty, but not remarkably different from what we expect. He faced Tim Lincecum after seeing A-ball pitching for a month, so I’m not concerned and not going to rush judgment. In the field he was only mildly tested … and no news is good news. Hopefully he can make his transition back to MLB without any major problems.

The Mets collected a total of six singles on the evening against Lincecum.

The other run scored was charged to Elmer Dessens. I have a funny feeling that his luck is quickly running out.

Chris Carter had a pinch-hit single in the eighth. However the Mets needed a pinch-hit homerun in that spot. Oh well .

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Giants play again on Friday night at 10:35 PM EST. Hey, why not just start the game at midnight? These game times drive me nuts … why can’t they start at 6 PM PST? The Left Coasters get out of work by 3 PM / 4 PM, don’t they?

Jonathon Niese is scheduled to face Barry Zito. Luckily most of us can sleep in on Saturday morning.


Mets Game 31: Loss to Giants

Giants 6 Mets 5

The Mets almost won … but fell a hair short. Still, they took a series they needed to take.

Early on, it didn’t seem possible. Mr. Hyde Oliver Perez was walking the ballpark, and the Mets hitters couldn’t touch Tim Lincecum.

Then, the wind changed.

Thanks to idiotic management decisions, terrible fundamentals, and a few wind-blown balls, the Giants completely blew golden opportunities to put the game away and gave the Mets extra chances to gain a win — and the Mets made the most of them.

Then, the wind changed again. Rookie Jenrry Mejia, pitching in the setup role and protecting a one-run lead, walked John Bowker in the 8th, then allowed a two-run homer to Aaron Rowand to give the lead back to the Giants.

Jason Bay had a wind-blown double to lead off the ninth, but was stranded there when closer Brian Wilson struck out the side.

Game Notes

Oliver Perez
was terrible. Absolutely terrible. At one point he had 3-ball counts to nine straight batters, and 11 out of 12. By the time he left, he allowed only 3 earned runs but walked 7 in 3 1/3 innings. It could’ve — and should’ve — been a lot worse. Only the horrendous managing of Bruce Bochy kept him in the game.

Bruce Bochy has a great reputation as a manager, but he had me baffled in the top of third, while Oliver Perez was on the mound and unable to throw a strike. With a runner on first — due to a walk — and Pablo Sandoval at the plate with no outs and a 3-1 count, Bochy called the hit and run TWICE in a row. These calls came just moments after Perez threw a pitch 20 feet outside — causing Gary Cohen to channel his inner Bob Uecker a la “Bull Durham” / Nuke LaLoosh. As a result of this stupidity, Sandoval swung at two pitches out of the strike zone, and eventually popped out for the first out of the inning. Didn’t seem like a big deal, but the Giants eventually loaded the bases thanks to another walk and a hit-by-pitch. A pop out and a great catch at the wall by Angel Pagan ended an inning that Perez should never have escaped.

An inning later, after Perez walked the leadoff man, Bochy had Tim Lincecum sacrifice — this despite the fact Perez had gone to a three-ball count to 9 straight hitters and the fact that Lincecum walked his previous at-bat. As it turned out, Lincecum’s bunt was right back to Perez, who — ironically — threw wildly to second base but got the out. Why Bochy would give the Mets, and Perez, an out under those circumstances is beyond comprehension. As it was, the Giants again loaded the bases, knocked Perez out of the game, and scored only two runs. Between those two innings, the Giants should have scored at least 4 or 5.

Maybe that sounds like me not being a Mets fan or being negative but I’m a baseball fan first and stupid baseball makes me insane — and that was stupid, stupid, stupid baseball by Bochy. Sometimes managers should step out of the way and let the other team beat themselves, rather than forcing their genius into an opportunity.

Tim Lincecum
was unusually fabulous against the Mets. I say “unusually” because he was winless in 3 career starts vs. the Mets, allowing 30 baserunners in 19 innings and posting a 5.68 ERA. This time, Mets fans saw the “real” Tim Lincecum. OK, now we get it.

Strangely, though, Lincecum’s fastball sat around 90 MPH, only occasionally going as high as 91-92. This is a pitcher who regularly threw 97-101 MPH not so long ago. Cold weather, lack of strength, or possible injury? Time will tell.

David Wright was thrown out of the game after striking out looking in the bottom of the 9th with Bay on second base. It was a close call, could’ve gone either way — it was a fastball with a heckuva lotta run, and it ended up looking off the plate by the time it was caught. Had the Mets tied the game, they’d have been in a bit of a fix, because they were out of position players. We might’ve seen Mike Pelfrey playing left field in the top of the 10th.

Fernando Nieve made an appearance, and is on pace to tie Mike Marshall’s record for most games by a pitcher in a season (104).

Next Mets Game

Mets host the surprising Nationals on Monday night at 7:10 PM. John Maine faces Luis Atilano.