Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lincecum Report – Start #1 - Review


IP: 6, K: 6, BB: 3, H: 5, ER: 4

“TL is going to come out of the gates pressing and over throwing which will result in too many Dodger runs for the Giants to overcome. The final score will match opening day 5-0 Dodgers.”


IP: 4, K: 4, BB: 4, H: 4, ER: 1

All things considered (a rain delay in Los Angeles, TL not starting the game, etc..), I made a decent prediction of his performance. He did seem to overthrow at times but he was really sharp when he needed to be which resulted in a win for him and the Giants.

Overall Thoughts:

There is nothing quite as stupid as not starting a guy because of the weather report. Lincecum and Billingsley had been preparing for this start for 6 weeks and then they get yanked because of weather!? If it is not raining at the start of the game, then the guy slated to start the game should. If it is raining and you decide to pull him, then he should start the next game and not come out of the bullpen. However, this mistake--which was a mistake no matter what the outcome was--was not Bruce Bochy’s. Larry Baer and Peter McGowen told Bochy the following in the third inning “We need to win this game or we will not sell out opening day so get Lincecum in the game ASAP”. What a joke.

Grading His Performance:

That being said, Tim Lincecum was awesome last night. I promise you that most starting pitchers in this league would have refused to go into an April game in the 4th inning. (Can you imagine what would have happened if this situation occurred with Zito as the starter!? His head would have exploded). Not only did Lincecum go out there, he pitched well enough to win AND even stayed in the game after the rain delay. His numbers were good (not great) but he found his out pitch when he needed it and that is all you could have asked for given the circumstances. The bases loaded strike out of Martin was especially impressive.

Grade: A

Three Things to Remember:

* The 1st Pitch
Here are Lincecum’s first pitch stats from last night’s game:

(He threw a first pitch strike to 12 of the 19 batters he faced – 63.2%)

When Lincecum threw a first pitch strike
* Batting Average: .111 or 1 for 9
* Walks: 2
* Sacrifice: 1
* Strike outs: 2
* On-base percentage: .273 or 3 for 11

When Lincecum threw a first pitch ball
* Batting Average: .600 or 3 for 5
* Walks: 2
* Strike outs: 2
* On-base percentage: .714 or 5 for 7

No further explanation needed

* Batting Practice Fastball
One of the “problems” Lincecum has is that he throws his two-seam fastball (usually a pitch used to generate movement and not speed) 95 mph. Most power pitchers throw a four-seam fastball for speed and a two-seam fastball for movement and to change speeds. Since Lincecum uses the two-seam fastball for both speed and movement, he doesn’t have a change of pace fastball. He will acquire one at some point but I would not expect it this year

* Holding Runners
He gets a pass on this one because the runners that did get on were really no threat to steal a base.

Interesting Moment from Yesterday’s Game:
When it was discovered that Lincecum and Billingsley were pulled because of weather, Krukow made the following comment:

“You know these two teams did not make a deal before the game to pull both starting pitchers because these two teams never make deals*”

Hmmmm …

I guess he's right besides the fact that these two teams made the biggest deal in sports history when the Giants agreed to move west with the Dodgers in 1958.

Furthermore …

Later on in the telecast, Larry Baer came on and said that the Dodgers president called him before the game to tell them that there was a chance the game might get rained out.

In plain English this comment means – “we talked to the Dodgers and agreed to not start Lincecum if they agreed to not start Billingsley”

But these teams never make deals so I am sure that didn’t happen.

Until next time

* This quote is far from being word for word but you get the point.

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