Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lincecum Report – Start #5 - Preview

Last Start:

Lincecum’s last start was easily his best. He threw more innings and was significantly more economical with his pitches. While many people will point to his reduced strike out total as a negative, I think it was a positive because it saved his pitch count from getting too high in the early innings. As far as I am concerned, the deeper Lincecum can get in the game the better chance the Giants have to win. This start is a perfect example of what the Giants need to be successful when Lincecum pitches.

Stat line (for the last game):
IP: 7, K: 5, BB: 3, H: 6, ER: 0

Stat line (for the season):
IP: 23, K: 27, BB: 9, H: 23, ER: 4


Pitching Psychology:

In what is now becoming his normal mindset, Lincecum will come into this game continuing to think that he is going to dominate the opposing team. If his last 4 starts were not enough to get him in the right mind set for this start, the Padres offense and PETCO Park should have him thinking no-hitter. At this point, I don’t see how he could not be thinking he is one of the best pitchers in the National League.


Opponent Overview:

In breaking news, it is hard to score runs at PETCO Park and the Padres have a hard time scoring runs in any park. These two facts are the main reasons why the Padres come into this game against Lincecum and the Giants in last place (tied with the Giants). The Padres organization has to be frustrated by their slow start and there are no signs that their current roster has the ability to turn this thing around. While it is only April, I have to believe a lot of the players on this team have to be wondering when big changes could be coming.


Three Things to Remember:

The 1st Pitch:
I would expect Lincecum to go right after the Padres team with first pitch fastball strikes. This game has all the makings for his first complete game of the season if he starts out aggressive and he stays aggressive in the strike zone.

Hit an Inning
The one knock on Lincecum this year (and this proves that all statistics have their limitations) is that he is giving up a hit an inning. If he continues this trend, he will get burned eventually. If he starts to reduce the number of hits he gives up, the CY Young talk will start to heat up.

The Look:
If there is only one thing you want to look for tonight, it is The Look. If you do not know what the The Look is. Please read my last Lincecum report.


Prediction:

I am off the Lincecum-is-going-to-be-over-confident band wagon and I am on the this-game-has-the-makings-for-something-special band wagon. Lincecum is going to use his fastball more than he has in the past two starts and blow away the Padres hitters.

Final Score:
Giants 3 – Padres 1

Lincecum’s Stat Line
IP: 8, K: 8, BB: 2, H: 2, ER: 1

1 comment:

Suckaflea said...

I thought you'd enjoy this. On McCovey Chronicles the lead into the gameday thread was a picture of a litlle leaguer with the caption: "Tim Lincecum. He'll stirke you out. Head to the dugout for some orange slices and stare you down the whole way."

So, Timmy lasted into the seventh, had nine K's and didn't give up any runs. He still has an inning or two where he loses his pitch economy and he walks a batter or goes to a couple 3-2 counts which you covered nicely. 5 BB's? He threw 121 pitches, which isn't as bad as it sounds. The baseball watching public has been indoctrinated with the 100 pitch pitch count. But, why? Guys used to throw all day and sometimes all night. The wisdom is that 100 is the threshold for injury safety, but I'd be willing to bet there are more injuries now than in the past. For Lincecum, this issue is sure to be tamed in the long run, though he probably won't rack up the Marichalesque CG stats, but I'd put the over/under on CGs in his career at 25.