Lincecum’s start: Further analysis

Tim Lincecum says he’s just fine. The Giants say they aren’t worried that their ace’s spring ERA  is over 9.00.

And More Splash Hits is hear to tell you that the two-time Cy Young Award winner is just fine.
Splash Hits took some time to watch Lincecum’s latest spring training start Tuesday against the Indians. Although the final stats were not impressive: 4 earned runs, 4 hits, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts in four innings pitched, a more careful analysis will show this outing wasn’t all that bad.
Lincecum faced 20 batters on Tuesday. Only five of them hit the ball out of the infield. 
Lincecum recorded 12 outs — 4 by strikeout, 2 by outfield flies, 2 on infield pop-ups and 4 ground outs.
Two of the four Inidans got off Lincecum were legit. But two others looked more like outs.
Let’s review: Lincecum struck out two batters in the first with just 3 pitches each. He also gave up a home run to Shin-Soo Choo, an opposite-field shot that appeared to carry well to left in the thin Arizona air. We’re guessing that shot would not have carried out in most major league stadiums, and certainly not AT&T Park.
Lincecum gave up a single in the second, but that came on a come-backer on which Lincecum broke the bat of Jhonny Peralta. Both the ball and the jagged barrel of the bat flew out to Lincecum, who was unable to secure the ball.
The Indians scored a run in the third despite never hitting the ball out of the infield. Three walks issued by Lincecum helped that cause. The Giants pitcher walked the first two batters, then Grady Sizemore hit hard grounder to first. Buster Posey, making his first start at first, knocked the ball down and got the out at first. However, if he had fielded the ball cleanly, the Giants probably would have been able to turn a double play, and the Indians likely don’t score.
In the fourth, another walk put a runner on first. That runner was on the move when Lou Marson hit a chopper to the right of second base. However, with the runner moving, 2B Juan Uribe went to cover the bag, leaving him out of position to field the chopper. If Renteria had covered the bag, Uribe would have been in perfect position to turn a double play, even with the runner on the move. The Giants get two there, and Lincecum leaves the game with no more runs on the board.
Here’s how Lincecum’s day broke down:
FIRST INNING: Trevor Crowe struck out on 0-2 pitch; Grady Sizemore grounded out to 2nd on 1-0 pitch; Shin-Soo Choo homered to left on 2-1 pitch; Travis Hafner struck out on 0-2 pitch.
SECOND INNING: Jhonny Peralta infield single on 1-2 pitch; Mark Grudzielanek fouled out to first on first pitch; Andy Marte struck out on 2-2 pitch; Lou Marson flies to right on 0-1 pitch
THIRD INNING: Jason Donald walked on 3-1 pitch; Crowe walked on 3-1 pitch; Sizemore grounded out to first on 2-2 pitch; Choo grounded out to first on first pitch, run scores; Hafner walked on 3-1 pitch; Peralta struck out on 3-2 pitch

FOURTH INNING: Grudzielanek grounded out to 2nd; Marte walked on 3-2 pitch; Marson singled to center on 1-1 pitch; Donald popped out to first; Crowe doubled to left on 0-1 pitch, two runs score; Sizemore lined out to right on 2-0 pitch.
Lincecum finished with 78 pitches, which leaves him on great pace to open the season at full steam.
If you want see more on what Lincecum and the Giants are saying about Tuesday’s outing, click here.

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