March 2011

The Freak messes around and gets a Triple Double-Double

Not sure what to make of this, but apparently Tim Lincecum often gets a big case of the munchies.

In a USA Today article last week,  the Giants right-hander revealed that he is a regular at In-N-Out burger. No surprise there. I mean, that IS what a hamburger is all about.

But when we heard what Lincecum orders regularly at his visits to In-N-Out, even MoreSplashHits was taken aback.

Lincecum says his order includes three Double-Doubles, two orders of fries and one chocolate-strawberry shake.

doubles.jpgAll tallied, that order comes to 3,150 calories. And that doesn’t even include the lettuce and tomatoes, which Lincecum holds from his Double-Doubles.

“I’m not a big vegetable guy,” Lincecum told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Lincecum also holds the cheese from his burgers, which technically doesn’t make it a Double-Double. Double-Doubles get their names from double patties, double cheese.

MoreSplashHits understands Lincecum’s love for In-N-Out. In my younger days while growing up in Southern California, my friends and I would regularly attend Friday night games at Dodger Stadium. Afterwards, we would make a pilgrimage to In-N-Out — or Original Tommy’s for chili cheesburgers (let’s home Lincecum doesn’t discover Tommy’s).

In-N-Out is one thing MoreSplashHits misses about Southern California after living in the Pacific Northwest for the past two decades.

But even in our best days (or worst, depending on our point of view), my friends and I could not manage to devour what Lincecum regularly consumes at In-N-Out.

MoreSplashHits went looking for the daily recommended caloric for a 26-year-old male who is 5-foot-11, 168 pounds. Given Lincecum’s job description, we said Lincecum was “extremely active.”

So the recommended daily caloric intake came to just under 3,500 calories. So that leaves Lincecum about 350 calories for breakfast and lunch if he dines daily at In-N-Out.

So it should come as no surprise that Lincecum has added 11 pounds this spring. Not that anyone would notice it by looking at him.

When asked if he had any idea what his cholesterol level was, Lincecum laughed, “Probably not very good. But my metabolism is through the roof.”

Maybe so, but Giants fans can only hope that Lincecum finds a bit of moderation when it comes to his favorite fast-food restaurant. And perhaps he could cut back on other bad habits that might lead to increased culinary cravings.

If not, then next fall’s favorite Halloween costume of Giants fans will be a Lincecum wig under a paper hat, accessorized with a white apron held up by a gigantic safety pin — topped off with a defibrillator.

Lost day in the desert

A strange this happened Sunday in the desert. The Giants lost — TWICE!

In their final split-squad games of the spring, the Giants fell 3-2 to the Cubs in 10 innings and 6-4 to the Athletics.

Against Oakland, the Giants struggled to mount much offense against the A’s Brandon McCarthy, who limited the Giants to no runs and three hits through six innings.

But he left the game after Brandon Belt and Ryan Rohlinger collected back-to-back singles to open the eighth. Andres Torres walked to load the bases, and Freddy Sanchez got a run-scoring groundout. Then Aubrey Huff belted a three-run home run.

On the pitching side, Madison Bumgarner had a bumpy outing when he apparently lost focus from a tight strike zone.

Bumgarner set the A’s down in order in the first, thanks to a double-play ball.

But in the second, he opened with back-to-back walks. Then after fielding a comebacker from Ryan Sweeney, he looked to third, then changed his mind and threw wildly to first, allowing two runs to score.

After that, he gave up three consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly to plate two more runs. He ended the innings with strikeouts of Mark Ellis and Daric Barton. Bumgarner then got the hook, making just 40 pitches. No doubt he got in more work in the bullpen.

On a good note, Dan Runzler made a strong case to secure the long reliever spot in the bullpen, throwing three scoreless innings in relief of Bumgarner, striking out three and giving up just one hit.

Against the Cubs, the Giants lineup contained only two potential opening-day starters: Pablo Sandoval (1 for 4) and Pat Burrell (0 for 3).

Even though all the pitchers the Giants threw against the Cubs are not going to be on the opening day roster, they kept the game close before the Cubs won it in the 10th.

Another royally good start from Zito

Another solid outing from Barry Zito and three solo home runs carried the Giants to another spring victory in a 3-1 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Zito gave up one run on two hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out two and dropped his spring ERA to 2.30.

“No question with him, it’s pounding the zone and staying away from bases on balls,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Zito.

Cody Ross homered in the second. Buster Posey went deep in the fourth. And Aubrey Huff hit one out in the sixth.

Ramon Ramirez, Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo and Santiago Castilla combined to throw three shutout innings, giving up two hits.

Spring rarity: Giants lose

While you’re never happy about losing to the Dodgers, MoreSplashHits took the Giants’ 6-3 loss to LA in stride. The Giants have been playing so well this spring that we were worried that they may using up all their wins when it doesn’t count.

What did count in this game was the performances of three pitchers vying for the final spot in the bullpen.

Jeff Suppan started and gave up two earned runs on seven hits in four innings. His spring ERA is 5.79.

Ryan Vogelsong gave up two runs on four hits in three innings. His spring ERA is now at 2.87.

And Guillermo Mota pitched the ninth and gave up two solo home runs. His spring ERA is 5.00.

But there was some good news to report from Friday’s game:

MIKE FONTENOT was 1 for 4 with two RBI from the leadoff spot. With Aaron Rowand hitting in the No. 6 spot, there was at least some hope that when Andres Torres is out of the lineup (like we was Friday) that Bruce Bochy will consider other leadoff options to Rowand.

JAVIER LOPEZ, who has had an uneven spring, threw another scoreless inning, setting down the Dodgers in order in the eighth.

Giant pitchers silence Angels-in-waiting

Jonathan Sanchez had another solid spring outing and the Giants posted another win, shutting out the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 on Thursday.

With the win, the Giants improved to 17-5 in the spring.

Sanchez gave up just one hit and one walk in six innings. He struck out five.

Four pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout. So while the effort added to the Giants’ impressive spring pitching, it must be taken with a grain of salt.

The lineup the Angels ran out against the Giants was devoid of regular starters. Center fielder Peter Bourjos was the only Angels regular in the lineup.

Pablo Sandoval was 2 for 4 with a double, run and RBI. Pat Burrell had a double in three at-bats.

The Giants scored three runs in the fourth inning off Angels starter Dan Haren.

After Andres Torres was hit by a pitch, Torres scored on Sandoval’s double. Miguel Tejada singled Sandoval home, and Tejada scored on Burrell’s double.

Trophy travelling to Pacific Northwest

The World Series trophy is coming to the Northwest — and we’re not talking about Medford, Ore.

timtrophy.jpeg

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes have made arrangements with the World Champion San Francisco Giants to bring the 2010 World Series trophy to Keizer this summer.

The date is July 9.

The Volcanoes will host an private reception for Volcanoes season-ticket holders, ticket-package holders and the media.

The team released very little additional information about the visit of the trophy. However, the Volcanoes, the Class A short-season affiliate of the Giants, have a home game at 7:05 p.m. against the Tri-City Dust Devils on Saturday, July 9. No word if the trophy will be on display during the game or not.

Stay tuned for more info.

Lincecum, Little Giants score another win

At the start of Wednesday’s spring training game between the Giants and White Sox, the White Sox announcers noted that because the Giants had played a night game on Tuesday, Wednesday’s lineup was filled with players who would either be on the bench or in Fresno on opening day.

And that should help the White Sox get a win, given that manager Ozzie Guillen was throwing out a lineup that was filled with opening-day regulars.

It was a nice theory, but ….

In the end, the Giants improved to 16-5 on the spring with a 5-3 win over the Pale Hose.

To make matters worse for the White Sox, most of the damage was done by the bottom of the lineup as the No. 6-9 hitters delivered 10 of the Giants’ 15 hits.

Leading the way was first baseman Brandon Belt, who had a single, double and two-run home run in four at-bats. Nate Schierholtz continued his push to make the big club by going 3 for 5 (all singles) and improving his spring average to .342.

The lone lock for an opening day start in Wednesday lineup was on the mound. Tim Lincecum threw 75 pitches, giving up one run on three hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven.

Giants rally for another win over Arizona

Madison Bumgarner bounced back after giving up two first-inning home runs, and Aubrey Huff continued to swing a hot bat as the Giants rallied for a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

“He looked like he was just overthrowing there early, but he got back in sync and started locating better,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Bumgarner. “He just got the ball up there early in the game and paid for it.”

Bumgarner gave up a lead-off home run to Chris Young, then gave up another solo shot to Justin Upton two batters later.

But he bounced back to post three scoreless innnings after that. He finished giving up two runs on four hits and two walks in four innings. He struck out six.

Bumgarner might have returned for the fifth inning. But after collecting a single in the top of the fifth, he was replaced by pinch-runner Darren Ford.

Andres Torres followed with an RBI groundout, and then Huff belted a two-run homer to complete a three-run fifth for San Francisco. Huff finished 2 for 4 with two RBI and a run. He’s hitting .351 this spring.

Other highlights:

FREDDY SANCHEZ: The second baseman continues to show good pop this spring, going 2 for 4 with his second spring home run.

MIGUEL TEJADA: Tejada went 2 for 4 to lift his spring average to .257.

TRAVIS ISHIKAWA: Ishikawa came off the bench to play left field. He doubled home Emmanuel Burriss ,running for Tejada, with the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth.

SERGIO ROMO: The reliever gave up his first spring run when he gave up a game-tying solo home run to Geraldo Parra in the bottom of the eighth.

Coming Wednesday

Tim Lincecum is on the mound as the Giants face the White Sox at 1:05 p.m. Wednesday. The game will be broadcast on MLB Network.
 

MoreSplashHits finds connections with Giants players

There’s nothing more satisfying than for a baseball fan to be able to relate for the players on his or her favorite team on a personal basis.

For example, Tim Lincecum and MoreSplashHits have both visited the Clark County Courthouse in Vancouver, WA. Of course, MoreSplashHits was there for jury duty, while the Freak was there for other reasons.

And now comes this from Andrew Baggarly’s blog for the San Jose Mercury News.

Apparently, Giants pitcher Jeff Suppan and MoreSplashHits have both worked as a sports clerk at the Los Angeles Daily News.

Sports clerks take calls from high school coaches who are reporting result from their games. From those results, the clerk will write up a couple of paragraphs that help comprise a daily roundup.

Suppan told Baggarly that he worked for the Daily News shortly after high school. However, Suppan’s tenure at the Daily News last three shifts as the experience was a little too intense for him.

What a wienie!

MoreSplashHits also worked as a sports clerk for the LA Daily News. Judging by Suppan’s age, we can guess that my tenure at the Daily News preceded Suppan’s by three or four years. My immediate supervisor at the Daily News was Tim Brown, who now covers baseball for Yahoo! Sports. Oh, and my tenure at the paper lasted much longer than three shifts.

But I guess we all don’t have what it takes to work as a sports clerk for a major metropolitan newspaper. And I can’t be too hard on Suppan. We all have our personality flaws.

For example, I never played organized baseball because as a young child I was afraid of being nailed by the ball. (Dude! It’s hard! And it can really hurt!).

And Suppan went on to have a long career in baseball, earning millions of dollars in the process. Meanwhile, I’m still taking prep results from high school coaches.

So I guess some people’s shortcomings are more costly than others.

No pain for Cain

Phew!

Giants fans around the world took a sign of relief. Matt Cain bounced back in his first in-game action in more than two weeks by throwing three scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out one. No walks.

The Brewers went on to beat the Giants 12-8.

Cain, who was sidelined with some elbow inflammation, was only slated to throw two innings. But he sailed through the first two innings in 18 pitches, so he went out again in the third. He finished with 43 pitches, 29 strikes.

“I looked like Matty didn’t miss a beat,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

Now, the challenge is to get Cain back on course to be ready to start the season.

“I think I’ll be fine,” Cain told the San Jose Mercury News. “I’ve been able to do rotator cuff and (scapula) work even when I wasn’t throwing every four days, so I’ve been able to keep my arm strength there.”

Bochy said that Cain will probably get a 60-pitch count on his next outing, perhaps with an extra day of rest.

If he pitches on four-days rest now, he could get three more spring starts before opening the season on the fourth game of the season. If the Giants feel that he only needs two more spring starts, then he can open the season in the No. 3 spot of the rotation that he was projected in.

On the flip side, Jeff Suppan did not have a stellar outing. Suppan, facing the Brewers for the third time this spring, gave up six runs (five earned) on four hits and two walks in one inning of work. His spring ERA shot up to 6.30.

It’s the kind of outing that may take Suppan out of the running for the final spot in the bullpen. He’s currently battling Ryan Vogelsong, Guillermo Mota and Dan Runzler for that spot.

Here are the other highlights:

AUBREY HUFF: Huff-Daddy was 3 for 3 with two runs and three RBI, including a home run to raise his spring average to .333.

PABLO SANDOVAL: Hit his third home run of the spring. He went 1 for 3.

BUSTER POSEY: Had a double in 2 ABs. He’s hitting .458.

ANDRES TORRES: Tripled for the second time in as many days. He’s hitting .379 this spring.

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