Spring training: Giants 8, Dodgers 8 (tie) … A good sign for Tim Lincecum
Another tie for the Giants. But that’s not what fans cared about from Tuesday’s game with the Dodgers.
All they wanted to know about was one guy: Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum, in his spring debut, gave up three runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Maybe not the results that some fans were hoping for. But it’s important to note that Lincecum rarely shines in the spring. He uses that time to get his complicated mechanics in order.
In six springs with the Giants, Lincecum has had ERAs of 6.43, 4.50, 4.03, 6.94, 4.37 and 5.70.
So while the three runs allowed may not excite you, the key stat is bases on balls: 0. However, it should be noted that Lincecum went to full counts on four of the eight batters he faced.
Lincecum got Skip Schumaker to ground to second, but an error by Kensuke Tanaka allowed Schumaker to reach. Hanley Ramirez then popped to second. Adrian Gonzalez singled to right with Schumaker taking third. The inning ended with strike-him-out/throw-him-out double play with Andre Ethier at the plate and Gonzalez thrown out at second.
In the second Juan Uribe flied to center. Mark Ellis and A.J. Ellis hit back-to-back singles before Jeremy Moore doubled them both home for a 2-0 lead. That ended Lincecum’s day. Steve Edlefsen relieved and had a rougher time that Lincecum, allowing Moore to score for Lincecum’s third charged run, then allowing two more runs to scoring, giving up two hits and three walks.
“It’s a good sign when you feel the ball’s coming out of your hand better than the year before,” Lincecum told CSNBayArea.com.
Well, we’ve heard that before. Lincecum threw 22 of 38 pitches for strikes. His off-speed pitches had good movement, but most didn’t stay in the strike zone.
“There wasn’t that question if my body would be ready or if my mechanics would be working,” Lincecum said. “All that other stuff was a non-issue. The timing of my arm felt really good. I missed a few pitches high, but I meant to.
“I didn’t feel I was getting out of whack.”
Lincecum spent the winter working on core and leg strength, and he said he felt the benefits of that work on Tuesday.
“Last spring it was trying to make something out of nothing,” Lincecum said. “I didn’t have the strength or the mechanics to sustain anything. Now the question isn’t whether I’m going to throw strikes. It’s where I’m going to throw strikes.”
- Brandon Belt‘s two-run double in the fourth helped the Giants rally from 5-0 to 5-4 in the sixth.
- Reliever Ramon Ramirez, hoping to earn a job in the bullpen, was less than impressive in the sixth, giving up three runs on two hits and a walk.
- Brett Pill, trying to earn a bench job, went 2 for 5 with a pair of home runs, including the game-tying blast in the top of the ninth to complete a four-run inning. He also struck out twice. Not too surprising. Pill hits fastballs, and pitchers throw a lot of fastballs in the spring. During the season, they’ll throw to the scouting report. And when facing Pill, that means a lot of off-speed stuff.
- Roger Kieschnick, another outfielder trying to make the team, went 2 for 3 with a double, run and strikeout.
- Infielder Brock Bond hit a two-run homer in the ninth. The Giants, after going homerless in their first three games, belted three against L.A.