Monday, March 24, 2008

Giants 2, Rangers 5, March 23rd

Lincecum pitched a pretty good game yesterday. One really dumb pitch, resulting in a 2 run HR accounted for the only runs he gave up in 6 full innings of work. Timmy was consistently in the 94-96 range with his fastballs and hit a high of 97 maybe 4 or 5 times. His curveball was working well and he trotted out the new slider a few times. I am not as impressed with the slider as I am with his other off-speed pitches. It seems a little flat and I don't think the difference in speed from the fastball is enough.

Timmy gave up 7 hits (a couple a little tainted - see Castillo photo) and he went deep in the counts to a few too many batters to really call this outing "dominating" as was Cain's effort on Saturday. But the 7 strikeouts as compared to only 1 walk show that he wasn't off by much. I think he (or the catcher) tend to fall in love with his fastball and overuse it. On the HR, Timmy threw a 3-2 fastball, that resulted in a LONG foul ball. On the next pitch, he threw the same pitch, in the same location. The result was that the batter was able to get the timing down and belted a LONG HR over the 400 ft sign in CF (I would estimate about 430 feet). The pitch was one of those 97 MPH jobs, but with as good as his off speed stuff was in the game, it was a huge mistake to give the batter another fastball, when he demolished the same pitch just foul just one pitch earlier. Hopefully, Timmy learns that Major League hitters can hit the 97 MPH fastball, if it isn't located properly or if it is expected. Of course the real problem was the 3 ball count, the batters at this level are so much better when they expect you to throw a "get it in" pitch.

The 4 photos here are a progression of Lincecum's delivery, along with the result.......a 97 MPH reading on the radar. I don't want to seem too negative about Timmy's day......he pitched a VERY good game and for my money is the most exciting Giants' pitcher to watch. My point with the criticism is that as good as he is/has been since he joined the team........he could be even better. I believe his ceiling to be extremely high. I just love this kid.


Anonymous said...

What speed was Lincecum slider showing on the scoreboard?

Anonymous said...


Cat said...

The "pitch love" was a bit of a problem last season with Bengie and the rotation. He would call for the same pitch several times in a row, even if it was apparent that the pitch wasn't working. I noticed it more when Bengie caught Timmy and Cain (since both their fastballs are pretty good). Hopefully this won't be a problem this season since Bengie/pitchers know each other better.