Same story, different game.
Tim Lincecum looked good, very good at times against the Miami Marlins.
His fastball was topping out at 93 mph.
He held the Marlins to one run through five innings.
He successfully managed to work himself out of jams in the first and fifth innings.
But, oh, that blowup inning.
And what makes the blowup inning more frustrating is that is could have been avoided.
Let’s relive Lincecum’s disaster inning this time.
- Omar Infante doubles
- Hanley Ramirez strikes out looking.
- Giancarlo Stanton singles, scoring Infante (first sign of trouble)
- Logan Morrison walks (second sign of trouble)
- Bryan Peterson singles to right, but doesn’t tie game only because the Marlins held up Stanton at third (third sign of trouble)
- John Buck flies out to DEEP center. So deep that all three runnners tag up (fourth sign of trouble)
- Chris Coughlan homers. Marlins lead 6-3. Lincecum is removed from game (time to call the fire truck, even though the house has already burned to the ground).
When asked if he had any second thoughts about going to get Lincecum earlier, manager Bruce Bochy got grumpy.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Bochy said. “Who he’s facing? The bottom of the order? As much as we’ve used the pen? His pitch count was fine. I didn’t struggle at all. If I’ve got to take him out with who he’s facing, we’re hurting.”
Hey, Boch. You’re ace is who is making $21 million is 2-5 with a 6.41 ERA. We think you’re hurting.
To Bochy’s credit, Lincecum did only throw 97 pitches when he was lifted, 60 of them for strikes. And the bottom of the Marlins’ order is hardly tearing it up. But there were some tell-tale signs that Lincecum was heading down the worn-out road to destruction in the sixth.
The hits to Infante (hitting .340) and Stanton (hitting .289) are somewhat excusable. But when he walks Morrison (hitting .224), you have to start wondering.
When he gives up a hit to Peterson (hitting .188), red flags should start going off in your head.
The LOUD sacrifice fly to Buck (hitting .170)? Hello? Even with Lincecum facing Coughlan, hitting .106 at the time, it may have been time to get him.
But he didn’t.
It’s not about Lincecum’s arm right now. It’s as much about his psyche. Getting The Freak right does not involve a start when he’s second-guessing himself.
And that alone should have made Bochy second guess himself.
The Giants turn next to Madison Bumgarner to face Mark Buerhle at 1:10 p.m. Saturday. At least the offense is still producing.