Where do we start?
- The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-0 on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep. That in itself is cause of celebration. But it doesn’t stop there.
- The three-game sweep allowed the Giants to move into a first-place tie with the Dodgers in the NL West, the first time all season the Giants have been in first place.
- It’s the first time the Giants have posted three consecutive shutouts since 1988.
- It’s the first time the Giants have swept a three-game series all by shutouts since 1954.
- It’s the first time the Giants have ever swept the Dodgers with three shutouts.
- It’s the first time the Los Angeles Dodgers have been swept via three shutouts in their history.
- And maybe most importantly, the Freak is back.
Lincecum posted his first victory since April 28, throwing seven innings, giving up four hits and two walks. He struck out eight in a 115-pitch outing.
Combined with his last start in Oakland, Lincecum has thrown 12 consecutive scoreless innings.
The closest the Dodgers came to scoring was in the third inning, when Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley doubled with one out. Billingsley took third on a wild pitch, the first (and only) time in the series that the Dodgers got a runner to third.
Lincecum bounced another pitch that got away from catcher Hector Sanchez. But Sanchez was able to get to the ball and throw to Lincecum covering home, who tagged out Billingsley trying to score.
Clearly, the Dodgers are scuffling on offense right now. But combined with his previous start, it was the kind of start that Lincecum can give confidence going forward.
Lincecum worked himself out of trouble a few times Wednesday. He got an inning-ending double play in the first inning. There was the Billingsley play in the third.
In the seventh, the Dodgers had runners on first and second and one out. Manager Bruce Bochy came out, and it looked like Lincecum might be done. But Bochy left him in, and the Freak got Tony Gwynn Jr. to fly to center and then he struck out Juan Uribe to end the inning.
A Freaky Finish.
Lincecum’s next start will come on Tuesday in Washington vs. the Nationals. Then he should get another start before the All-Star break in Pittsburgh.
Look for another pitchers’ duel Thursday as the Reds come into town for a four-game series. Madison Bumgarner faces Johnny Cueto for a 7:15 p.m. start Thursday.