Is it possible to scatter six extra-base hits? Well, Tim Lincecum found a way to do that Saturday against the Oakland Athletics.
Lincecum gave up six hits — one single, two triples and three doubles — but only one run in six innings, his longest outing of the spring.
Five of those extra-base hits came in the first two innings, but Lincecum worked his way out of a trouble with a little help from Nate Schierholtz.
It was all part of Lincecum’s pledge this spring: Throw more strikes.
“No walks,” he told CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly. “It’s a huge thing for me. It’s about getting ahead, and even when you don’t, not being afraid to throw a wrinkle down the middle. For me, that’s a two-seamer. Hopefully, you induce a ground ball or something.”
Lincecum’s 86 walks last season ranked second in the National League last season (with extra thanks to Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito being hurt for a good portion of the year). Also, his 3.99 pitches per batter kept Lincecum from going deeper into games.
He was worried that was the case Saturday when he came in after the fourth inning and was surprised to find out he was only at 48 pitches.
“I was like ‘oh, I guess it’s not as bad as I thought,” he said.
- The offense got off to a slow start, managing just one hit in the first three innings. But the Giants got it going in the fourth with a single by Freddy Sanchez, double by Melky Cabrera, sacrifice fly (with two strikes) from Pablo Sandoval, double by Nate Schierholtz and home run from Ryan Theriot.
- Theriot’s home run was one of three on the game for the Giants. Sandoval and Angel Pagan added solo shots.
- Pagan, coming off have a wisdom tooth pulled earlier this week, went 2 for 4 with a stolen base and home run.
- Brian Wilson allowed an unearned run, but also walked two in his two-third of an inning. He also struck out two.
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.
MoreSplashHits is getting caught up after a busy week. The Giants played four games over the weekend, winning three and improving to 8-3 on the spring.
The weekend included the spring debut of The Beard. MoreSplashHits always thought Brian Wilson was a member of the Beach Boys. But looking at The Beard, we’re thinking maybe it was ZZ Top.
Here are highlights from the weekend.
GIANTS 6, MARINERS 1
TIM LINCECUM: The Freak continues to get into regular-season form. He struck out seven in 3 2/3 IPs with no runs, 3 hits and 3 BBs.
BRIAN WILSON: The Beard made its spring debut, striking out two with no hits or walks in one 10-pitch inning.
BUSTER POSEY: Posey had a double, two RBI and a walk in two at-bats. He’s hitting .643 for the spring.
PABLO SANDOVAL: After back-to-back 0-fers, Sandoval went 1 for 3 with an RBI. He’s hitting .333.
TRAVIS ISHIKAWA: Ishikawa went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. He’s hitting .250 for the spring, but not a good outing.
ATHLETICS 6, GIANTS 0
MADISON BUMGARNER: Bumgarner had a solid start, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run Bumgarner was unearned as the Giants kicked the ball around, committing four errors on the day.
GIANTS (ss) 7, BREWERS 2
JEFF SUPPAN: Suppan had another outstanding outing, 3 IP, 1 HIT, 0 Ks, 0 BBs. He’s doing what he needs to earn a spot on the roster. One thing to consider: both spring starts came against the Brewers. Let’s see what he can do against another lineup.
BRANDON BELT: Belt went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI, including his first spring HR. The talk continues to be that he’ll open the season in Fresno. How long he remains there will be up to Belt and any need with the big club.
MARK DEROSA: DeRosa continues to have a solid spring, going 1 for 2 with a 2B and 2 RBI.
GIANTS (ss) 5, DODGERS 3
BUSTER POSEY: Posey belted his second spring HR, going 1 for 2.
BARRY ZITO: Just a couple of days after being mixed in controversy stirred by a Chronicle report that his status with the team was on thin ice, Zito had a solid second outing, 3 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 Ks.
Todd Wellemeyer continued to move toward locking down the No. 5 starting spot in the rotation and John Bowker continue to make the Giants think about where he fits in to their 2010 plans during the Giants’ 6-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night.
Wellemeyer gave up two runs — one earned — in five innings of work. He gave up three hits and two walks, while striking out a spring-high four batters.
Bowker went 2 for 3 with two doubles, two runs scored and a walk.
Inside the box score
Aaron Rowand was 2 for 4 with two runs, a double and an RBI.
Bengie Molina was 2 for 4 with two RBI.
Juan Uribe was 2 for 3 with a walk.
Sergio Romo and Dan Runzler maintained their 0.00 spring ERA with scoreless innings.
Brian Wilson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts for his second spring save.
The Giants (18-7) play the first of back-to-back games with the Angels at 1:05 p.m. Friday. Tim Lincecum will pitch his second-to-last spring outing, trying to match rotation-mates Matt Cain, Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez by pitching into the seventh inning.
Barry Zito gave up one run in 3 1/3 innings and Juan Uribe broke out of his spring slump by collecting two hits as the Giants returned to their winning ways with a 6-1 win over Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
Zito gave up four hits, walked three and struck out two. The five relievers who followed Zito (Tony Pena, Todd Wellemeyer, Jeremy Affeldt, Henry Sosa and Santiago Casilla combined for 52/3 scoreless innings of work and only allowed two hits.
And the Giants needed that pitching, because it was a quiet day for the Giants hitters — at least those who started the game. One bright spot was Juan Uribe, who went 2 for 3 with his second spring home run. Uribe raised his spring average to .185.
But again, the Giant hitters struggled to anything early in the game. The Giants mustered just two hits in four innings of A’s start Brett Anderson.
The Giants were also 4 for 4 on stolen bases, with Darren Ford stealing two and one each by Francisco Peguero and Fred Lewis. All of the stolen bases came late in the game.
Inside the box score
Darren Ford was 2 for 2 with a two runs score and an RBI
Ryan Rohlinger got some much needed offensive production, going 2 for 2 with a run and two RBI. He’s now hitting .161 for the spring.
Bengie Molina was 1 for 3
Aubrey Huff was 1 for 3
Nate Schierholtz was 1 for 3 with a double, run scored and RBI.
Buster Posey, starting at DH, had his first unproductive day in a while, going 0 for 4.
The Giants (11-6) get their first — and only — scheduled day off of the spring on Thursday. They’ll return to action Friday against the Indians in Scottsdale. Jonathan Sanchez will take to the mound.
After two solid spring starts, Giants pitcher Matt Cain got knocked around for five runs (four earned) on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings as the Oakland Athletics beat a Giants split-squad 8-7 on Saturday.