I can’t decide if he looked like the second coming of Pedro Martinez or a super charged Greg Maddux… Tim Lincecum was a little bit of both on Monday needing only 95 nasty pitches and just over two hours to no walk, two-hit shut out the St. Louis Cardinals for his third complete game and second shutout of the season, all occurring over his last four starts.
Maybe it was the mismatched pitching match-up or their team’s recent slump, but Busch Stadium pretty quickly took on the atmosphere of an operating room amphitheater observing a master surgeon performing his signature procedure… It was hardball church and Tim Lincecum was preaching his sermon.
TL came up as a plus-plus fastball/curve kid…last year he added the devastating change-up that won him a Cy Young… In the bottom of the first, he introduced Pujols to his latest toy, the wicked slider, breaking Albert down as hard as you’ll ever see baseball’s best hitter get fooled. You think Timmy wasn’t pumped up for the match up? He cranked the heater up to 97 and unveiled a new strikeout pitch, just for Puji. After TL K’d the Cards 3-4-5 guys, you knew he was up to something special. That was Pedro…
It wasn’t all Ks though. Timmy worked the Maddux magic, keeping his pitch counts low in every inning by inducing quick outs and surrendering no walks…zilch. He had a perfect game going into the 5th and retired 19 out of the first 20 Cards he faced before a Pujols lazer somehow stayed in the park for a double in the 7th. After Pujols’ double, TL breezed through the next eight Cards to complete the game with ease and move to 8-2 2.37 132K. Numbers Greg and Pedro'd be proud of...
Plenty of good signs from the Giants offense, starting in the first…
Here’s my game diary:
Top1: Winn doubles on lazy bloop down the line. Get hot, Winner. Cards are aware of the Pandamonium as he draws a walk. Another good sign as Molina stays inside a curve to go oppo and give Gs lead. A potentially huge inning is thwarted as Thompson makes lucky stab of Nate's slap back up middle to start a DP.
Bot1: Timmy unveils Nintendo slider to Pujols, cranks up heater, breaks the big guy's swing down on 2-2 strikeout, ump has tiny strike zone. TL Ks 3-4-5 first time thru
Bot2: TL works back from 3-0 count to strike out Ludwick... great frame job by Molina. Duncan, no clue, waves at high-and-away heat.
Bot3: One pitch out. Thompson Ks.
Top4: Again, Nate starts a rally with a solid rake to right. RentMoney up the middle. Giants are looking back up middle... Back to the basics. Ishikawa lookd turribul striking out in the 2nd. Turns out he was just playing dead to lower expectations. First pitch of his 2nd AB, he strokes into the CF seats...3-run dinger! TI and Nate are finding pop and you can hear it.
Bot4: Pujols, first pitch swinging, blasts lazer right at Sandoval, who just put his glove up to save his own life.
Bot5: Ludwick takes a couple good hacks, one that just goes foul off Winn's glove in left. Woulda been an amazing catch, one that Winn tends to make. Juan Uribe makes a great stab and uses his third base arm to finish play. Ankiel finally breaks up the perfect game bid with a little bloop. That was 14 Cards in a row to start the game. Lincecum ends the inning making a play Bruce Lee would be proud of, leaping, spinning and throwing from his knees… as Uribe, who knows what's good for him, avoided crashing into the franchise.Nate flicks one to left. He is so on freakin fire right now. He is uberconfident.
Busch Stadium is church quiet, respectfully observing the majestic Lincecum.
Cards bring in a rook Clayton Mortensen for his debut. Uribe puts that hard, even swing on the kid's offering that rolls through, all the way to the wall... welcome to the bigs. Rowand gets plunked on the knee... wincing in pain. You could hear the crack. Ouch... This inning just felt like a disaster. Something about the rookie was off. The Cards felt bad for Rowand, almost too much so. Mortensen is the anti-Sadowski...
The Cards obviously weren't feeling this kid and on queue --oops! -- they make an error on a force play, tossing the ball into left...one run scores, Winn gets an RBI. Sandoval swats a broken bat sac fly. Molina strokes his second hit...4-pitch walk. This kid is frying out there... Duncan visits mound. LOL!! RentMoney clears bases with liner down the 3rd base line.
Bot7: Pujols v Lincecum 3, 2-2 count Albert blasts one that he and everyone thought was outta here, that hits 3-quarters up the wall for a double. Lincecum Ks Duncan.
Top9: Uribe unloads a bomb to BigMac territory. I'm starting to love this guy... OOH-RIBE!! That was a career blast. No idea how it is that's only his second homer this season...
10-0 GIANTS WIN!!
Meanwhile, John Bowker: home run and double for Fresno... get him up, yesterday.
Next Game: Tuesday 6/30 5pm@STL...Unit (7-5 4.68 75K) v. Carpenter (5-2 1.78 48K)...Unit is coming off his best start of the year and has won three in a row... Carp's Carp and he's looking to make that All-Star team in StL, so we sure could use BowkerFace...
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