It is appropriate that Tim Lincecum's San Francisco Giants beat an Atlanta Braves team that featured Kyle Farnsworth on Thursday night.
Farnsworth has always had a nasty fastball. No, wait, I take that back; Farnsworth has always had a fast fastball.
My recollection of watching Kyle Farnsworth pitch is of watching a guy throw 99-to-100 mph fastballs that regularly make contact with opposing players' bats. In my mind, Farnsworth is the poster-child for the notion that a fast fastball, in and of itself, will not make you a successful pitcher.
Tim Lincecum, on the other hand, absolutely baffled the Braves on Thursday with a fastball that did not, in the three innings I watched, climb above 92 mph. And yet, the Braves couldn't catch up to it, couldn't find it, and most importantly, couldn't hit it.
Rick Ankiel was Lincecum's 11th strikeout victim last night (out of 14 in a complete game shutout), and one would have thought the ball was going 125 mph. His swings were so behind, and missed so badly, he looked completely overwhelmed by a guy who was pitching slower than Ankiel himself probably could right now.
And that, Kyle Farnsworth, is called pitching.