Tim Lincecum takes his final turn in April, trying to both sustain the Giants recent run of success, and cement his status as the best pitcher in the NL. Multiple pitchers are looking super so far this season, including Ubaldo Jimenez, Roy Halladay, Livan Hernandez(!), Mike Pelfrey, and of course, Lincecum.
Jimenez won his fifth last night, and combined with his earlier no-hitter, hasn’t allowed a run in 22.3 innings. Pelfrey hasn’t allowed a run in 24 straight innings. Due to his loss to the Giants, Halladay is out of the running, and so is Livan, mostly due to his low strikeout totals. No, the battle for pitcher of the month is between these two and Timmy, so a strong showing tonight could/should be the difference. As of (Thursday) morning, here’s a quick comp:
Jimenez 34 IP 22 H 3 ER 31 SO 14 BB 0.79 ERA 1.05 WHIP
Pelfrey 26 IP 18 H 2 ER 19 SO 13 BB 0.69 ERA 1.19 WHIP
Timmy 35 IP 22 H 5 ER 43 SO 7 BB 1.27 ERA 0.82 WHIP
I think 7 innings, 8 strikeouts, and no earned runs will lock it up for the Savior.
As for the Giants, lots of hitting the last two games makes everyone happy, but there’s no getting around the fact that this level of inconsistency is here to stay. We still need power and walks. Still.
UPDATE: 8.3 innings, 2 earned runs, 11 strikeouts, no decision. I updated the above comparison. We’ll see.
UPDATE, Part II: I think Bochy should’ve started the ninth with Wilson, should’ve pinch-hit for Lincecum in the 8th, and avoided, not only the loss, but all of this bullshit.
“We felt like (Lincecum) was close (to being tired), and, once he walked (Shane) Victorino on four pitches, I went to one of the best closers in the game,” Bochy said.
Yeah, well, if you thought he was tired, then you should’ve told him to stay in the dugout for the ninth. Either that, or let him finish the game. Why bother having him go out there at all, if you’re not gonna let him finish the game. Oh, he walked a guy? Please. That kind of indecisive bullshit is infuriating. And it’s just one more example of how poorly this team is run.
I’d like to point out that the Giants have the best runs scored differential in the NL (+33 runs), and the second best in baseball. Accordingly, they should be more like 15-6, instead of 12-9. Not a huge difference, but something to keep an eye on. The reason for the difference is pretty obvious. The 1-0 loss when Sanchez gave up the one hit, last night’s blown 3-run lead, and Manny’s home run game. It’s also worth mentioning that that makes three excruciating losses in the first month of the season.