…. Shut down

Back to back shutouts essentially forces me to write something, busy as I am.

First Lincecum throws a six-hit shutout:

…. Even two-time Cy Young Award winners have to adapt, and Tim Lincecum has.

The main headline from his shutout of the Mets on Thursday was his control. He threw 77 strikes and 33 balls. Beyond that, though, Lincecum delivered on his goal of being less predictable.

Lincecum’s changeup is the pitch he relies on in two-strike put-away situations. Problem is, the changeup usually lands beneath the strike zone. Some hitters who knew it was coming stopped chasing it.

Against New York, Lincecum threw the changeup any time in the count. In the sixth inning, he caught Alex Cora looking at a third-strike fastball down the pipe that the Mets’ second baseman surely was not expecting. The next batter, David Wright, looked at a curve for strike three.

Let’s keep this in mind when talking about Lincecum, something’s different this year for him. His control is just off, his strikeouts are down his walks are up. His WHIP is 1.24, still among the best in the league, but a full 20% higher than last season. Maybe the league has gone to school and started to adjust, maybe he’s nursing some minor injury…. I don’t know. I just know he’s not the same. Still, 10-4, and 2.94 ERA in an off year is mighty impressive. Let’s hope his last start is the beginning of a dominant second half.

Then Barry Zito follows up with his best game of the season:

…. Zito won for the first time since June 12 and the second time in his last 11 starts. One of his best games as a Giant followed one of his most controversial.

The Giants were leading 6-1 in Milwaukee on July 8, when manager Bruce Bochy pulled Zito in the fifth inning. Zito needed one more out to qualify for a win, but he had just walked his fifth and sixth hitters to load the bases and had thrown 113 pitches in 4 2/3 innings. Compare that with Friday, when he threw 112 over eight innings.

Buster Posey continues to shine, throwing out baserunners (6 out of 15) and pounding the ball all over the ball park (15 extra base hits and .954 OPS). Aubrey Huff (17 home runs and a .939 OPS) has to be the best free agent acquisition Sabean’s pulled off in about five years. I rip the hell out of him for Sabean’s misses, I sure as hell better make note of it when he nails one. Good for him, good for the Giants.

The Giants are a half game behind the Rockie in a six team tangle for the Wild Card lead, and three and a half behind the Padres.

One generic cialis soft tabs more bat might put this team over the top. One more bat.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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