Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SF 3, ARI 1: Closer

When Stephen Drew led off against the Giants by smacking a hanging curve ball into right field, nobody panicked, but it certainly felt a little weird. Lincecum has been in Cy Young form all month, but we've seen left handed D-Backs hit HRs against him a lot. He had trouble in the early innings, and the game was 1-0 into the 4th inning. There was plenty of time left, but it may have started to feel like one of those games. My mom, the sudden Giants fan after 50+ years of complete disinterest in all sports, thought the game was completely lost. Give her a break, she's only been watching a couple days. So even thought my dad and I were relaxed and knew there were plenty of outs left, we both may have had that lingering feeling of a 1-0 loss. And then Pat Burrell happened.

In the 4th inning, Aubrey Huff singled up the middle, and Buster Posey worked a walk. Burrell came up and promptly launched a pitch into the left field bleachers to make the score 3-1. It was just another in a long list of HUGE home runs Burrell has hit for the Giants. And it was vital that he hit it, because after the HR, the Giants hit just like they did before it. In all fairness, tonight WAS one of those games, except for the Burrell magic.

But that was all the Giants needed, because Tim Lincecum was able to get past his early struggles, and finish 7 strong innings. His final line reads: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 11 K. Javier Lopez worked the 8th, and Brian Wilson finished a somewhat stressful 9th to get finish the game. The Giants remain 2 games up with 4 to play, magic number at 3. This pretty much means all they have to do is win 2 of the next 4 games. Do it.

Tim Lincecum struck out 11 tonight, raising his league leading strikeout total to 231. He is guaranteed to keep that lead, which will give him his 3rd straight strikeout title. This is something that has only been done twice in the NL since WWII, by Warren Spahn and Randy Johnson. That is amazing to think about. While leading the league in strikeouts is really just one aspect of pitching, it's still fascinating to look at the list of great NL pitchers that failed to do what Lincecum has done. Koufax, Drysdale, Gibson, Marichal, Seaver, Carlton, Ryan, Richard, Gooden, Schilling. 7 Hall of Famers there, and Schilling will be one soon. And J.R. Richard and Doc Gooden were both very dominant in their short careers. And none of these pitchers did what Tim Lincecum has done.

No comments:

Post a Comment