Odds against them, Giants lean on Lincecum

Odds against them, Giants lean on Lincecum
September 14, 2011, 2:52 pm
Share This Post

Sept. 14, 2011

SAN DIEGO (63-86) vs.
GIANTS (78-70)

Coverage begins at Noon on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Tim Lincecum is doing his best to finish strong in what has been a frustrating season for himself and the San Francisco Giants.

The right-hander hopes to avoid a third straight loss when the Giants try to complete a three-game sweep of the visiting San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

Faced with the possibility of finishing with a losing record for the first time in his five-year career, Lincecum (12-12, 2.68 ERA) remains positive as San Francisco's season appears set to end without the chance of defending its World series title. Injuries and an offense that has scored the fewest runs (503) in the majors are key reasons the Giants (78-70) trail Arizona by 8 12 games in the NL West.

"This is probably the toughest part of the year because you've got to grind out the rest and maybe see what happens," Lincecum told the Giants' official website.

URBAN: Giants should sign, trade Jonathan Sanchez

Lincecum has received two runs or fewer of support in 19 of his 30 starts. San Francisco has scored just five runs while he's gone 1-3 with a 3.18 ERA in his last five outings. The Giants scored in the first inning Friday when Lincecum allowed a run in eight innings and did not factor in a 2-1 loss to Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.

"We're lucky if we score one (run) for him," catcher Chris Stewart said.

The Giants got by with little offense in a 2-1 win over San Diego on Aug. 24, as Lincecum allowed a run, four hits and five walks in a eight innings to improve to 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA against the Padres this season.

He looks to continue that success while trying to help San Francisco to a fourth consecutive home win over San Diego (63-86), which has dropped 16 of 19. Mark DeRosa lined a single off the glove of Orlando Hudson in the 12th inning to give San Francisco its third straight win, 3-2 on Tuesday.

"This was a must-win if we are to have any chance," said DeRosa, who has three RBIs in his last two games. "We've just got to keep grinding, keep winning. You never know, a team can slip up."

Carlos Beltran and Pablo Sandoval each had three hits for the Giants, who are third in the wild-card race, 6 12 games behind leader Atlanta.

"Sure, the odds are going against us a little bit," manager Bruce Bochy said. "But you never give up hope. We have to hit the field every day with that mindset, trying to win ballgames."

While Beltran is 5 for 9 in the series, Sandoval is batting .419 (13 for 31) with eight RBIs in his last eight games. The two have combined to bat .393 with 21 RBIs versus San Diego in 2011.

Scheduled San Diego starter Mat Latos (7-13, 3.72) has allowed two runs and struck out eight in seven innings in each of his last two starts while going 1-0 in those contests. His latest outing resulted in a 3-2 loss at Arizona on Friday.

"I have good confidence in the slider, curve ball too," said Latos, whose teammates have scored just 66 runs in his 28 starts.

The Padres have totaled 10 runs while he has posted a 2.77 ERA without a decision in two starts versus San Francisco in 2011. Latos has a 1.33 ERA in four career starts at AT&T Park.

Padres outfielder Chris Denorfia is 13 for 25 in seven games since coming off the disabled list with a hamstring injury.