Urban: Padres have Giants' number no more

July 16, 2011, 5:47 am
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July 15, 2011


Mychael Urban

It wasnt long ago that the Padres, winners of 15 of 21 games against the Giants in 2010 and the early stages of 2011, seemed to have the defending champs number.San Diegos bullpen, in particular, had exhibited an uncanny dominance over San Francisco. A late Padres lead was all but certain to morph into another disheartening Giants loss.A mere four games later, the latest a fairly resounding victory behind Tim Lincecum and fueled by Andres Torres on Friday night at PETCO nee AT&T South Park, the tables look to have been turned in a huge way.
RECAP: Torres leads Giants to 6-1 victory over Padres
And they were turned, fittingly enough, when the Giants finally solved that stingy band of San Diego relievers.

It happened the last time the Padres were at AT&T North, helping the hosts salvage a four-game split after dropping the first two games in all-too-familiar fashion, and it happened again Thursday night when Aubrey Huffs ninth-inning homer tied a game that San Francisco put out of reach with a rare outburst in extra innings.On Friday, no such heroics were needed. The Giants took the Padres lockdown pen out of the equation by taking an early lead and continued to pile on, giving Lincecum a rare respite from the typical need-to-be-perfect stress that seems to come with most of his assignments.Lincecum was not perfect; he fought himself at various points in the evening, especially in a sloppy fourth inning in which he looked like he was playing cricket at times, bouncing balls toward home with strange regularity. That was the lone inning in which the Padres nicked him -- for one run -- and it took a terrific two-out catch from Torres to keep things from getting messier still, but in an odd way Lincecums night was a testament to how great he truly is.He wasnt at his best, throwing 27 pitches in a meat-grinder of a first innings and running his pitch count over 110 by the sixth, but make no mistake: He was damn good.So were the Giants in general. Check that. So are the Giants in general. All kinds of stats dont reflect that, but the ones that make up the National League West standings most certainly do.And the Padres, once and for all, have to face facts: Their pink slips has been taken away and torn up. Owners of the Giants no more.