EXTRA BAGGS: D'Backs laud Lincecum's stuff

April 7, 2012, 4:59 am
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PHOENIX Tim Lincecums average fastball was a shadeunder 90 mph and he topped out at 91. He said he didnt throw a single slider.Ordinarily, this would be cause for alarm.And maybe it should be. Neither Lincecum nor Giantsmanager Bruce Bochy expressed any concern over the pitches that the two-time CyYoung Award winner threw in Friday nights season-opening, 5-4 loss to theArizona Diamondbacks.His stuff was good, Bochy said.For what its worth, the Diamondbacks concurred.As far as his stuff tailing off? No, I dont thinkthats the case, Arizona leadoff hitter Willie Bloomquist said. I think itsmaybe guys see him more and more and they know what to expect off him. Hesstill got No. 1, A-plus type stuff. Give the credit to the guys in heretonight. They figured out a way to beat him and thats not always an easy thingto do.Said Justin Upton, whose leadoff double in the sixthignited Arizonas winning rally: He was pretty dominant after the firstinning, so I dont want to say we got to him. But after you get a few at-batsoff of a guy, you start to get a feel for him."Arizona manager Kirk Gibson was coy in his pregame mediasession when asked about Lincecum saying he wouldnt throw his slider. Gibsonsanswer was something along the lines of, Well, yeah, sure. Thats what hessaying.Chris Young thought his homer in the first inning came ona slider. Lincecum said no, it was a changeup.Regardless, Gibson called the pitch a mistake.Early on, we beat on his mistakes, Gibson said. What acompetitor that kid is. He just has a way about him. Hes hard to predict. Andhes always a challenge. I know hes done very well against us, but I think thelast four games weve done well against him.Its true. Lincecum is 0-4 with a 6.85 ERA in his lastfour starts against Arizona, dating to last August. Prior to that, he was 7-2with a 2.50 ERA in his first 15 outings against them.One big difference: Paul Goldschmidt. Last seasonsmidsummer call-up has three homers off Lincecum in 11 at-bats.Asked about Lincecums velocity, Gibson practically ranfrom the question.I think someone said that a couple years ago, he didntlose a game the rest of the season, Gibson said. I better not comment onthat.--Ian Kennedy, by the way, hasnt lost to an NL West teamsince 2009. Hes now 11-0 against the division this year and last.--Brandon Crawford (sprained left thumb) said he ditchedhis protective padding under his fielding glove after five innings because itwas too bulky. It didnt contribute to his error, though, on Aaron Hillshard-hit grounder that ate him up.A play I shouldve made, he said.--There are those who will take issue with Bruce Bochysdecision to let Aubrey Huff face sidewinding lefty Joe Paterson with two outand two on in the seventh. Brett Pill was on the bench.But I didnt have a problem with that. Huff does OKagainst lefties, and late in the game on opening day, you dont want to lift aveteran like him for some one like Pill, who has only a few weeks of big leagueexperience. (Remember Huffs hit off Atlantas Matt Dunn in the NLCS?)--Paterson is a former Giants farmhand. The Diamondbacks pilfered him in the Rule 5 draft a couple of years ago. Javier Lopez is very good at his job, but Arizona is paying their guy about 4 million less.
--Third base umpire James Hoye must be a USC alum. He rangup Crawford twice on check swings. One of them didnt look close to a swing.--If we learned anything today, these 18 games between theGiants and Diamondbacks are going to be entertaining. Gibson and Bochy clearlyenjoy competing against each other and they both have the personnel to putrunners in motion. Theres going to be a lot of cat-and-mouse going on.Gibson was particularly illuminating in his pregamesession:Theyre very tough. Theyre very hungry, Gibson said.Theyve reshaped their club and theyre going to bring new challenges to usall. But were confident well play a good ballgame and the result will be inour favor.They won the World Series (in 2010) and so everyonefocuses on what they do, and then make adjustments, he continued. We did lastyear. Now the Giants made adjustments. Theyre a totally different team.The matchup should be even better in Game Two. DanielHudson was throwing the best of anyone in Arizona's camp. Ditto for MadisonBumgarner. And on it goes...