SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Tim Lincecums linescore was notunsightly against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday. But it was not the way hewanted to pitch in his final Cactus League exhibition.
Lincecum once again struggled with his fastball commandwhile walking two and allowing two runs in five innings. His first pitch was 88mph and his velocity never got above 92.
He wont get another chance to face major league hitters.His final tuneup before the April 6 opener at Arizonas Chase Field will comeon Sunday, when hell pitch in a minor league game. The Giants want to be ableto control his pitch count a little better in that environment.
Lincecum has done this before. Just two years ago, he had anawful spring and wasnt throwing hard up until his final outing, when hestarted blowing gas against As minor leaguers at Papago Park.
He said hes not worried now.
My body is good, flexibility is good and Im not dealingwith any nagging injuries or legs, he said. My arm feels good. Im coming outof it fine.
He said he expected the light to go on when the seasonbegins in major league venues, describing how that third deck brings it out ofyou.
Thats not what manager Bruce Bochy wanted to hear, though.
I hope they arent thinking like that, he said. You dontjust turn a switch on.
Lincecum is still fiddling with that switch. His fastballhas been up most of the spring. When that happens, its too easy for him tostart leaning too hard on his changeup his out pitch to keep from gettinghit around.
Definitely, its been frustrating as a pitcher knowing youcant control your fastball, Lincecum said. Thats got to be one of yourgo-to pitches. When its not working and you cant throw a strike to a pitcheryou know is not swinging the bat, its frustrating.
Lincecum was referring to Angels pitcher Brad Mills, who wasunder orders not to swing. Lincecum struck him out twice, but needed a dozenpitches to do so. He went 3-0 on Mills in the first at-bat.
Other than Mills, Lincecum did not strike out a batter. Atleast he and catcher Buster Posey got a chance to work together for the firsttime since May 21.
He knows what hes doing, Posey said. The first coupleinnings, he did a good job of keeping his fastball down. I think hes going tobe right when he needs to be.