Giants

The Lincecum deal -- what it means

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The Lincecum deal -- what it means

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Oh no! Doesnt Timmy like us?

Seriously, that seems to be the prevailing sentiment about the news that the Giants and Tim Lincecum have agreed on a two-year 40.5 million contract that buys out his final two years of arbitration and makes everyones favorite Giant a free agent in 2013.

Why doesnt Timmy want a long-term relationship with San Francisco? Is he flirting with other cities? Is he just dating the Giants, not ready to commit forever?

Grab a paper bag, people. Breath deep. Stop hyperventilating.

In truth, the deal works just fine. For all parties: Lincecum, the Giants and even for the oxygen-deprived fans.

From all accounts, two years was the spot for mutual agreement. They got a deal done. But it doesnt preclude a longer-term deal being done before the contract expires in 2013 and the Yankees and Red Sox come courting.

Lincecum, 27, just became the highest-paid Giant in history. Good for him. He deserves it.

Hes the one taking all the risk. In a two-year contract theres no room for a down season. No time for a let up. He has to stay -- as he has for the first five years of his career -- at the top of his game. If he does, he reaps the benefits in 2013. If he doesnt, then he may have to take a pay cut.

But Lincecum, to his credit, doesnt seem to care about long-term security. Thats interesting for a guy whos been told his whole career that his body wont hold up, that hes too little. But hes already proved all the doubters wrong, a thousand times over.

Hes of a generation that has compressed time into microseconds -- two years might as well be two centuries. And I take his own words at face value. A few months ago, he told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle I just dont know how Im going to feel five years from now, or three years. Thats why Id kind of like to take things step by step.

Lincecum may very well want to be a Giant for life. But I dont blame him at all for taking a wait-and-see approach. The Giants have new leadership -- after the ouster of Bill Neukom -- and no one knows what that means. Are they going to be pinching pennies? Are they going to break up the rotation? Are they going to get some offense or continue to put the burden of winning on the back of Lincecum? All the talk this winter about maxing out on the payroll has to be a red flag.

Lincecum has also had a front-row seat to the horrors of the long-term pitching contract with Barry Zito. Why would he want to put himself in that position?

For the Giants, the deal works because theres no concern about getting into a long-term Zito situation. They showed their good faith to Lincecum by making him the highest-paid Giant ever and they bought time to work on a contract extension.

Yes, theres risk involved. The face of the franchise could walk in 2013. But there would also be risk in a long-term contract, if for some reason Lincecum doesnt perform at the Cy Young level hes been at most of his career.

And, despite the hyperventilating, the deal also works for fans. Lincecum is still a Giant. And now the pressure is on the Giants to make sure he stays: which means not ignoring the offense or the payroll. The Giants need to be competitive and remain the most attractive option to Lincecum, more than the Mariners or any other team.

If they do that, theyll be happy, Lincecum will be happy, the fans will be happy. And if they dont do that itll be pre-Lincecum 2005 all over again. And everyone will be miserable.

Freelance writer Ann Killion is a regular contributor to CSNBayArea.com and Chronicle Live.

Unhappy Buster Posey bashes Phillies closer after hit-by-pitch

Unhappy Buster Posey bashes Phillies closer after hit-by-pitch

In what was set up to be a pivotal matchup of the game turned into a heated exchange.

Buster Posey stepped into the batter's box in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday against Phillies closer Hector Neris.

But Posey never got to swing the bat. On the first pitch, Neris drilled the Giants catcher in the ribs with a 95 MPH fastball.

Posey whinced in pain and as he walked to first base, he appeared to ask Neris if the pitch was on purpose.

After the game, Posey was asked about the kerfuffle.

"I'm pretty certain he hit me on purpose. And it's just a shame because I wanted to compete that at-bat and he's got good stuff. But I guess he didn't feel like he couldn't get me out," Posey told reporters after the game.

Posey was asked if he could think of any incidents in previous games against the Phillies that could have led to the hit-by-pitch. He said no and asked the reporters if they could think of anything.

Posey's comments were brought to Neris after the game.

"It's stupid because nobody who watched that said, 'Oh he hit him on purpose in that situation,'" Neris told reporters, according to the Philly Inquirer.

Posey and Neris have faced each other just one time in the past. In the ninth inning of the June 3 matchup in Philadelphia, Posey flew out to left field.

Strickland hammered by Phils, Giants officially eliminated from NL West contention

Strickland hammered by Phils, Giants officially eliminated from NL West contention

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner pitched six innings in one of his best starts this season, took a line drive off his left shin and hit an RBI single that temporarily gave the Giants an early lead.

The reward? A heaping of praise from manager Bruce Bochy, handshakes from his teammates and another no-decision - Bumgarner's third in eight starts since coming off the disabled list.

Philadelphia rookie Rhys Hoskins homered again, Pedro Florimon contributed with his bat and arm, and the Phillies scored three runs in the eighth to beat the Giants 5-2 on Sunday.

In what has been a theme for San Francisco much of the season, Bumgarner's efforts were overshadowed by another meltdown from the Giants' bullpen.

"I thought it was a good day for Madison," Bochy said. "We had it lined up like we wanted as far as the bullpen. (Hunter Strickland) just had an off day making some mistakes."

Bumgarner allowed one run and four hits. He stayed in despite taking a sharp line drive off his left shin in the second inning by Nick Williams - earlier this month, Williams hit Mets ace Jacob deGrom in the triceps with a line drive, forcing him from the game.

"I tried to do a kick save but I wasn't very good at soccer," Bumgarner said. "It almost worked out."

Hoskins connected for a solo drive in the ninth inning, making him the first Phillies player in at least 100 years to hit five home runs in his first 11 major league games.

"I got to better counts, I think this week, and the results show," Hoskins said.

Florimon hit a two-run single off Strickland (2-3) to cap a three-run eighth inning that made it 4-2. Florimon also had an RBI double off Bumgarner in the second, then made a sparkling defensive play in left field to throw out Buster Posey at the plate in the bottom of the inning.

It was Florimon's first major league game in left field.

"I just try to catch the ball and throw the ball to home plate and see what happens," Florimon said. "I made a good throw."

Adam Morgan (2-1) retired three batters for the win, a day after throwing just one pitch and getting the victory.

Hector Neris pitched 1 1/3 innings for his 15th save. He struck out Pablo Sandoval with the bases loaded to end the eighth after hitting Posey in the back with a pitch, then fanned Denard Span with two on in the ninth to end it.

The Phillies won the season series against the Giants for the first time since 2011.

Philadelphia trailed 2-1 going into the eighth. Hoskins and Maikel Franco hit consecutive one-out singles before Jorge Alfaro tied it with an RBI single. After Williams singled to load the bases, Florimon slapped a 1-2 pitch into right field.

Posey had two hits and an RBI, extending his hitting streak against the Phillies to 22 games. Kelby Tomlinson scored a run and Ryder Jones doubled and scored for San Francisco.

PAINED POSEY:
Posey had a rough afternoon physically. In addition to taking a 95 mph fastball in the back, Posey also appeared to get hurt while tagging out a sliding Cameron Perkins at the plate in the second.

Afterward, the Giants' All-Star catcher voiced his displeasure about Neris.

"I'm certain that he hit me on purpose," Posey said. "It's just a shame because I wanted to compete that at-bat and he's got good stuff. But I guess he didn't feel like he could get me out."

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Giants 2B Joe Panik (concussion symptoms) continues to make steady progress and could come off the disabled list in time to join San Francisco on its upcoming road trip that begins Friday in Arizona.

UP NEXT:
Phillies: The team gets an off day before hosting Miami in a doubleheader Tuesday. RHP Dan Straily (7-8, 3.80 ERA) pitches in the first game and RHP Jose Urena (11-5, 3.61 ERA) goes in the nightcap.

Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (1-2, 4.91) faces Milwaukee on Monday.