Lincecum to Giants fans: "I don't want them to start to hate me"


Lincecum to Giants fans: "I don't want them to start to hate me"

MIAMI Tim Lincecum didnt receive a tongue lashing fromGiants management after another start went off the rails Friday night. He got apep talk.

More than anything, you let him know, hey, were all-inwith him, said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who took Lincecum aside for ameeting with GM Brian Sabean after a 7-6 loss the clubs eighth defeat in theright-handers 10 starts.

I had my own lengthy, informal and candid conversation withLincecum today. I didnt take notes, but Ill paraphrase his sentiments:

--He said he feels fine physically, aside from the blister issuethat crops up on the middle finger on his right hand. It happens because of theway the side of his nail rubs against his finger when he throws his slider. Heconfirmed to me that the blister issue, not elbow or arm fears, is the reasonhe planned to stay away from throwing the slider this spring a plan that hescrapped after one start. He said hes got to get tougher and pitch through anydiscomfort that the blister causes. Simple as that.

--He said he's as surprised as anyone to have a 6.41 ERA after 10starts. Even when he struggled in the spring, he expected the light to go onwhen the season began, just like it would every year after he had a rough timein Scottsdale.

--He said theres been no talk whatsoever of skipping a turn in therotation, nor would he encourage that.

--He said he's trying to take a lesson from Ryan Vogelsong, who hasfound a way to gut through innings even though he, like Lincecum, has pitchedwith 2 mph off his fastball from last season.

--He said he was happy that he controlled his body language better.He knows that when his shoulders slump, his opponents feed off that likesharks that smell blood. He thinks hitters are too comfortable in the boxagainst him, and maybe the fact hes not carrying himself with thatindestructible demeanor is part of that. (As an aside, I remember there weretimes in the past when Lincecum wasnt throwing well but winning, and catcherBengie Molina remarked to me that he was getting people out with his name.Thats not a luxury he has now.)

--He said he's really trying to purge negative thoughts, which iswhat he keeps saying in his postgame interviews. That isnt just pablum for themasses. He said he knows hes close and there are as many good signs as badones. He has to focus on the good ones.

--He said he honestly cares about what the fans think and he doesntwant to let them down. He doesnt want them to reach the point where they expecthim to fail or to boo him off the mound. Even after all hes accomplished inhis career, he isnt taking any fan support for granted. I dont want them tostart to hate me, he said.

With all those things going through Lincecums mind, it wasprobably a good thing that Sabean and Bochy interceded after Friday nightsloss.

You tell him, Hey, youre throwing the ball well, Bochysaid. Sure, you had a hiccup in the sixth inning. Thats gonna happen. Theonly thing youve got to do is keep working hard, which is what hes doing.

More than anything, you let him know, hey, were all inwith him.

All we ask is for our guys to give it all they have, andTimmys done that. Hes doing it every start. Hes taking it hard, believe me.We wanted to send a message that we know hes doing all we can."

Giants lineup: Span leading off vs Cubs after missing two games

Giants lineup: Span leading off vs Cubs after missing two games

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Giants-Cubs coverage begins at 4pm with Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming right here.

After missing the last two games with a sprained left thumb, Denard Span is back at the top of the Giants lineup Wednesday in Chicago.

San Francisco Giants:
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Eduardo Nunez (R) LF
7. Christian Arroyo (R) 3B
8. Mac Williamson (R) RF
9. Matt Moore (L) P

Chicago Cubs:
1. Javier Baez (R) 2B
2. Albert Almora Jr. (R) CF
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Ian Happ (S) LF
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Addison Russell (R) SS
8. Miguel Montero (L) C
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) P

Down on the Farm: Beede earns third win with River Cats on 24th birthday


Down on the Farm: Beede earns third win with River Cats on 24th birthday

Tyler Beede stepped on the hill at Raley Field in Sacramento on Tuesday night one year older and came away with one more win after the River Cats defeated the Memphis Redbirds, 6-2. 

Beede, now 24 years old, didn’t churn out his most impressive or dominant performance, but he limited hits and found a way to earn his third win of the year. On the night, he completed 5 1/3 innings pitched and only allowed four hits and two earned runs. He did, however, walk more batters (3) than strikeouts (2), which is his lowest strikeout total in a game this season. 

Those numbers shouldn’t be too surprising when looking at Beede’s trends this season on the mound. In his nine starts for the River Cats, he is walking slightly more batters than last year when he was in Double-A Richmond, and he’s significantly striking out less batters. Through 49 innings pitched, which leads the River Cats, Beede is issuing 3.31 walks per nine innings (3.24 BB/9 in 2016) while only striking out 5.88 batters per nine, compared to 8.25 K/9 last year. 

Instead, the Giants’ top pitching prospect is turning to ground balls, setting him up smarter for the future. After forcing seven groundouts to three flyouts on Tuesday, he is now rolling ground balls 56.5 percent of the time, an increase from 47.9 percent last season. 

Sacramento plays in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. All teams outside of the River Cats, who are last in the league with a team batting average of .238, are averaging just over five runs per game and almost one homer every game. Beede, isn’t letting the ball fly through air and has only allowed three homers off of him this season. This plays well for his and the Giants’ future. 

Whenever Beede finds his way to San Francisco, he doesn’t need to rely on his mid-90s fastball to get outs. The strikeouts will come, but life will be much easier watching a Gold Glove infield scoop up grounders for years to come. 

While Beede waits his turn to join the bigs, he’s showing maturity on the hill and stayed undefeated at home on a birthday night to remember. 

Around The Horn

— The Giants’ top power prospect, Chris Shaw, has been called up from Double-A Richmond to Triple-A Sacramento. Shaw, 23, played only first base in the minors before this season, but has transitioned to left field. He played 18 games at first and 18 games at left for the Flying Squirrels, registering no errors in the outfield. 

— Kelby Tomlinson is working in center field while with the River Cats. Insider Alex Pavlovic spoke to Bruce Bochy about the move

— Bryan Reynolds, the Giants’ top pick in 2016, finished a home run short of the cycle on Sunday. He went 5-for-6 with four RBI in the San Jose Giants’ win. On the season, Reynolds now has 14 multi-hit games in 38 games played. Here’s the breakdown: Six two-hit games, seven three-hit games and one five-hit game.