Lincecum rocked, Giants fall to Rockies 17-8

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Lincecum rocked, Giants fall to Rockies 17-8

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DENVER Tim Lincecum does not have the shingles. But he had a bad case of the doubles and triples Wednesday night.In what ranked as the shortest start of his career, Lincecum couldnt escape the third inning as the Colorado Rockies pounded him for six earned runs.Whatever Lincecum contracted proved contagious to the rest of the pitching staff, too. The Giants took their ace off the hook by rallying from a 6-0 deficit to take a 7-6 lead, but the Rockies kept right on bashing to take a 17-8 victory on a vintage, pre-humidor night at Coors Field.Starting pitching report: Lincecum had so much trimmed away at the barber shop, you could see the back of his neck for the first time in years. The Colorado Rockies proceeded to step on it.The two-time Cy Young Award winner retired just seven of 17 batters while failing to complete three innings for the first time in 157 career starts. Lincecums fastball was in the 90-92 mph range most of the night but the real issue was the many changeups he left up in the zone. Seven of the eight hits he allowed came on offspeed pitches, including all five in the third inning as the Rockies blitzed him from the game.Lincecum said this spring that he planned to pitch to contact. This is not what he had in mind. In two starts, he has a 12.91 ERA and has allowed 14 hits and three walks in 7.2 innings. Opponents have a .368 average against him; Lincecum entered the year with a career .223 OBA.Carlos Gonzalez tripled twice against Lincecum, who looked most disconsolate in the third when catcher Hector Sanchez couldnt block a wild pitch that scored a run.Lincecums outing could have been worse. He was pulled after walking Chris Nelson to load the bases in the third. Right-hander Dan Otero stranded all three inherited runners by getting opposing pitcher Jeremy Guthrie to hit into a double play. If not fot Oteros sinker, Lincecum might have eclipsed his career high of seven earned runs.
Bullpen report: Guillermo Mota and Jeremy Affeldt combined to allow 12 hits to the 23 batters they faced. Anything else you want to know?Well, OK. Brian Wilson made his 2012 debut. The bearded wonder allowed a run on a hit and a walk, but topped out at 95 mph and looked healthy.At the plate: Well, the Rockies didnt have all the fun. The Giants sure enjoyed themselves while they erased a 6-0 deficit in a seven-run fourth inning, which Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Crawford touched off with back-to-back home runs. Pablo Sandoval hit an RBI double and Gregor Blanco drew a pinch walk to load the bases for Hector Sanchez, who hit a two-run single. Blanco scored the tiebreaking run on Schierholtzs sacrifice fly.Schierholtz also hit a home run leading off the seventh inning. It was his second career multi-homer game.Brandon Belt entered as part of a double-switch in the third and promptly exited in another double-switch in the fifth. He struck out and walked in two trips.And Buster Posey, who didnt start because of the shingles, hit a deep fly out as a pinch hitter in the eighth.The Rockies? Well, they were 19-for-32 through just five innings. Thats a .594 average. They finished with 22 hits. Well spare you all the play-by-play.
In the field: Brett Pill committed two errors on a hideously ugly play in the fifth inning. Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up:Michael Cuddyer on first. Todd Helton on second. Two outs. Ramon Hernandez singles up the middle. Helton scores. Pill cuts off the throw from center, lets the ball tick off his glove. Error as Hernandez takes second. Cuddyer dashes for the plate. Hector Sanchez makes a nice sliding scoop and throw to Affeldt covering home. Cuddyer caught in a rundown. Affeldt throws too early to third base. Pablo Sandoval throws home. Pill drops the ball. Error No.2. Cuddyer scores. Pill throws to third base, where shortstop Crawford is covering. Hernandez overslides the bag, yet somehow avoids Crawfords tag. At least thats how the umpire saw it. No outs on the play.As bad as that was, the most damaging error came leading off the bottom of the fourth. Thats when second baseman Emmanuel Burriss bobbled, then threw wide to allow Marco Scutaro to reach. The Giants had just taken a 7-6 lead. The error opened the door for a three-run inning as Colorado wrested it back.Oh yeah, and Ryan Theriot ended up in left field for the first time since 2007. It was that kind of night.Attendance: The Rockies announced 30,337 paid. The seventh-inning stretch came just in time to avoid thousands of cases of deep-vein thrombosis.Up next: The Giants and Rockies complete their three-game series onThursday (first pitch at 12:10 PDT) with a matchup for the ages. Or about the ages, at least.When 22-year-old Madison Bumgarner takes on 49-year-old Jamie Moyer, it will be the third largest age difference between opposing starting pitchers in major league history, and the largest in nearly five decades. The only instances with a wider age gap both involve Satchel Paige, who was 59 years old when he started for the Kansas City As in 1965.Moyer was 26 years, 256 days old on the day Bumgarner was born. With a victory, Moyer will become the oldest pitcher in major league history to win a game.The way Wednesday nights game dragged on, Moyer might have made it to 50 before lobbing his next pitch.

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Practically speaking, the 50th loss is no different than the one before or the one after, but this sport is built on milestones, and this one came quickly.

The Giants lost their 50th game on August 12 last year. This season, it was clinched when Ryder Jones grounded out in his fourth career at-bat, handing the Mets a 5-2 win on June 24. 

Bruce Bochy called losing 50 of your first 77 games "hard to believe" and "embarrassing." Johnny Cueto, who went seven strong, said the reality was "hard and sad." Brandon Belt, who got Cueto off the hook for a loss, agreed with his manager.

"That's a pretty good word to use -- it is embarrassing to come out and lose every day, especially with the group of guys we have," Belt said. "When you're losing as much as this, it is embarrassing. We're trying to do whatever we can to turn this thing around."

Lately, that has meant changes to the roster. It is officially audition season, and in that respect, it was not a particularly inspiring day for the bullpen. The Giants felt they would have a better mix this year, but it hasn't played out. Instead, they're once again trying to find pieces for the next successful Giants bullpen.

With Hunter Strickland suspended and Derek Law in the minors, two young relievers, a middle-innings stalwart, and a newcomer pitched the final two frames. They gave up four runs.

Sam Dyson was the first on the mound in the eighth. Belt had homered a few minutes earlier, tying a good starter's duel. Dyson gave up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson and walked Asdrubal Cabrera before throwing two good sliders past Yoenis Cespedes for the strikeout. With two lefties coming up and the go-ahead run still on third, Bochy turned to Steven Okert. He immediately gave up a seeing-eye RBI single to Jay Bruce. Wilmer Flores doubled off George Kontos later in the frame to make it 3-1. 

In the ninth, Kyle Crick showed some of the wildness that kept him in the minors for seven years. He, too, gave up a leadoff triple, a sin you always pay for. A walk helped put another run into scoring position and a wild pitch extended the Mets’ lead to four. 

Before the game, Bochy talked of getting an extended look at Jones. He was 0-for-4 in his first big league game but he’ll be back out there tomorrow. It’s time to fight for a job, and the same holds true of some relievers who didn’t fare well Saturday. It is a group with a closer locked into a longterm deal and little else decided. 

Are Strickland or Law eighth-inning guys? Will Dyson be a worthwhile reclamation project? Will Kontos be back, and will he carve out a different role? Are Okert and Josh Osich capable of giving Bochy lefties he trusts? Is Crick’s improvement in Triple-A a sign of things to come? There are many questions to be answered over the next three months. 

“This is a good time for them, this is what players get up here for, to show what they can do,” Bochy said. “Because of our situation, we’re going to take a look at these guys and we know there are going to be growing pains.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

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SAN FRANCISCO — The promotion of an intriguing prospect can bring a certain buzz to the ballpark. It didn’t last long. 

The debut of Ryder Jones came in the latest flat performance from the Giants, who collapsed late and fell 5-2 to the Mets. The loss was their 50th of the season. They did not lose their 50th game last season until August 12. 

With the score tied in the eighth, Curtis Granderson crushed a leadoff triple into the alley. Sam Dyson walked the next batter and then whiffed Yoenis Cespedes, but Jay Bruce greeted Steven Okert with an RBI single to right. It kept going poorly from there. 

Here are five things to know from a cool day by the water … 

—- Jones grounded out to second in his first at-bat and then flied out to center, grounded out to first, and grounded out to second. He had one chance in the field, starting a double play that ended the second inning.  

—- Johnny Cueto seems to have turned a corner. Over his past two starts, he has allowed just three earned runs over 14 innings. Whether they trade him or not, the Giants certainly could use a nice little hot streak for the next six weeks. 

—- A few seconds after Bruce Bochy shook Cueto’s hand, Brandon Belt got him off the hook for a loss. He hit the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh into the seats in left-center, tying the game. The homer was Belt’s 14th. He’s on pace for 29. 

—- The Mets got eight one-run innings out of Jacob deGrom, who is quietly the most reliable of a star-studded rotation. He struck out seven and gave up just four hits. 

—- If Madison Bumgarner wants another Silver Slugger Award, he’ll have to chase down deGrom, who hit a homer in his last start. His single in the third was his 10th hit, and he finished the day with a .294 average.