Lincecum's losses make future uncertain

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Lincecum's losses make future uncertain

PHOENIX -- Tim Lincecum was far from at his best in his final start of the season Sunday, and the Giants' offense did what it typically does when Lincecum is on the mound: virtually nothing.The Diamondbacks closed out a three-game sweep of the defending champs with a 5-2 victory, and Lincecum ends his year on a losing note.
Can you blame the guy for not wanting to sign a long-term deal?The man threw more than 200 innings, struck out more than 220 hitters and posted a 2.74 ERA. That's a career year for most pitchers.For Lincecum, it was the first losing season of his career, 13-14.

Ten times the Giants didn't score behind him. Three runs was an explosion. The lack of run support he received was ridiculous.And it's not like this year was an anomaly. Lincecum has been pitching without a safety net for most of his career. It's impossible to explain, but the Giants just don't get it done at the plate when he's on the mound.With decent run support, he could have won between 17 and 20 games this year. The offense cost him a handful of wins in 2009 and 2010, too.And while most baseball people are coming around to the notion that wins and losses don't accurately reflect a pitcher's performance, they still matter. Losing a game in which you pitched a gem stings, and Lincecum has felt that sting time and again.Why, then, would he willingly commit to three or four more years of it? He won't, based on his recent comment to the San Francisco Chronicle, and it's difficult to blame him.This isn't about money at all. It's about winning. Always has been for Lincecum, who already is ungodly rich and will become moreso no matter what happens this winter, when he's up for arbitration.He's arb-eligible next winter, too, so unless the Giants do the unthinkable and trade him, he's a Giant through 2013 at the very least.Beyond that? It's anyone's guess.The Giants would love to sign Lincecum to a deal that locks him down beyond his arbitration years, but they'd be fine with another two-year deal.Lincecum's camp, however, is taking a wait-and-see approach. And what they're waiting to see is what the Giants do to make sure not just that another 2.74 ERA doesn't lead to a losing record, but that all of the club's many gifted pitchers don't have to throw a shutout to win, that the offense will be able to carry the club for stretches instead of leaning so heavily on the pitching staff.That doesn't make Lincecum selfish. Heck, he's taking a big risk in not wanting to sign for more than one year at a time. A long-term deal brings guaranteed glue. An injury stops the gravy train cold.Look, anyone involved with Bay Area sports wants to see Lincecum in Orange and Black forever. He's an all-timer, an icon after just four years.But if you take a step back, don't you see where he's coming from?

Blach knocked around as Giants drop three of four to Padres

Blach knocked around as Giants drop three of four to Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wil Myers has had his way with the San Francisco Giants, and so has San Diego.

Oh how this rivalry has shifted - not to mention Myers' power stroke at AT&T Park, where he has already cleared the fences five times this season.

He decided to embrace the ballpark's challenging conditions and typical chilly temperatures coming off the bay.

Myers homered for a career-best third straight game against San Francisco, Jabari Blash hit a go-ahead two-run double in the decisive fourth to back Dinelson Lamet, and the San Diego Padres beat the Giants 5-2 on Sunday.

"One of the big things is just actually wanting to come here to play. Last year I kind of dreaded coming here because it's a pitcher's ballpark and they have great pitchers," Myers said. "One thing I did this year was just got excited to play here. It's the mindset you got to have if you want to play well."

Lamet (4-4) struck out six pitching into the seventh in his 10th big league start and sixth on the road. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in six of his outings.

San Diego hit three straight doubles in the fourth and four consecutive hits in all against lefty Ty Blach (6-6), who is yet to beat the Padres in three career starts.

Hector Sanchez added a run-scoring double in the fourth against his former and Cory Spangenberg hit an RBI single.

Myers clobbered a 3-2 pitch for his 20th home run with two outs in the first. The Giants tied it in the bottom half when Buster Posey's RBI single scored Denard Span, who doubled leading off the inning.

"A couple bad pitches they ambushed me early in the count," Blach said. "It's frustrating when you're rolling like that you can't make adjustments quick enough."

Lamet surrendered eight hits and two runs and walked a batter in 6 2/3 innings as the teams finished after nine innings following extra-inning games the previous two days. Brad Hand, San Diego's third reliever, finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save.

Sanchez had a season-best three hits Friday and finished this series 5-for-12 with a home run and three RBIs. He is a career .464 hitter (13 for 28) with five homers and 14 RBIs against San Francisco, which hasn't won a series with the Padres since May 2016.

The Giants had won the past three starts by Blach, who allowed five runs on eight hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked one after winning his last two decisions.

San Diego has won seven of the last nine meetings in the rivalry, currently featuring the two bottom teams in the NL West.

"We still have a ton of respect for who they are, the players on the field and what they've done," Padres manager Andy Green said. "We know at any point in time they could go reel off 10 or 12 and have a great run. We don't want that to start on us."

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Padres: 2B Yangervis Solarte, a switch-hitter sidelined by a strained left oblique muscle, is set to begin swinging from the right side Monday. The left side hasn't been a problem. ... RHP Craig Stammen is still two or three days away from pitching after he strained a hamstring, Green said. ... OF Travis Jankowski's rehab will be extensive, with him staying with Triple-A El Paso through the month as he nurses a bruised bone in his right foot. ... LF Jose Pirela got a break.

Giants: Closer Mark Melancon threw all of his pitches in a mound session as he works back from a second DL stint with a strained forearm. "Now it's a matter how he comes out of it," manager Bruce Bochy said. Melancon is likely to need another two or three weeks and the Giants have no target date for his return. The reliever could face hitters within a week. ... RHP Johnny Cueto, who landed on the DL with blisters on three fingers, played light catch. ... 2B Joe Panik had a day off.

UP NEXT:
Padres: LHP Clayton Richard (5-10, 5.35 ERA) faces the Mets owning a 4.17 ERA against New York over his initial seven starts.

Giants: RHP Matt Cain (3-8, 5.49) will try to avoid matching the longest losing streak of his career at eight games - from July 28, 2015-May 10, 2016 - when he pitches the series opener at home against Pittsburgh.

No room for Eduardo Nunez? Red Sox call up top third base prospect

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USATSI

No room for Eduardo Nunez? Red Sox call up top third base prospect

The Boston Red Sox have promoted Rafael Devers from Triple-A Pawtucket, manager John Farrell announced Sunday.

Devers will play his first game on Tuesday.

The third baseman has spent his 2017 season and Portland (AA) and Pawtucket (AAA). With the Pawsox, Devers had a .324 batting average in 34 at-bats. He had 11 hits, one double, two homers and four RBIs.

The Sox have been unsettled at third base during the 2017 season, and released third baseman Pablo Sandoval Wedneday. Devin Marrero, Tzu-Wei Lin and Brock Holt have rotated at third base throughout the season. However, the Sox optioned Lin to Pawtucket last week.

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