Rockies tee off on Lincecum's fastball

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Rockies tee off on Lincecum's fastball

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Tim Lincecum didnt see 49-year-oldJamie Moyer subdue the Giants for two scoreless innings on Wednesday.

Lincecum was already upstairs in the trainers room, liftingweights and trying to forget about how the Colorado Rockies peppered his rathertame fastball for five runs in two innings.

Look what I did, that was terrible, Lincecum said. Andthen Im the one that says, 'Wow, hes 49. Hes going back out there.' Hesprobably telling me to shut up right now. I will.

RECAP: Lincecum rocked, Giants rally past Rockies 8-6

Lincecum certainly did not silence the Rockies. CharlieBlackmon led off the game with a home run as Colorado sent 13 batters to theplate and collected seven hits. Lincecums fastball command wasnt good, andwhats more, his velocity topped out at 91 mph for the second consecutivestart; he pitched at 88-89 on average.

Thats well below last years average fastball velocity of92.2 mph, according to PitchFX. While its very early, Lincecum typicallydoesnt need much time in the spring to ramp up.

Lincecum said he wasnt concerned.

Uh, yeah, I mean, its tough to tell right now, Lincecumsaid. I feel the ball is coming out fine. If anything was a real problem Imsure (catcher Chris Stewart) would come out and say, 'Hey man, somethings notright.' I felt fine and other than the result. Everythings good.

Stewart said Lincecum was just fighting to get his fastballsdown.

Nothing to worry about, he said. When the season starts,hell be the Timmy that were all used to.

Said manager Bruce Bochy: Youll have stages in the springwhen youre getting your arm in shape. You go through the dead arm. Thats whyyoure here. Youll have velocity fluctuations.

Lincecum cannot afford to fluctuate too much. The moredifferential between his fastball and his 83-mph changeup, the more effectivethat most lethal put-away pitch will be.

Lincecum threw just 26 of his 46 pitches for strikes, andadmitted he got a little changeup happy. But he said his rhythm was good. Ifelt my times to the plate were good. It was a matter of them hitting it. Thatwas the only difference. Those innings were kind of rough, obviously. Youvegot to eliminate ... trying to get super competitive out there and (instead)focus on what youre trying to work on.

Right now Im trying to stay behind my fastball and givemyself a little less to think about. Everything for pitchers is pressure pointsand fine-tuning little movements in your hand. Im trying right now toeliminate all that and just worry about arm speed and release point.

As for that whistle he claims to hear when the ball iscoming out right?

Yeah, Lincecum said. Yeah, its there. I feel like itsthere.

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs

BOX SCORE

At Scottsdale, Arizona, Giants starter Matt Cain gave up two runs — one earned — and three hits over two innings.

New Giants closer Mark Melancon tossed a 1-2-3 third inning in his first outing. Cain threw 40 pitches and Justin Ruggiano had an RBI double in a three-run fifth.

Javier Baez went 2 for 3 with an RBI double.

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bruce Bochy planned to give most of his pitchers one-inning stints during the first weekend of spring ball, but Matt Cain stretched it out to 40 pitches on Saturday. 

“I’ve had enough days off the past couple of years,” Cain said, smiling.

In his first start of a crucial spring, Cain threw two innings. He was charged with three hits and two runs, just one of them earned. 

“He’s in a good place right now with his arm strength,” Bochy said. “His delivery is consistent. I’m glad he got a lot of work today, to be honest. It’s something he needs as much as anybody on this staff, is work. He’s going to get it.”

Ty Blach, Cain’s biggest competition for the fifth starter spot, gave up four hits and one earned in his two innings. Neither pitcher was hit particularly hard, and both suffered a bit from iffy defense in the early innings of an 8-6 win over the Cubs. 

The inning separating Cain and Blach was notable for other reasons. Mark Melancon made his Giants debut, getting two groundouts and a fly to right in a quick inning. Melancon received a nice ovation, and he noted the opponent — a Cubs team that helped guarantee the Giants would spend big on a closer — but he didn’t put any added importance on the outing. 

“It doesn’t matter what I do out there right now,” he said. 

Melancon’s new teammates might disagree. Spring or not, the Giants certainly enjoyed watching a closer breeze through his inning. Especially against the Cubs. 

“He’s a pro,” Bochy said. “He’s going to be out there working on stuff, his command and pitches. It was good for Buster (Posey) to catch him. It was a good day for him.”

NOTABLE: On his first swing of the spring, Posey threw his bat up against the visiting dugout. It can only go uphill from there … Bryan Morris had a scoreless debut, striking out one … Josh Osich ran into some trouble in the eighth and gave up a pair of runs, but Bochy appreciated the way he fought his way out of the frame … Former Giants prospect Chris Dominguez started for the Cubs at first base. He had a couple of hits ... If you're headed to Goodyear for tomorrow's game, Joe Panik, Brandon Belt, Conor Gillaspie, Jimmy Rollins, Mac Williamson, Jarrett Parker, Gorkys Hernandez and Trevor Brown will start behind Matt Moore. Also, if you're headed to Goodyear, I'm sorry. 

TRAINER’S ROOM: Eduardo Nuñez is limited to DH duty for now because of a sore throwing shoulder. Nuñez said the tightness popped up after some work in the weight room, but he’s not concerned at all. He said he would have played third base if Saturday’s game was a regular season contest. The Giants expect him in the field sometime next week. 

Nuñez also said it took five weeks after the season ended for his hamstring to get back to 100 percent, so apparently that injury was much worse than it first looked. Nuñez was out on the field before every NLDS game, trying to get clearance to return. He never quite got there. 

Will Smith (elbow) is just a day or two from throwing off flat ground, Bochy said. 

CUETO UPDATE: The Giants had hoped to have Johnny Cueto in camp this weekend, but he remains in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. Cueto is waiting for a visa for his ill father, Domingo, who will travel to Scottsdale with Johnny. 

LIGHTER SIDE: Brandon Crawford spent a couple of minutes learning some of Jeff Samardzija’s mound moves. The impersonation is pretty solid.