Kruk and Kuip: It will be a happy flight back to San Francisco
Tim Lincecum’s ERA, which he’s whittled down from 5.12 through the end of May, went back up to 4.50 on Wednesday in San Diego. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
“Especially with a lead like that, it should have been a springboard and I didn’t take advantage of the lead like I wanted to.” (USA TODAY IMAGES)
SAN DIEGO – Clubhouses tend to be loose after you hit six home runs. But one Giant angrily zipped his carry-on shut as he prepared to walk out of Petco Park on Wednesday.
Tim Lincecum was not happy. At all.
“Yeah, I’m frustrated now,” said Lincecum, who was one out away from a quality start but ended up getting charged for five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings in a 13-5 victory.
“Especially with a lead like that, it should have been a springboard and I didn’t take advantage of the lead like I wanted to.”
Lincecum was up in the zone and gave up two home runs but led 8-3 entering the sixth. Then he issued two walks. Jose Mijares, your NL leader in allowing inherited runners to cross the plate, cashed in both of Lincecum’s walks. Mijares threw three pitches and two went for hits.
As a result, Lincecum’s ERA, which he’s whittled down from 5.12 through the end of May, went back up to 4.50.
He is in a contract year, after all. And financially speaking, it’s never been more important for him to follow a good one with a better one.
“Too many walks, too many fall-behind counts,” Lincecum said.
There wouldn’t be any lingering no-hitter magic, either. He threw 148 pitches while no-hitting the Padres here July 13. Taking the mound at Petco Park for the first time since that magical night, Will Venable whistled a single on the first pitch out of Lincecum’s hand.
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Does that make him realize just how rare and special that no-hitter was?
“You can look at it that way,” said Lincecum, unsmiling. “That’s one way, I guess.”
-- The Giants scored 13 runs on Wednesday. They’ve scored a total of 13 runs in Madison Bumgarner’s last nine starts.
Unless you’re Bumgarner. Then you can just commence screaming.
-- Giants manager Bruce Bochy grappled for a reason why the Giants were able to bust out for six home runs – three by Pablo Sandoval, after hitting three in his previous 303 plate appearances dating to May.
Bochy couldn’t come up with anything. But he did note that Joaquin Arias (shown, right) has led off twice this season, and the Giants have scored a total of 21 runs in those games.
“So maybe this is my lineup,” Bochy said.
We’ll see how much Marco Scutaro plays down the stretch, beginning with Thursday night’s homestand opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks.