The arrival of Tim Lincecum on to the Angels was causing quite the whirlwind the past couple days, and why not? It's almost impossible to have not been intrigued by this guy, coming off of a long stretch on inactivity, and before that, some mediocre years in San Francisco, and now we were going to see if the Angels gamble would pay off. This was a rare, Saturday afternoon appointment game for a cellar dweller team.
You know what? It didn't even disappoint! How about that?
The Freak, just like in his AAA starts, was a little shaky in some early innings, but he eventually settled in nicely. It was sort of odd seeing Lincecum without a deadly fastball, but he was getting quite a bit of success out of his off-speed stuff; this is the type of Lincecum we'll see now with the Halos...getting guys to whiff, or inducing a bunch of grounders from the change up.
It worked quite well today, despite some hiccups. Lincecum had one bad inning, the third, where he got into a bases loaded jam at one point, after walking some guys and even hitting a batter. He would eventually allow a run on a Danny Valencia single, but that single run would be the only thing the A's got all afternoon, by way of runs.
All in all, Timmy finished with 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB and 2 Ks, and i'm not complaining about that start one bit. He can build off of this, and get better, I believe. Especially when it comes to efficiency, which is the one thing I'm hoping to see improvement on in the next start. In those six innings, he threw 98 pitches; not optimal, but I still expect it to come down once he gets cozy and the body gets tuned up.
What a way to announce your presence on your new club, and in polite response, the Angels decided to grace The Freak with some run support, aided a tiny bit by Oakland's ineptitude, of course. The Angels picked up Lincecum's run in the fourth via Mike Trout solo shot, and then Johnny Giavotella hit a bomb of his own to make it 2-1 Halos.
The sixth was when everything went red. Andrelton Simmons hit a sac fly, scoring Albert Pujols, Yunel Escobar hit what would end up as a two-run single, and then a Mike Trout double would score Shane Robinson and Kole Calhoun. When the scoring scrum had settled down, the Angels were sitting on top of a 7-1 lead, and Tim Lincecum was looking to grab himself a W in his first start for Los Angeles.
Some nice appearances from Cam Bedrosian, Deolis Guerra and A.J Achter would prove to be the stopper needed to ensure the Athletics didn't cross the plate again. The 7-1 tally would remain intact, and the with the A's going down in the ninth without so much as a peep, the game was one, the series was evened up and The Freak was an Angels winner.
An encouraging day all around, but the spotlight remains on Tim Lincecum. He wanted to come back and he wanted to start for a team. The journey paid off today for the former Cy Young winner, in front of a road crowd that still gave him standing ovations. This could be the start of Part 2 of Lincecum's career. Much crazier things have happened, and even better, he'll be doing it all in a Halos uniform.