Tim Lincecum made his Bees debut last night, with a game in Tacoma and Angels and Giants fans alike tuning in to see if there is a Freak renaissance on the horizon. How'd he do? Well, one of our readers was there, and here's what he had to say firsthand. Take it away, Angels 11:
Lincecum’s line score in a losing effort doesn’t seem so bad : five innings pitched, three earned runs, five strike outs, three walks, one hit batter and one balk. During one stretch, he had a streak of nine consecutive outs. However, it started ugly.
First inning. Based loaded. No outs. He’d given up a single, a double and walked former Angel, Efram Navarro. On a two ball count to fourth batter, catcher Mike Zunino, Lincecum dealt a pitch, but a spike caught in the dirt. He tripped and fell without throwing the ball. That’s called a balk. Ketel Marte scores the first run of the game. Zunino would then hit a sac fly to right allowing the second run of the game to score. It looked like a dumpster fire in progress, but Lincecum got a ground out and a strikeout to end the inning. Crisis averted.
In the second inning, it seemed the dumpster fire had reignited. Former Angel Daniel Robertson walked and stole second off Lincecum. Boog Powell sac bunted Robertson to third. A single by Tyler Smith made it a three to nothing game before Lincecum settled down and caused two more ground outs to end the inning.
He sure had thrown a ton of pitches through two innings. He was expected to throw eighty to ninety pitches. He was at forty-nine with only twenty-four for strikes through two innings. Yikes. He went three more innings allowing no further hits or runs. Yay.
From the third through the fifth, he allowed only two men on base from a walk and a hit batter while ringing up three strike outs. The last one was a called third strike. Not bad. In the last three innings, he threw thirty-nine more pitches with twenty-four being strikes.
If you’re keeping score of his pitches, he threw fewer pitches in his final three innings than the initial two innings while throwing the same amount of strikes in the final three that he threw in the initial two. He got better as the game went on.
On the whole, he did fine. It wasn’t a soft line up for the Rainiers. Several of the them had spent time in the bigs. Could have been butterflies because he sure looked awful through the first four batters of the game. He regained his composure and pitched like like the two time Cy Young, three time World Series champion pitcher he is. During pregame warm-ups, he threw fastballs at 91 mph and junk at 74 mph. For live pitches, his fastball was consistently in the upper eighties – some at ninety-one – while his junk was in the upper seventies. He needs more work, but I am pleased with his first real outing. He’s throwing harder than Weaver, but then again, pretty much everyone else does, too.
Looking forward to Lincecum’s next start in Reno. It would be nice if the Bees could have gotten some timely hits for him, but that’s a problem for another writer on another day.
So some good there...some whatever, dude stuff, too...but plenty of good to take away from the start, nonetheless. 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 5 Ks, 3 BBs on 88 pitches (48 strikes). He was in the 88-90 mph range according to some scouts, but he also got up to 91 a few times. He got guys whiffing a lot, but was also hit hard. There are enough tea leaves of all sorts in this game, where you could read into it what you like, good or bad. I'm choosing to see it as a good start, though.