The first leg of the annual Bay Bridge series started out well for the Giants as they took two of the first three in the series, but the A’s made sure to stop their 11 game losing streak at AT&T Park, taking the finale 6-2.
Offensively, the Giants struggled against Athletics starter Bartolo Colon as the re-energized Dominican looked every part of his 2005 Cy Young winning self, striking out seven Giants in just five innings. The Jekyll and Hyde offense, after scoring 19 runs in their past three games, once again vanished, only managing to plate themselves a pair of runs on two separate sacrifice flies early in the game.
The Freak Is Down – In what I’d consider one of the most odd plays I’ve seen in quite a while, Tim Lincecum was knocked around, literally in the top half of the fourth inning during a home plate collision. With a runner on second, Posey struggled to find a wild pitch which trickled all the way to the backstop. Collin Cowgill, the runner on second, never hesitated and marched towards home plate where Lincecum was covering. Cowgill collided into Lincecum’s face, helmet first, sending the frail looking pitcher into a vicious somersault, rolling over on his shoulder, the ball squeaking out of the Freak’s glove as he tumbled right side up. Tim slowly got to his feet and finished off the inning after some maintenance from the Giants’ coaching and training staff, but didn’t return after the inning concluded. There was no word on if it was because of the hard hit or the rough performance, but Bochy said post game that he was “fine”. Speaking of the rough performance…
The Freak Is Down, Again – Crash at the plate aside, Tiny Tim once again had his issues on the mound – this time getting roughed up for four runs in four innings, the sixth time this year Tim has given up at least four runs (and his third consecutive). However, if you’re a glass half full type, you’ll find solace in the fact that Lincecum didn’t struggle with his notorious high pitch issue. So many times this year, Lincecum has struggled to keep the ball down, but today simply appeared to be more of a command issue – something that wasn’t helped in the least bit by homeplate umpire, Jim Joyce. The Freak was leading with his body, his arm behind the rest of his torso, resulting in some poor command, again enhanced by Joyce who was wildly inconsistent. The A’s, who aren’t exactly known for their offensive prowess, didn’t hit Tim hard at all – in fact, Lincecum breezed through the first three innings before some bloops and wonderfully placed ground balls plated their first four runs. Despite the nasty numbers and short outing, Tim’s start really wasn’t nearly as bad as it appears in the box score. Bochy speculated the problems could be mental, losing concentration on the mound, as the majority of issues for Lincecum have come in one inning bursts.
Brian Wilson In The Booth – While I’m not sure if the listeners on the KNBR side were graced with Weez’s presence, he did make a three inning stop on the television side on Brian Wilson Gnome day. As can be expected, there was plenty of talk about the Marina Mamacitas, Wilson’s downtime and an obvious fight between the Brian Wilson garden gnome and his real hair bobblehead (fully equipped with a real hair beard) . Bummer for you if you missed out. Outside of the jokes, Wilson did say he was progressing well, quicker then expected, already asking to do bullpen sessions. He also mentioned that this past offseason, dealing with some injuries, he spent a good portion working on his hip flexor only to find out that the Tommy John operation would require part of his hip tendon. As Wilson said in the booth, little did he know that he’d be “harvesting a beast tendon” in his hip.
Winners of 9 of their past 15, the Giants will now hopefully get into Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International before midnight locally (or they have to fly to Chicago and bus in) to take on the Brewers who pounded the Twins, 16-4, this afternoon before heading to Miami for a four game trip.