Tim Lincecum added to the string of zeroes by San Francisco Giants starters at the beginning of this spring, but the San Diego Padres came up big with six in the sixth, and went on to pin a 7-2 loss on San Francisco today at Scottsdale Stadium. Under sunny skies Lincecum threw two scoreless innings to lead off today’s game, including a one- two-three first inning on three infield grounders. Meanwhile, the Padres’ Tommy Medico pinch-hit for Tim Stauffer in the fifth and went on to get three hits, knocking in three runs and coming up short of the cycle by a triple.
The first five innings, though, represented prototypical baseball between these two division rivals, with steady pitching and good defense. The Giants sent Lincecum (two innings), Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo, and Yusmeiro Petit, one inning apiece, to the mound, while the Padres countered with Jo Johnson (first two innings),Tim Stauffer (3rd and 4th), and Joaquin Benoit for the fifth. The two clubs combined for seven hits, including a double by Kyle Blanks, two walks, and seven K’s. Vintage National League stats.
The sixth inning, however, was all about the good, the bad and the ugly for the Giants. Alexi Amarista homered to lead off matters in the sixth for the Padres and Xavier Nady followed with a single. After Kyle Blanks walked, Cory Spangenberg was brought in to pinch-run for Nady, and Daniel Robertson was brought in to run for Blanks. Nick Hundley then singled to center fielder Juan Perez, who knew he couldn’t get Spangenberg at the plate, so he went after Robertson at third and gunned him down, Pablo Sandoval taking the throw.
Two more singles, two walks, a two-run home run (Tommy Medica), and a double later (Alex Dickerson), the Giants escaped with a fly ball to Juan Perez, after Dan Runzler came on to get the final out. Runzler went on to pitch a scoreless eighth. Sandwiched in there, but part of that good I was telling you about, was a second put-out on the bases, this one coming when Perez threw into home and Sanchez went back to third, catching Jace Peterson, again to Pablo Sandoval.
Yusmeiro Petit was charged with four runs and six hits, while Jose Casilla, who replaced Petit with two outs, gave up two more runs on a walk and the homer to Medica. Runzler’s effort to get the final out in the sixth, is what the Giants need for him to do with consistency.
In the seventh Adam Relfer came on in relief of Runzler, giving up one more in the eighth on an RBI double by Medica, who ended the day with three hits, three RBI’s and a run scored and he didn’t even come into the game until the fifth, when he pinch-hit for Stauffer.
Offensively, the Giants did little today, with a quiet eight hits, all singles except for Brandon Hicks’s eighth inning double. Hicks later scored on Tyler Colvin’s two-run single, given up by Juan Pablo Oramas, who pitched the eighth and the ninth. Oramas was charged with the Giant’s two runs.! Tyler Colvin’s two RBI’s provided fuel for the fire over who will be the fifth outfielder to break camp later on this month. Perez distinguished himself defensively by being part of two put-outs on the base-paths, while Colvin Knocked in two runs. Nice to see the lads battling.
I don’t think there’s anything to be made of four Giants starters cumulatively pitching 8.0 scoreless innings. That being said, I would rather have the staff at a 0.0 ERA than 54.0 or even 27.0. Let’s face it, all were doing in spring training is looking for trends, and I think I’ve got one in my headlights.
Tim Lincecum’s first start is a portent of things to come. He faced three batters in the first inning and chalked up three outs on three infield grounders. I wish I could have watched Bruce Bochy and Dave Righetti, as they collectively tried to keep from salivating at the prospect of the real Timmy being back in town. In the second, he surrendered a lead-off double before getting a pop-up, walking Ryan Jackson, and then getting a strike-out to Jace Peterson. He closed it with a ground out from Rymer Liriano.
Overall, it was not much to write home about in terms of outcome, but those things which were critical, Tim Lincecum’s start, Runzler’s one and a third stellar innings of relief, and Colvin’s two ribbies in the eighth, were key. Petit got rocked today just as Romo got hit hard the other day. Yawn. Each works at his own pace, letting the ball fall where it may. Next outing out, look for Petit to turn it around. If not, then David Huff’s stock will rise. This is the time to put up; otherwise, pack up. It’s brutal, but it’s baseball. The Giants have assembled a team with great capability; just get us to the playoffs.