Dominating. That’s the only way you can describe Lincecum’s postseason debut, and even then, you might be short changing him.
Lincecum struck out a record 14 batters, a San Francisco era.
It’s a funny thing with “ace’s” making their playoff debuts. You never know what you’re going to get. I remember going to Jake Peavy’s playoff debut in San Diego and he was hit hard…so you always wonder how it’s going to turn out. Chances are you couldn’t have dreamt up Lincecum’s start any better though.
Tiny Tim seemed a bit amp’d up at the start of the game, his location a bit off…but once he settled in, he settled in. Lincecum tossed his complete game masterpiece allowing only two hits, a lead off double and a Brian McCann double later in the game. That’s it. You knew if the Giants could plate a run or two, it was over.
And plate a run they did. A single run (shocker). And even then, the run wasn’t without the aid of both the umpires and Atlanta Braves spotty defense.
With a full count and Buster Posey on first, Bruce Bochy opted to pull a hit and run with strikeout prone Pat Burrell at the plate. It certainly wouldn’t have been my first choice for a hit and run tandem, but alas, Bochy was at least trying to avoid the almost automatic double play with Derek Lowe on the hill. Burrell swung and missed at an inside pitch, striking out, while Buster Posey was thrown out on a bang/bang play at second. Or was he? Well, according to the umpire…he was safe. Replays clearly showed the tag being placed prior to Posey’s foot hitting second base however. Needless to say, the Giants caught a break and in this type of game it’s clearly magnified.
The Braves opted to intentionally walk Pablo Sandoval (for reasons I’m not fully aware of…I thought it was really stupid) who looked awful in his first at-bat. Despite his good career numbers versus Derek Lowe, Sandoval looked beyond lost in his first plate appearance…so the intentional pass was quite shocking. That left it up to Cody Ross who promptly worked himself into a solid hitting count and smoked a ground ball to third base. Somehow, it squeaked past Omar Infante (we’re talking centimeters, not inches) allowing Buster Posey to score from second. No slight to Infante, but if that was Chipper Jones or any “regular” hot corner, they gobble that ball up. But as I said in the preview, injuries very well could haunt the Braves and clearly they did tonight.
Giants go for the commanding 2-0 series lead tonight while the Braves try to go back home happy with a split.
I also should note, projected Game 2 starter for the Braves, Tommy Hanson, took a foul ball off his eye last night in BP and immediately went to the locker room. I’d *think* he’d still take the mound tonight, but….we’ll see.
Frisco Fastball has a unexpected out of towner coming up this weekend, so, we’ll resume Giant talk after Game 3.