Behind Longball And Tim Lincecum, Giants Roll Past Phillies In Opener
By Bryan Rose
It wasn’t very long ago that the Giants headed East and came home with tails between their legs after getting ran out of Washington and Pittsburgh. How an All-Star break can change things. Now through four of the six games on the roadie, the Giants sit 3-1, scoring 27 runs in those said contests.
Tim Lincecum, making his first road start since the disaster in Pittsburgh looked fantastic, striking out six in his seven innings of work, winning his second consecutive contest. Offensively, the Giants struggled for the first few innings as Phillies starter and Sacramento native Vance Worley took advantage of a wide strike zone, retiring twelve in a row at one point before the unlikely combination of Nate Schierholtz and Eli Whiteside plated a run. The wheels came loose on the Phillies in the sixth though as Brandon Crawford unleashed a mammoth blast into right, clearing the bases for his first ever grand slam – or what I like to call, a ‘Full House’ for the John Stamos look-a-like. The Giants never looked back, nor did Lincecum, as they took the opening game of the series 7-2.
The Other Brandon – There’s been a lot of talk about Brandon Belt lately, but it was Brandon Crawford who opted to have a career night. A few evenings removed from his monster homer in Atlanta, Crawford looked All-Star quality on both sides of the ball tonight, knocking in five runs on two hits and making a handful of fantastic plays in the field. Crawford now has 8 RBI in his last three games.
Locked In Lincecum – Some may harp on the fact that he looked good against the Astros, but it’s hard to blast Lincecum for shutting down a pretty talented offense in the Philadelphia Phillies. While they aren’t the offensive powerhouse of years past, they’re still no slouch, so Lincecum holding the Phils to five hits and two earned in seven innings, looking very confident in doing so can only be looked at as a positive. There were moments of nervousness, but Lincecum made his pitches when he needed to, not only avoiding the knockout punch but delivering counters of his own. That’s 15 innings of two run ball since the break – maybe not enough to declare Lincecum’s return to form, but for anybody who’s watched him – he looks like he’s on the right track.
Game time for tomorrow was moved up to meet Fox’s broadcasting schedule, so if you’re out of the local markets, chances are you’ll be out on the game too. On the plus side, a four man booth of Kruk, Kuip, Flemming and Miller is nothing to frown at.
Giants try to clinch a winning road trip tomorrow afternoon starting at 1PM local time.