Tim. F-Yeah. Lincecum.
This game started off rocky for Barry Zito, and while there was a lot of offensive support, George Kontos and Jose Mijares had to relieve Zito after pitching 2.2 innings. Tim Lincecumwent 4.1 innings and gave up one run to preserve a Giants victory. He was the player of the game and the winning pitcher.
Oct 10, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) pitches during the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds in game four of the 2012 NLDS at Great American Ballpark. The Giants defeated the Reds 8-3. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
Angel Pagan led off the game with a homerun which put the Giants up 1-0. Interesting to note, it was the first time they have had a lead to start a game. In the bottom of the first inning, Zito looked good getting the first two batters out. Then Joey Votto had a single and the next four batters walked. Yes, that’s right Barry Zito walked in the first run of the game for the Reds. Nevertheless, he struck out the next batter.
The top of the second started with a leadoff single, Gregor Blanco hit a homerun to put the Giants up 3-1. In the bottom of the second, Zito looked to be in control again after striking out the first two batters. Then he gave up two consecutive singles with Votto coming to the plate. Luckily for Giants fans, Votto flied out to left field to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Zito gave up a homerun to Ryan Ludwick to make the score 3-2. Zito then retired the next two batters and then walked the third batter. Zito’s pitch count was over 80 by this point and was replaced by George Kontos who got the last out of the inning.
Kontos didn’t fare much better than Zito in the bottom of the fourth. He gave up an infied single to the opposing pitcher, Mike Leake.It looked like an error on Scutaro but, the official scorer gave him a hit. Kontos struck out Bradon Phillips and gave up another infield single to Zack Cozart to put runners on first and second with one out and Votto coming to the plate. Bochy immediately switched Kontos for Jose Mijares to get Votto out. Mijares did just that with a strikeout. He was then replaced by Tim Lincecum. Lincecum faced Ludwick and struck him out on a ball in the dirt. Vintage Lincecum!
When Lincecum came in he was doubled switched with Brandon Crawford and Joaquin Arias came in to play shortstop and bat ninth in the order and the first batter in the fifth. This proved to be a great move by Bochy as Arias doubled down the left field line to start off the inning. Pagan came to the plate and immediately hit a double to score Arias. Marco Scutaro bunted Pagan to third and Pablo Sandoval hit a sacrifice fly to score Pagan.
The bottom of the sixth inning, Lincecum gave up a leadoff double to Drew Stubbs. Stubbs was advanced on a ground ball to Sandoval and was scored on a Brandon Phillips sacrifice fly. This fueled the Giants as they came back roaring in the top of the seventh. Arias led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Scutaro doubled Arias home. Then Pablo Sandoval put the game out of reach with a towering home run (estimated 422 ft.) down the right field line.
Santiago Casilla came into the ninth to close the game (in a non closing situation.) He got the first two batters out with ease and then allowed Votto to hit a single up the middle. He had a 10 pitch at bat with Ludwick who finally flyed out to the first baseman Brandon Belt.
Matt Cain will oppose Mat Latos in the series finale. A couple of side notes: No NL team has lost the first two games of the NLDS and came back to win. The Reds have not been swept in a three game series at home this year. Here’s to history making tomorrow!