San Francisco Giants come from behind to beat Rockies
The San Francisco Giants, behind Tim Lincecum‘s final spring appearance, defeated the Colorado Rockies, 4-3, Tuesday afternoon at Scottsdale Stadium, as Justin Maxwell had three hits, a sacrifice fly and three RBIs in his ongoing attempt to garner the final backup outfield position. Nolan Arenado crushed a 1-1 Lincecum offering into the the left field seats, with Charlie Blackmon and Troy Tulowitzki on board, to give the Rockies all their runs in the top of the fifth inning.
The Giants had to pull this one out in the eighth inning when Maxwell drove in Darren Ford with the tying run and Matt Duffy, winner of this year’s Barney Nugent Award as the most impressive player in his first spring camp with San Francisco, knocked in Casey McGehee with the winning run. How many players win a world series ring before he attends a big-league camp?
Lincecum got in more trouble in the sixth, when he walked Chad Bettis to lead off the inning and then gave up a double to DJ LeMahieu. With runners then on second and third, he struck out Blackmon and Tulowtizki, both swinging, Tulo looking bad which he rarely does. Clay Rapada replaced Timmy and got Carlos Gonzalez looking for the third out of the inning. To see those three Rockies go down on strikes was a good indication the Giants pitching is getting to where we want it to be.
Jul 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) react after scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at Turner Field. Not on Tuesday, though…Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Altogether, Lincecum (6.27 spring ERA) gave up eight hits and three earned runs, while walking three and striking out three. He induced nine groundball outs, and five fly ball outs to go with his three K’s. Georgo Kontos (4.91 ERA), Jeremy Affeldt (6.35 ERA) and Santiago Casilla (6.55 ERA) worked a scoreless 7th, 8th and 9th respectively, with Affeldt getting the win after his 1-2-3 eighth inning.
With Juan Perez being reassigned to Triple-A, Maxwell looks to have bagged the outfield backup spot, at least until Hunter Pence comes off the disabled list. Duffy may have gotten to Barney Nugent Award, but that still does not guarantee him a spot on the roster. Ehire Adrianza is out of options and Joaquin Arias has a contract for $1.1 million.
Interestingly enough, Buster Posey caught Lincecum, even though Andrew Susac has been sent down to Triple-A, and and Hector Sanchez has won the backup catcher’s spot. In the past Sanchez has routinely caught Timmy when he is available.
Brandon Belt (.362 average this spring) had two singles and Maxwell (.349 average) added his three singles as the Giants ended up with a total of eight hits. For the Rockies Tulowitzki had two hits, one of them a double and Brandon Barnes had a pair of singles to go along with Arenado’s big blast.
The Giants play one more game in the desert tomorrow against the Cleveland Indians and Cory Kluber before returning to the Bay Area for their annual Bay Bridge Series with the Oakland A’s. With many of the questions now having answers, and with the possibility that there will be a couple of new names on Giants lockers, it’s time to start thinking about the regular season.
Not, however, before we play the A’s. Oh, boy.