Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dynamic Duo & Pitchers Not Named Tim

I was out of town all weekend and didn’t get to see any games. I guess winning a series on the road is always good though, even if it’s the Pirates. I’ve read that Torres and Sanchez are building quite the dynamic duo at the top of the lineup, that’s good. Too bad Panda has been a huge disappointment so far this year. He had an outstanding May but he’s been pretty awful for basically a solid month or more.

Anyways, I was curious about Lincecum. Obviously he had better results – but we know first hand – sometimes it’s the offense that makes the pitcher look good, look at how glorious some of these no-names have pitched against the Giants. How did he look yesterday? Did he appear that he’s getting his command back, or was it simply the case of facing the Pirates?
They are going to Cincinnati for 4 straight. That ballpark is LIVE and the Reds have scored the most runs in the NL. The Giants dropped some big games against them in Cinci last year if I recall correctly. Lincecum had one of his worst starts of the year and Howry gave up a walk off HR to a rookie name Drew Stubbs (… I Think).

Who’d of thought on June 7th the Giants would have 3 of 5 starters with sub-3 ERA’s, and not one of them would be Timmy? Not I.

I guess Wellermeyer got shelled again. How long before he’s yanked from the rotation? I can’t even stand to watch that guy pitch. How can you pitch so effectively at home and so cowardly on the road? You just don’t know what you’re going to get with him – and that’s the worst thing. Bumgarner is supposed to start tonight. If he for some reason doesn’t make that start, well I think I can make an educated guess why. Then again, if he pitches and doesn’t make a full start, say 75 pitches or less, maybe he’ll essentially be getting his work in to start Thursday. I’d bet some change that if TODD starts Thursday, we will see showers in Cincinnati. I’m not talking about rain either; I’m talking about baseballs in the bleachers.

I only saw about three full innings of Lincecum's start, but it appeared to me that he regained a great deal of the control he'd lost on his fastball. His "change up" looked nice as well the times I saw him throw it. Obviously he didn't make all of his pitches as evidenced by the 2 run homer he gave up. That was a cock shot (fastball if I remember right) up in the zone. He was hitting the spots with the fastball at around 92-93 pretty consistently from my point of view. Rockfish reminded me that he went through a similar slump last year as well, where he needed topitch from the stretch every time because his wind up was off...he's recovering I think.

He did have that happen to him, I remember it. I remember it because when Ubaldo Jimenez did it earlier this year people said they couldn’t remember any player ever doing that. I was kind of surprised because I knew Lincecum had in the past. Must be a Cy Young type of thing … because it’s getting awfully close to the point where you have to gift wrap that award and hand it to him. I don’t think you can say you can win a Cy Young in two months, but no one has EVER had an ERA under 1 through 12 starts. Wow. It’s getting quite silly. That and he pitches half the time at Coors …unbelievable.

The kid is starting at catcher tonight.

Timmy looked better, but not great. He didn't walk as many guys, but he wasn't getting ahead in the count (I think something like no first pitch strikes through 5 innings). His fast ball kinda looks dead and flat. Someone on KNBR was saying he might have a dead arm, a la Zito in 2008, and that his Dad has him back on long toss to get his arm strength back up. I'm not worried, because he will most likely still have a long and great career, it would just be nice to see him break out of this slump sooner than later.

Interesting. It sure would be nice if he got that 96 mph fastball back and could couple it with his other nasty pitches, the changeup specifically of course. If he’s not hurt, and I don’t think he is, maybe his dad can get that fastball to tick back up a few MPH.

Another thought I had was maybe he’s trying to put extra on it to stay at 93. There was a time when him putting extra on it was 98. If he’s struggling just to get it to 93, that could be costing him some control. In a perfect world, he would recapture some of that velocity and regain control.

I also read or heard somewhere, that throwing a splitter will naturally erode your MPH because the tendons are stretched in an unatural way. I think it has something to do with causing harm to your arm elasticity. Someone also told me something similar when I was playing softball during the week, and hardball on the weekends. Since a softball stretches your tendons differently than throwing a baseball. I thought it was a bunch of b.s., but who knows.

I agree with what you’re saying. I’ve heard it too, perhaps I was the one that told you that. When you put your fingers in a split grip, supposedly it splits the tendons from your hand to your elbow which can cause problems. That being said, you have guys like Clemens and Schilling who pitched a long time with that as a major pitch of their repertoire. Obviously, they were built a lot differently than tiny Tim…

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