Tim Lincecum’s solid outing wasn’t enough on Friday night, as the San Diego Padres’ stellar starting pitching and near-perfect relief pitching was enough to over come Lincecum’s brilliance.
Make no mistake, there’s something about Lincecum pitching against the Padres, specifically at Petco Park, where he entered the day with a 5-2 lifetime record with a 2.33 ERA. That trend didn’t change on Friday. The right-hander pitched seven innings, allowed two runs and struck out nine while issuing three walks. He lowered his season ERA to 3.64.
Another trend that didn’t change was Lincecum’s failure to avoid the big inning, as he was charged with two runs in a 24-pitch third inning. After allowing a leadoff single to Andrew Cashner, the pitcher, Lincecum retired two straight batters before surrendering three straight singles. Two of those three singles fell in for RBI, as the Padres took a 2-1 lead.
Lincecum’s performance would go to waste, though.
After six batters reached base for the Giants through three innings, only two batters would reach base over the final six innings. Huston Street allowed a pair of singles in the ninth inning. Then, Brandon Crawford weakly grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
The Giants bats might have been quiet, but their defense certainly wasn’t.
Angel Pagan made a diving grab in the second inning to rob Jedd Gyorko of a hit. Pagan’s catch also saved a run or two from scoring.
Pablo Sandoval also made a notable diving grab. Everth Cabrera popped up a bunt, and Sandoval, playing in shallow depth, dove into foul territory to record the out. But his effort would only precede the two-run inning, which ultimately proved to be the difference.
Lincecum struck out the final two batters he faced in the seventh inning. Despite picking up his first loss of the season, he doesn’t have much to be frustrated with.