Every Tim Lincecum start seems to have some sort of obvious theme. Tuesday’s theme, and yes, you’ve probably heard it before: He kept the ball up and had one bad inning.
Lincecum surrendered nine hits and allowed five runs over seven innings of work. While he reached the seven inning plateau for the second time in three starts–first time he’s done that since Aug. 10–he walked three batters and barely kept afloat after a taxing 31-pitch first inning.
The Phillies mustered a two-run second inning off Lincecum to take a 3-0 advantage. Lincecum, who entered Tuesday with a 1.97 ERA against the Phillies in his last nine starts against them, allowed the first two batters to reach on singles, setting up the perfect situation for pitcher, Kyle Kendrick to bunt, which he did. Jimmy Rollins grounded out, but one run scored. Lincecum couldn’t limit the damage, as Chase Utley singled with two outs.
The Phillies starting pitching again delivered them their second consecutive win. Kendrick, mixing speeds and pitches, allowed just two runs in seven innings, following in the footsteps of Cliff Lee’s eight-inning masterpiece on Monday night. Kendrick walked none, struck out six and allowed six hits.
The Giants didn’t have many opportunities against Kendrick, whose only blemish came in the fifth inning. After putting runners on second and third with no outs in the third inning via a Brandon Belt single and a Brandon Crawford ground rule double, Lincecum struck out. With one out, Angel Pagan lifted a sacrifice fly to center field. Then with two outs, Marco Scutaro laced a double down the left field line to score Crawford.
Lincecum couldn’t contain the Utley-Ryan Howard duo, similar to his major league debut which was nearly six years ago–May 6, to be exact.
History didn’t favor him either. Utley entered the game with one career homer off Lincecum, and Howard entered with four blasts, one of which came in Lincecum’s debut.
This time around, Utley hit a homer off Lincecum, a soaring fly ball into the right field bleachers in the fifth inning. Howard didn’t hit a homer off Lincecum, but he kick started Philadelphia’s offense with a sharp RBI grounder that skipped past Scutaro’s glove in the first inning. He then got his big fly against Jose Mijares in the ninth inning.
Mike Adams pitched a quick eighth inning and Jonathan Papelbon did the same to close the door on the Giants’ hope of coming back.