In Tim Lincecum’s last start, he struggled. In tonight’s start, he didn’t.
Unfortunately for Lincecum, he experienced the same result.
Lincecum kept the ball down and pitched well, but the Colorado Rockies cashed in on their paucity of opportunities and managed to top the San Francisco Giants 5-0. Lincecum pitched seven strong innings, but Michael Cuddyer knocked in three runs and powered the Rockies to a 5-0 win. Carlos Gonzalez homered off of Sandy Rosario in the eighth inning, and Cuddyer took Lincecum deep in the sixth.
Tyler Chatwood allowed just one run in his last start (against the Giants), and he threw the ball well again in this start. He was aided by a Rockies defense that made tons of spectacular plays, as third baseman Nolan Arenado did some amazing things with his glove, his arm and his bare hand. Chatwood is now 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA, and the Rockies are now a game ahead of the Giants in the NL West and tied for first in the NL West.
Cuddyer took a mistake from Lincecum deep in the sixth, and Gonzalez hit a line drive that hit the green part of the right-field wall for a home run in the eighth. Colorado’s offense was shut down in some innings, as Lincecum fooled a lot of hitters with some great low breaking balls. However, Lincecum was the victim of some bad luck and some good hitting by the Rockies. For example, Cuddyer struck out in the fourth inning, but the ball got by Buster Posey, allowing Cuddyer to reach. He scored on a single off the bat of D.J. LeMahieu.
In the first inning, with runners on first and second after Marco Scutaro failed to make a tough play, Cuddyer doubled into right field. Lincecum threw a good, low pitch, but Cuddyer fought it off and made solid contact. The ball went down the right-field line, and the Giants fell behind 2-0.
The Giants have had a rocky ride this year, but they are just one game behind the Rockies and Diamondbacks. San Francisco is 4-4 against the Rockies this year, and Chatwood has carved up the Giants this year. Lincecum has pitched 18 innings against the Rockies, and his ERA is 8.00 against the team.
Troy Tulowitzki registered one hit, and his batting average fell to .336. Cuddyer, who just came off the DL, is now hitting at a spectacular .325 clip (in 123 at-bats). No Giant had a multi-hit game, although Posey managed to raise his batting average to .303 by singling. Posey’s on-base percentage (OBP) climbed as well, as his mark is now .398. In 2012, when he won NL MVP, Posey’s OBP was .408.
While Posey has done well lately, San Francisco’s offense has only scored one run in its last two games, which is a bit concerning. However, the offense has been good this year, and the fact that five of San Francisco’s eight offensive starters are hitting better than .280 is very good for a team that hasn’t exactly run on offense in the last few years. The Giants will have trouble beating the talented Rockies over the weekend, but this loss shouldn’t bring up too many concerns.