Thursday night wasn’t entirely about the Giants versus Dodgers rivalry. It wasn’t about where the Giants rank in the “reverse” standings which could affect their mindset heading into the offseason.
It was about Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum, who will hit the open market this winter as a free agent, could’ve very well thrown his last pitch as a Giant on Thursday night. He’s dropped plenty of hints that he wants to stay in San Francisco, where he stands as a Rockstar-like figure. After tossing seven innings on Thursday, Lincecum told the media, including Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, that he will approach free agency with an open mindset.
A relatively full AT&T Park consisted of many signs and posters. All pretty much had one message in mind: Don’t leave.
One could easily see why. Despite tallying a mediocre 4.37 ERA in 2013 and a 5.18 mark in 2012, Lincecum remains a fan favorite. And in the grand scheme of things, he still boasts two shiny World Series rings and two Cy Young awards.
When the “Freak” dropped down a sacrifice bunt in the fifth inning, he trotted back to the dugout with a loud ovation coming from the stands. It led to a pair of runs too.
Angel Pagan’s ensuing groundout to second base allowed Nick Noonan to score from third after he singled and advanced to second on Edinson Volquez’s wild pitch. Brandon Belt then tied the game with an RBI double.
Pagan’s go-ahead home run in the eighth inning got mixed up in Lincecum’s start, but it gave the Giants a lead that Sergio Romo protected to earn his 38th save of the year.
Santiago Casilla picked up the win, as Lincecum didn’t factor into the decision. He pitched seven innings, allowed eight hits and struck out six. Carl Crawford tripled and scored on Adrain Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly in the first. Some confusion allowed Crawford to take the extra base, but no error was given on the play.
Lincecum’s other blemish came in the fourth. Juan Uribe smacked a ground-rule double into Triples Alley. Moments later Mark Ellis gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead with an RBI double.