Tim Lincecum came into Saturday’s game against the Washington Nationals searching for his 100th career win. Unfortunately, he was also searching for his command along with answers as to why the Nationals scored six runs in the first three innings against him in the Giants 6-2 loss.
Tim Lincecum was charged with six runs on six hits and four walks in just 2.2 innings of work.
It looked if the San Francisco Giants were going to continue their hot streak at the plate when they scored two runs within the first two at bats in the top of the first inning.
Angle Pagan started the game off with a double to right field follwed by Hunter Pence, who didn’t wait around for the perfect pitch either. On a 0-2 count Pence swung at a ball that was nearly up at his neck and drove it all the way to center field to give the Giants an early 2-0 lead.
Tim Lincecum struggled to get the Giants a shutdown inning, something that has been difficult for them all season long. Denard Span led off the bottom of the first with a triple and then Lincecum walked Anthony Rendon on a full count.
Jayson Werth singled to giving the Nationals their first run of the game and moving Rendon to third. Lincecum would get the next batter to ground out in a double play but Rendon came home to tie the game at 2-2 apiece.
Things didn’t start off well for Tim Lincecum and they never really got any better. Instead they actually got worse. With the help of some defensive miscues and walks the Nationals were able to add three more runs on the board. Although Lincecum struck out the leadoff batter, he walked the very next batter of the inning. Jordan Zimmerman then laid down a sacrifice bunt.
That is when Span hurt Lincecum for the second time in just two innings. He hit an RBI single to give Washington a 3-2 lead and then a wild pitch moved him up to second. It looked as if the inning was going to be over when Rendon hit a ground ball to Pablo Sandoval but the unexpected happened.
Sandoval fielded the ball and overthrew Buster Posey at first as it sailed over his head and into the crowd. It was Sandoval’s first error in his last 73 games dating all the way back to May. It allowed Span to score and would lead to another run on Werth’s single to center.
Tim Lincecum’s struggles continues right into the third inning when Asdrubal Cabrera homered giving the Nationals a 6-2 lead. The pitcher, Zimmerman, followed up with a double and Bruce Bochy had seen enough. He replaced Lincecum with Yusmeiro Petit with two outs in the third inning.
It was a difference of night and day when Petit took the mound. After the Nationals scored six runs on just eight outs, Petit came in and retired thirteen straight batters with five strikeouts. Petit has been lights out in his past four performances and is making a case to steal Lincecum’s spot in the starting rotation. Petit has been perfect through his past 12.1 innings allowing no hits or walks while striking out 16.
Although the Giants were able to outhit the Nationals nine to six, Jordan Zimmerman was just too good for the Giants to put anything together against him. He finished with eight innings pitched and gave up seven hits while striking out eight.
This game may just go down as another loss to the rest of the league but it means a lot more to the Giants organization. It means it may be time for management to make a decision about one of their most recognizable players on the team and that decision may be sending one of their famous starters to the bullpen.