Giants Seek Sweep With Lincecum On the Hill: Game Preview


Apr 26, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) celebrates with first baseman Brandon Belt (9) after an inning ending double play during the second inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, Tim Lincecum has looked like a new pitcher.

Lincecum was a hard-luck loser in his most recent start, but he has been solid this year. Lincecum went 2-1 with a 3.64 ERA in April, and he’s looking to start May with a bang when he takes on the Diamondbacks. Paul Goldschmidt and the D-Backs torched Lincecum for seven runs in 4.1 innings in Lincecum’s last start against Arizona.

Goldschmidt has unreal numbers against the former ace, as he is 8-for-14 with a ridiculous five home runs off of Lincecum. Lincecum was erratic in his last start against the D-Backs and while he has been throwing a bit harder, Arizona’s success against him is concerning.

Brandon McCarthy will take the ball for the D-Backs. McCarthy was going to start against San Francisco on Sunday, June 24, 2012 as a member of the Oakland A’s, but he missed his start. McCarthy has been terrible in 2013, as he went 0-3 with a 7.48 ERA in April. He’ll have to face a Giants offense consisting of the red-hot Pablo Sandoval, who has registered a hit in 11 of his last 18 at-bats.

Oh, and it’s worth noting that Sandoval demolished a game-winning two-run home run last night, one that sealed a crucial series win for the Giants.

Buster Posey just had a 10-game hitting streak snapped, but he has still been able to reach base often. Posey’s on-base percentage has skyrocketed to .388, and his batting average is a respectable .280. The 2012 NL MVP is hitting the ball well, however, and he is due to go on a hot streak.

Also, Posey is catching Lincecum for the third straight time. Lincecum has a 1.31 ERA when Posey catches him, and the two worked well together in the playoffs. Lincecum tossed a total of 8.2 scoreless innings with Posey as his catcher, and since the 2012 playoffs, Lincecum has an 0.82 ERA when pitching to Posey.

Posey will be starting, but there will be a separate lineup change. Nick Noonan will start instead of Marco Scutaro, who finished April with a below-average .240 batting average. Noonan went 8-for-24 in April, and he will be hitting sixth in the lineup. Brandon Crawford, who turned heads with a brilliant opening month in which he crushed five home runs, will hit second.

Can the 15-12 Giants sweep the Diamondbacks and take sole possession of second place or potentially tie for first? Find out at 6:40 PM PST when first pitch is thrown, and stay tuned for full postgame coverage up on Golden Gate Sports.