After a commanding victory in game one Friday night at Safeco Field, the Giants took a turn for the worse in the final two games of the series. Tim Lincecum lost his 9th straight start on Saturday, followed up by an offensive meltdown in Sunday's rubber match.
|Timmy Loses Homecoming|
Now, I know that most people want to keep harping on Tim Lincecum after yet another bad outing Saturday, and even though I'm a big supporter of letting your star players work out their own mistakes, I wouldn't be opposed to maybe sitting Timmy down for his next scheduled start and give him 10 days to just clear his head and work on the side in the bullpen. They're not going to exile him to the bullpen or send him to the minors, so why not give him a breather? I've said many times here that in order for the Giants to be a legit contender, they need Timmy throwing like he can. I don't really want to say much more about Lincecum cause it'll just be beating a dead horse. There aren't any Giants fans that dispute the fact that they believe in him, but right now, their confidence in him is at an all-time low, and it's going to take more than just a good start or two in order for him to regain that trust. They do have an off-day coming up on Thursday, so this could be an opportune time to skip Lincecum's next scheduled start (Friday vs. the A's). The only problem with that is that it skips over the A's, one of the easier lineups to face in all of baseball, and places his following start against the Dodgers on June 27th, not exactly an easy assignment. My guess is that they keep him in there and don't skip him, yet. If he fails against the A's then bombs against LA, however, then all bets are off.
In Sunday's game, Madison Bumgarner pitched a helluva game, going 8 innings and allowing just 3 hits and a run, but for the first time in weeks, the Giants late-inning relief did not come through for them. Sergio Romo, the guy who's been the glue in that bullpen and really stepped up his game after the Giants lost Brian Wilson, got the loss. He gave up two hits to the only two batters he faced in a tied game in the bottom of the 9th
|Romo's Rare Failure Sunday|
inning, only to have Javier Lopez come in and surrender the game winning hit to Justin Smoak. That's not where this game was lost though, this game was lost because the Giants failed to cash in when they had opportunities on offense. They left 22 guys on base, which has to be close to a season-high for them. Everybody in the starting lineup besides catcher Hector Sanchez got at least one hit, but the only guy to cash in with a runner in scoring position was Angel Pagan, who put the Giants on the board in the first inning. After that, the Giants bats just could not sustain any sort of rally against the Seattle Mariner ace, Felix Hernandez. Bruce Bochy mixed his lineup a bit as well Sunday, placing Pablo Sandoval in the two-hole, a place I don't believe he's ever occupied in his big league career. Ryan Theriot has been doing a solid job hitting 2nd for the Giants but got the day off Sunday, but I'm surprised Boch didn't move Pagan into the spot for the day, or someone with experience hitting at the top of the lineup.
: Now the Giants head back down to California for more interleague play with the Angels, then the A's before a big series next week against the LA Dodgers. That's the series I'm sure every Giants fan has circled around their calendar, as it will be the first matchup between the two teams at AT&T Park for the 2012 season. Hard to believe, being that we're in the middle of June, but these next 9 games are a very key stretch of ball for the Giants. This is their chance, facing teams with lesser records then them, to possibly gain a few games on LA before the two start their series on June 25th.