In baseball news, Tim Lincecum faced Ian Kennedy of the D-bags last night. It was exciting, but mostly in the who-will-be-worse way, rather than the who-will-dominate way. Lincecum has had some fine moments thus far in the season, and seems to pitching well on the whole if you look at his strikeout rate, but either he's losing focus and concentration or battling himself or something, because he keeps having these blow-up innings where he gives up 4 or 5 runs and ruins his start. We heard J.T. Snow on KNBR the other day talking about pitchers, and about Lincecum in particular, and he said, "There are two types of pitchers in the league: Pitchers with 'Stuff' like a 95 mph fastball and nasty breaking pitches, and pitchers who know how to pitch." (So that is to say, pitchers who know how to out-think a batter and get him out with intelligent pitching.) Snow went on, "Timmy used to be a pitcher with stuff, but he's not anymore, and now he has to learn how to pitch." Interesting observation. Perhaps Timmy was listening to KNBR, too, because he seems to us to be pitching a little smarter, and he didn't have his blow up inning last night. (Whew!) He actually earned his second quality start of the season (6+ innings pitched, gave up less than three runs) but there are still worries. We do feel like Lincecum is turning a corner, though. Kennedy has had his problems as well this year, but last night Kennedy had the edge, as he totally shut down Cabrera and Posey. So the Giants lost last night, but Melky Cabrera is on fire right now like pissin with the clap. He. Is. Awesome. 51 Hits in May, tying a franchise record? Fantastic. And you gotta love the Melkmen (the guys in the stands that dress up like Milkmen and cheer wildly for Melky Cabrera.) You know, if we can miraculously avoid injury, and the heart of the order plays to their ability, we might just have a shot at it this year... that 2nd wildcard is gonna make things awfully interesting. And so far, even though we've had some ups and downs, we've been playing reasonably well, and we're showing signs of being a terrific team. Let's hope for health and prosperity, shall we? And just as an update, the de facto starting line up these days is looking like Posey behind the dish, Belt at 1st, Arias/Theriot at 2nd, Crawford at SS, Panda at 3rd, Blanco in RF, Pagan in CF, & Cabrera in LF. Not too far from our predictions of a couple months ago, and very pleasing to us here at The Pitch & The Diamond. We do like to see the youth out there, gettin all seasoned up. Unfortunately, Brian Wilson is out for the year with Tommy John surgery, & Guillermo Mota got busted for violating the league's juicing policy, but Casilla is doing a fantastic job of holding down the closers role. Yes, at the moment, Pablo Sandoval is still recovering from his (other) hamate bone injury, but he'll be back, crushing jacks soon enough. Fortunately, he only had two hamate bones, one in each hand, and now they've both been removed. He should be back in a couple weeks. Joaquin Arias has filled in at Third Base admirably, and in fact, Pablo's defense might be a slight downgrade from what Arias has been giving us recently, but it'll all shake out nicely. And as the most pleasant surprise of the year, Barry Zito is pitching exceptionally well, which is always a relief. We'll be shocked if that lasts past July, as his last few years have hewn to the "Quality 1st half of the season, Lousy 2nd half" program. But we'll take what we can get.
Allrighty, that's it for now. With Arsenal and the EPL out of season during the summer, we'll now be focusing on El Gigantes til late August or so, excepting a bit of Gunners transfer news here and there. It's an off day for the Giants today, but the Cubbies come into town tomorrow, and we'll be at the ballpark for at least two of the three games this weekend. So... LET'S GO GIANTS!!