Great win last night against the invincible Lee, let's hope the bats stay hot the rest of the series. However, I was alarmed to see that Lincecum didn't throw a single slider again last night. In fact, the last slider that I remember him throwing was in 2nd inning of game 1 of the NLCS against the Phillies. The slider was the elite pitch that he had added to his repertoire, after his horrendous month of August, that fueled his awesome dominance in the month of Sept. and the first game gem of the NLDS against the Braves.
Obviously the blister on his finger is a real issue that the Giants are not talking about (or just plain prevaricating - did you notice that Timmeh didn't look at his finger even once last night). Hopefully, some journalist will get the real story and write about it after the Series is over. When you think about it, it's amazing that Timmeh has been able to keep the hitters off balance enough in his last 3 appearances (including the relief stint in game 6) throwing just his FB and change. He's been able to keep the runs allowed relatively low enough to keep the Giants in both games he's started since then even thought the batters know he only has those 2 pitches. He did throw a handful of pitches last night (about 5) that I would classify as a slurve. They were all off-speed pitches, thrown in the mid-70s and out of the strike zone, with the obvious intent of just giving the hitters something different to distract their sight and timing. Going forward, I don't think we can count on Timmeh being dominant in this series unless he can throw some type of breaking ball as a strikeout pitch or miraculously get his FB velocity consistently over 94 moh again.
My quick shots on Game 1 after the jump.
On the positive side:
- who would have guessed that the Giatns could force Cliff Lee to throw 104 pithces before he finished his 5th inning? The Giants had only 2 quick outs (out of a total of 14 outs) against Lee - totally against type for the Giants hitters.
- who would have guessed that Juan Uribe would start out his 1st World Series AB against Cliff Lee going 3-0, and not lifting his bat off his shoulder?
- the Giants scored 8 of their 11 runs after 2 outs. That continued a trend for the postseason where the Giants have now scored 21 of their 41 total runs after 2 outs. Once again, that's totally against type.
- who would guess that Franchez would start his 1st World Series game with 3 straight XBH's? Against Cliff Lee no less!
- Pat Burrell's AB in the 5th was a thing of beauty. After striking out in his 1st 2 ABs, and looking outclassed, he was able to work a 2-out walk off of Lee (only the 2nd walk he's given up in 4 postseason starts this year) after going to a 2-2 count. That kept the inning alive and the Giants scored 5 runs after his BB to blow the game open.
On a negative, or worrisome, note:
- Andres Torres's leg was obviously affecting him in the field last night. The double by Moreland in the 4th ithat fell in front (and to the side) of him, and the double by Cruz in the 9th that fell between him and Schierholz, were both balls that he would normally catch. They would have been very tough plays, but he would have gotten to them. It looks to me that the hip-flexor injury has cost him half a step on his take-off.
- Buster is still not swinging the bat well. He's still opening up his hips and front side way too quickly, and trying to pull the ball too much. Even the single that he hit in the 3rd was a ball on the outside part of the plate that he was luckily able to get enough of his bat on to serve just over the SS and get the run home. When he's on he hits that pitch into right CF for a double or triple. You'll remember that the 1 good hitting game that he had in the NLCS (4 hits in game 4) he was keeping his weight back, his hands in, and driving the ball to RF. We need Buster to get locked in if we want to keep the offense rolling.
- Pat Burrell is in a mini-slump. He had Lee right where he wanted him twice in this game. Ahead 2-0 and expecting a FB in. He got what he wanted 3 times, and swung and missed all 3 times - twice by large margins. Pat the Bat needs to get at least 1 big hit if we're going to win this thing.
- WTF was Bochy doing with the bullpen in the 9th inning? Just when you think that he's on a magical run of coaching decisions in the postseason he goes and does something dumb like that. There was no excuse to have Affeldt or Wilson pitching in the 9th with a 7 run lead. Bochy yanked Ramirez and Affeldt way too quickly. If he didn't like what he saw out of Ramirez in the 2 batters that he faced, he should have brought in Mota, because Affeldt had warmed up and was ready to go in during the Rangers' mini-rally way back in the 5th inning. A manager should never warm a reliever up like that, then have him sit for almost 50 minutes, only to warm him up again and bring him into a 11-4 game. Bringing Wilson in was very dumb. There's no reason to give the meat of the Rangers order a look at him with a 7 run lead. I don't care if the bases were loaded, Wilson should only come into that game if the tieing run is at the plate.