Whew. Winning the last two games of a three-game series is so, so much better than dropping the last game. I don't think the players care about the momentum. But I sure do. It's a different feeling, especially moving
I kept waiting for Coors Field to show up. I was scared that by yearning for the old days of the Rockies/Giants rivalry, I'd angered the God of Coors field, who is represented by the head of an ex-Giants catcher on the body of a foam dinosaur. So I started to worry. Maybe expressing that was a way to anger some sort of baseball deity.
After the Giants took the five-run lead in the first, I started to fret. What kind of place can make you worry after a five-run lead? Coors Field. It was going to haunt us, I could feel it.
When Tim Lincecum gave up a walk, a balk, and a single in the bottom-half of the first, I could feel it. It always starts so innocuously. It's just a run. Big deal, you say. That's how it sucks you into its maw.
When Lincecum hung a breaking ball to Wilin Rosario, who hit it 600 feet, that was the second step. There's always a flurry of homers.
Then there were a bunch of Rockies runners who didn't score. That was tricky of them. It was probably subterfuge.
And when the Giants had a 6-3 lead in the late innings, there was the a-ha moment. Rosario crushed a ball. He went into a trot. Santiago Casilla smacked his glove in disgust. It had the right sound. It was going to make the game 6-5, and the Rockies would take the lead on eight straight singles that were sprinkled all around the acreage of the outfield.
It never happened. The Giants won. The Rockies could score only three runs. If there was anyone doing the Coorsing, it was the Giants for the second straight night. The Giants have played 23 games in Coors Field since the infamous July 4, 2010 game, in which Eli Whiteside pinch-ran for Buster Posey and the Giants lost in 15 innings. That was the day I was sure the Giants would never make the playoffs with Brian Sabean picking the players and Bruce Bochy managing them. That was the day I snapped.
They're 16-7 in Coors since then. That was the last time the Giants didn't win a three- or four-game series in Coors.
Look, I don't know either. I don't care that the Rockies are lousy. They were lousy in 2000 and 2001, and Coors Field still ate the Giants alive.
The only thing I know is that I'm glad it's not like that these days. Hooray for Coors Field!
I have absolutely nothing new to write about Tim Lincecum. But I also don't want to mail it in. This is a problem. I want to spend time analyzing his performance, breaking down his mechanics, and presenting my findings. Except I'm not smart enough to do that. Mechanics are still a mystery to me, other than the basics. I can't pretend to be a doctor studying MRIs of his elbow and shoulder, nor can I pretend to be a psychiatrist, privy to Lincecum's secret shames and fears.
So when he has another ambiguously kinda sort good start -- another one with a bunch of walks and strikeouts and conflicting messages -- here's my default position:
Lincecum has lost his command. Is it his mechanics? No idea.
Cool. Hope everything works out.
But that's hopelessly boring. Maybe if I tried the old translate-the-passage-into-five-different-languages-and-back-into-English gag, it would come out really silly, and it would work as a cheap joke. So I put it from English into Polish into Basque into Latin into Japanese back into English.
Lincecum who lost his command. His mechanic? No idea.
Cool. Hope everything works out.
Well, I'll be. Those online translators aren't as awful anymore. That's not funny. But you know what's funny? Garfield. So maybe if I took the translated text and pasted it into the first Garfield comic I found, then it would be funnier:
Getting there. Getting there. But it was missing something.
Bingo. Now this isn't funny, nor is it illuminating or perceptive. But I've now spent as long on this as I would have if I were earnestly trying to present my opinions on Tim Lincecum, so I didn't mail it in. I simply applied my efforts elsewhere, just as uselessly, but in a different way.
All things considered, a quality start in Coors with eight strikeouts? I'll take it, even if it comes with four walks. Maybe that's grading on a curve, but I don't care. It was a start with more than a few encouraging moments.
With this game, the Giants moved into first place in baseball for runs scored on the road. Not the NL West. Not the National League. Baseball. Everyone. Yankees, Rangers, Nationals … none of them have scored as many runs away from their home parks as have the Giants. The Giants scored their 379th road run of the season tonight -- they scored 570 runs last season.
The last time they scored that many road runs in a full season, they had a player with a .609 on-base percentage, an .812 slugging percentage, and more than half the number of home runs (45) than the entire 2012 team (87).
And they still have nine road games left this season.
Look, I don't know either. That's like the Coors Field thing. Just let it ride. Appreciate it. Don't question it. It's weird to watch the Giants out-slug the other teams, but they've been doing it all year on the road.