Giants win behind dingers, strong Lincecum start

Not the reason for the win, but a picture too amazing to ignore. - photo credit - Scott Cunningham

Had it all the way.

Dingers.

★★★

The last time the Giants won a game when their only offense came from two solo homers? April 22, 2007. The losing pitcher? Yusmeiro Petit. This means something.

One of the homers? Barry Bonds. That means something, too, but mostly that I want to watch Bonds bat against Petit tomorrow on pay-per-view if it could be arranged. Let’s go back to the dingers.

The Giants are on pace for 201 homers. That would be good for fifth-best in San Francisco history, behind 1962 (Mays/McCovey), 1987 (Clark/rabbit ball), 2000 (Bonds), and 2001 (Bonnnnnnnds). The idea of "on pace" is virtually worthless when it comes to predictive capabilities, at least this early in the season, but it’s a good way to put what you just watched into context. This season, the Giants have looked like a 200-homer team. This season, the Giants have looked as good as any Giants team since Bonds broke Mark McGwire’s record.

Not predictive, necessarily. But it explains why you have a slack jaw and a hankerin' for more dingers.

Specifically, Michael Morse has wildly different home-run power than were used to. His solo homer was a deep fly ball for almost every other right-handed Giants hitter since … Pat Burrell? Kevin Mitchell? Dave Kingman? That was an Unsullied pop up, ready to mess you up if you underestimated it.

Morse-dinger_medium


The dinger spigot might turn off tomorrow, or we might dance around the busted fire hydrant all season long. But we know what we’ve watched. And it’s been much more satisfying than last year. So far.

★★★

And when xFIP and FIP hated Tim Lincecum the most, Tim Lincecum had his best outing of the year. The nerds lost, Lebowski. Condolences.

No, I’m still into FIP when I’m drinking and maudlin. But that doesn’t mean that I’m aware of what makes a good Tim Lincecum start these days. He seemed to have issues with command in the zone again, which is a repeat from his last 100 starts, give or take. But the Braves couldn’t do anything with him. Does that mean that Lincecum should always have that kind of leeway, or does that mean that he’s getting lucky whenever he has a good start these days?

I like burritos.

No idea. But it’s almost insulting to praise a six-inning, one-run game when it comes to Lincecum. It’s like telling Paul McCartney that, oh, Give My Regards to Broad Street is simply fantastic, no, it’s totally as good as his best work. It’s not. But it was a commercial success. Which is the music equivalent of a won-loss record? I’m so confused.

It’s probably time to stop hoping for anything different from what you watched on Friday night. It was probably time for that 18 months ago. But there’s still the open question of whether we should expect more of these outings than we enjoyed in 2012 and 2013, both. Keep a good thought. Though it should be noted that Lincecum didn’t look exceptionally dominant against one of the most strikeoutingest teams in the league. Of course, if you’re going to dock him for that, you should note that the Braves are also a dinger-happy team, and he kept them in the yard.

I can’t wait until 20 years from now, when Lincecum’s career is over, so I can figure out what in the heck Lincecum was really doing with the benefit of hindsight.

★★★

I thought the Belt Wars were over. There are insurgents, though. There are always insurgents. The landscape is arid and full of caves. They could be anywhere.

But here’s some quick thoughts on Belt:

  • He’s messed up in a way that BABIP or dumb luck can’t explain right now
  • Giving him a day off against a lefty isn’t the worst idea in the world

Give him a day off against every lefty? Rage. We’ve been through those skirmishes before. Figuring that he can use a day off after the day off? That sounds dandy. And it’s against a left-handed pitcher? Pffft, that’s not even a question.

I’d stand down. Get the torchforks out when it happens every fifth day, not when he's swinging with foothands and his footwork is filled with handfeet. The guy could use a day off.

He'll figure it out. He does every danged year.

★★★

Brandon Crawford with another tremendous play:


It's not the range on that one. It's the throw. I've been bugging UCLA for a year, looking for footage of Crawford pitching. Until that footage surfaces, this is all we have. And I'm thinking 83 IP, 104 K, 13 BB, and 51 saves.

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