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July 1st, 2007

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Without a playoff appearance to look forward to, it's hard to even try to concoct a better sequence of events for a single game. Lincecum could have pitched a perfect game, I suppose. The game could have been against the Dodgers, and KTVU cameras could have captured Jeff Kent tripping down the dugout steps after throwing his helmet. Matt Cain could have made the All-Star team. Technically, there was more good to stuff in the day.

But the day ain't getting topped this year. It was a welcome surprise to learn that Bonds was going to start the All-Star Game. If he didn't start in left at a San Francisco All-Star Game, it would have been like the World Series of Cubist Poker being held in Spain and Picasso not getting an invitation. So what if Picasso cut his ear off after painting that picture with the old couple and the pitchfork for The Saturday Evening Post? It wouldn't be a World Series of Cubist Poker without him. The same goes for Bonds and the All-Star Game. He would have been on the team regardless, but it would have felt a bit too preachy if Griffey were starting without Bonds. The All-Star Game is for the best players in baseball, not political statements.

Then there was the game. It's always nice to watch the offense function like a real offense, though I wish they could have taken a doggie bag of runs back for Cain's next start. I'd feel much better about the team's future if Ryan Klesko were five years younger and under contract; he's been fun to watch. Ray Durham doing something that resembled anything was a welcome break in the routine. I didn't even have to break out my AK/It was a good game.

It was all about Lincecum, though. For a single game, Jason Schmidt's single-game performance start against the Marlins was probably more dominating. I'll take the Schmidt game because of the drama in the ninth, but I'll take the Lincecum game for total domination. Schmidt was getting young Marlins out with two pitches: a 94-mph fastball and the best changeup you'll ever see. Lincecum's fastball was better and the changeup was great-not-transcendent, but Lincecum was throwing a devastating curve as well. Three plus-plus pitches in an 80-pound sack. The Orlando Hudson single was the only well-struck ball against Lincecum.

Comment starter: Name a better starting pitching performance by a Giant in the past twenty years. I'm not saying they don't exist; I just want a list of the contenders so we can rightly slot Lincecum's 12-K/0 BB game among the best of the best.