Back when Tim Lincecum was sitting at 88 MPH, velocity didn’t matter. I mean, you know, whatever. It’s not everything, you know. Bunch of macho subtext behind the idea that a strikeout pitcher needs to throw hard. Lincecum did just fine. Didn’t need to throw hard. Free your mind.
Now that Lincecum throws consistently between 92 and 95 MPH: oh, sweet mercy, it is awesome that he can throw that hard.
I’m not sure if there was a single start last season where Lincecum’s best pitch was his fastball. If he was successful, it was because he was controlling his changeup well. You could argue that his slider was the best pitch during the NLDS, though that might be a stretch. But it was never the fastball.
It was tonight. And, lo, it was beautiful. It was silly to worry about velocity to the extent that a lot of us did, but danged if that stuff isn’t useful. Lincecum lost control of his change quite a few times tonight. He couldn’t use it to get ahead, and it was spottier than usual when he was using it as a strikeout pitch. His fastball, though, was funky. It was fast, and it had movement. He was locking hitters up on both sides of the plate.
Maybe the fastball success was because the Mets kept looking for offspeed pitches that wouldn’t come, like they had a scouting report from August, 2010. Maybe if he has another couple of games like this, it won’t be as easy for him to sneak fastballs by a team. Right now, though, he looks like the pitcher who won two Cy Youngs, only with a new and impressive slider. Sounds cool to me.
- Jose Reyes was not traded to the Giants during the game. Further updates as events warrant.
- That was probably Brian Wilson’s best outing since Game Five of the World Series. And again he unleashed one of those wiffle-ball two-seamers, this time to Josh Thole. Not sure what he’s waiting for with that thing. Feels like he’s at a party, getting drunk and screwing around with the Ark of the Covenant. That thing is weird.
- It’s possible that I’m wearing disgust-colored glasses, but didn’t it seem like Miguel Tejada sorta pulled up on that non-double play in the top of the eighth? I rewound it a couple of times, and I couldn’t tell. It didn’t seem like he had that oh-man-not-again-they’re-going-to-put-bars-of-soap-in-the-pillowcase-like-Full-Metal-Jacket-again sense of urgency to avoid the double play. Could be seeing things.
- So Cody Ross is Aaron Rowand now, and Aaron Rowand is Cody Ross? I wonder which one is Kirk Cameron and which one is Dudley Moore.
A sweep would go a heckuva long way towards forgetting that Washington nonsense. Here’s hoping....