Tim Lincecum pitched well.
That's the lede, the only story you care about. There was a baseball game (which the Padres won, 7-2) on Monday afternoon, and Tim Lincecum pitched just fine in it. Spring training games are still meaningless, sure. Except for the ones in which Lincecum pitches well. Those mean something. Those are proof of something more.
The games in which Lincecum pitches poorly? Now those things are meaningless. Just because he's had two miserable springs in a row and they've both turned out to be chilling harbingers of doom, doesn't mean that his poor spring outings mean something. No, we're right to focus on the good starts.
Lincecum pitched two innings, striking out one, allowing a double, and walking a batter. Twitter reports had him sitting at 90-91, which sounds good for this time of year. Except here's a tweet from last year:
Tim Lincecum's fastball was 92-93 in 1st inning. He pitched around a pretty bad Tanaka throwing error in scoreless frame.— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) February 26, 2013
The velocity from last year wasn't a sign of anything. The performance in that February, 2013 game (he gave up a bunch of runs and walks after that first inning) was a legitimate sign of doooooom.
This spring, then, I'll pay attention to the results more than the velocity. It's part of my New Year's resolution, which is to base my Lincecum-centric predictions and optimism on all sorts of cherry-picked random crap instead of just velocity-related crap. So far, so good.
(It would have been a lot cooler if he were throwing 92-93 on Monday.)
Happy fun facts
- Tim Lincecum pitched well.
- At least, he didn't get knocked around.
- That's the only thing I really care about in the Cactus League, give or take.
- I don't think we talked enough about the decision to give a 40-man roster spot to Erik Cordier, considering his minor-league stats suggest he pitches like Jonathan Sanchez after three hours on the Tilt-A-Whirl. Whatever the reasoning, Cordier pitched a spotless inning.
- Sergio Romo pitched well, striking out two in an inning of work. That's a big improvement over the last messy inning.
Grist for the pessimist mill
- Lincecum didn't throw 95 with cartoon flames shooting out of his ears, which he used to do with aplomb. But you knew that.
- Yusmeiro Petit got bludgeoned again. While it's early and this is all meaningless and who cares and spring training et cetera, I'll tell you what I think whenever Petit gets hit hard: Now there's a pitcher without any margin for error. I'd guess the Giants have him penciled into the bullpen still, but even though his contract is guaranteed, he still has a fair chance of grizzling it up in Fresno this year.
- There were two Casillas in the game, which seems like a dangerous level of Casilla exposure.
Still, the story was Lincecum, and it was mostly positive. That gives Happy Fun Facts a 3-0 record on the year, which is much more important than the Cactus League record. You might think that my bias is giving the Happy Fun Facts an unfair advantage, to which I respond