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Lincecum hit hard, Giants fall to Dodgers

The final score was 8-3, but there was a twinge of hope for a brief moment.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Allow me to present a tip for a healthier, more fulfilling life. When the Giants are losing badly in a dull, dejecting fashion, get up and do one thing on the to-do list of your life. Fill out that form. Place that order. Take the old food out of the fridge. After Justin Turner hit the three-run homer that put the game out of reach, I WD-40'd a squeaky hinge on my bathroom door. Just got up and did it. The thing's been obnoxiously loud for a year, and now it's fixed. The Giants lost. But I won.

You can win, too.

Mail that bill! Cancel that subscription! Look at that Facebook message that you've been avoiding because Facebook will tell them you've looked at it! Clean up your contacts list! Turn this loss into a win by taking your life back, dammit. Just pick one thing to do during every dumb game.

You can also turn the game off and read a book or something. But I can't. I might WD-40 the cat by the end of the year.


Confessions of a bad fan: When Tim Lincecum allowed a leadoff walk, two singles, and a screaming line drive in the first inning without allowing a run, I was scared. When Lincecum allowed a leadoff triple, walk, and screaming line drive in the second inning without allowing a run, I was terrified. Here was a fate worse than Lincecum pitching as poorly as he has over the last three seasons: Lincecum enjoying illusory success for a month, which would buy him two months.

Fine, confessions of an awful fan, then. I'm not proud of it. But Lincecum entered the game with a 2.00 ERA, best on the staff, even though he hasn't exactly pitched well. That was good news in the sense that he wasn't allowing runs, which helps his team win. It was bad news in that it made it easy to be lulled into complacency. A Lincecum with a 3.27 ERA isn't in danger of losing his gig, and he won't be for a while, but that's nothing compared to a 2.00 ERA Lincecum.

This leads us to an obvious question. What's different about this year with Lincecum that would lead you to believe he's going to have his first average-or-better season since 2011?

It's not the velocity. That's down. First pitch of the game was 88, and he topped 90 just once, in his final inning.

It's not the command. He walked three and left baseballs in parts of the strike zone where baseballs should not be left.

It shouldn't be the distant history of success. The last time everyone in here unambiguously thought he was a perennial Cy Young candidate, Orlando Cabrera and Carlos Beltran were on the team.

The only answer, as far as I can guess, is the promise of his dad's offseason help and instruction. That's the only reason to think, okay, this season will be different than the last three. Without increased velocity or command, though, there's no tangible evidence there have been any effective adjustments. This looks like the same pitcher, save for a little reduction in velocity.

This isn't going to end well, but please note that I've never wanted to be more wrong about baseball in my life. To the monthly disclaimer!

  1. Tim Lincecum has been bad for three straight seasons, and every possible indicator, from velocity to strikeout rates, are trending in the wrong direction. If his name were Burt Sommerstack and he was an 89-mph righty with a wild streak, yet kept getting these chances, he would be the least popular player on the team for a couple years running.

  2. Tim Lincecum, after he throws his final pitch as a Giant, will have been responsible for more good memories, more brilliant Giants moments, than almost any person to live before or after him. He's a gift, one of the best things to ever happen to Giants fans, and we should be forever grateful.

Both can be true. I'm grateful for the good memories Will Clark brought the Giants, but I don't want him starting at first base this year. That's an extreme and absurd analogy, but it's far more apt than I want it to be.


Yusmeiro Petit update: He's come in seven times with the Giants already behind, and the Giants have lost all seven. This section was going to be more of a screed about him not being in the rotation, but then he gave up a couple walks and a homer. Everything was moist bottom tonight. Everything and everyone.

The home run was the fifth three-run shot the Giants have allowed this season, just one behind the entire 2014 total. The last time the Giants gave up more in a month, Merkin Valdez allowed one of them and Barry Zito allowed two.

Back to Petit. He's still probably one of the best five starting pitchers the Giants have to help them win this season. We will never find out, though, because he peed on the steps of the Parthenon in the offseason, and we just have to sit here and watch his punishment play out.


Yeah, well, Justin Turner also looks a child actor you remember from a TV show when you were younger, so you Google him to see what he looks like now, and when you see his picture you recoil and make an ugh face before remarking that he was such a cute kid and you don't know what happened.


Clayton Kershaw tomorrow, everybody. Good night!