Saturday, August 28, 2010

Is Tim Lincecum tipping his pitches?


In the few game recaps I read about last night's game I only saw it mentioned once.  I'm sure it's not something that the Giants really want to have get around the league, but judging from Lincecum's horrible August it already has., but in Chris Haft's game recap on the 11th paragraph reads:

"Giants manager Bruce Bochy downplayed any edge the D-backs might have received by saying, "All teams do that." But Bochy acknowledged that Lincecum made an adjustment. And Lincecum himself admitted that he started setting his hands closer to his body so nobody could detect the wiggling of his fingers as he prepared to grip the ball."

Apparently, Boch's remarks were in response to the fact that some  were saying that Stephen Drew was signalling pitch location to Adam LaRoche when he hit his 3 run homerun in the first inning.  I didn't see the game and the replay they had on didn't show Drew and it was really hard to see Lincecum's glove but tipping pitches is a huge problem for a guy like Lincecum who relies more on his deception than anything to get hitters out.

It also explains Lincecum's constant fiddling with his mechanics.  One thing that has really seemed odd to me is that after just about every start Timmy is changing the positioning of his hands, swinging his glove over his head, or holding them "closer to his body son nobody could detect the wiggling of his fingers as he prepared to grip the ball"  

All this has gotten into Lincecum's head.  It helps explain his lack of control and velocity as well.  If you know the other team knows what's coming do you really want to throw that pitch in the strike zone?

The good news is: it's fixable.  It will take someone a whole lot smarter than me to tell Licecum what he is doing and how to fix it but it can be done.

All that said, the Giants still could have won this game.  4 runs in 6 innings is not a disastrous start by any stretch of the imagination.  But it is when your team scores 0 runs!

Now I could go on and on about how the Giants wasted all of those runs in the Reds series on the Reds but I think it has more to do with the guy on the mound for the Dbacks tonight than anything like that.

Barry Enright is a rookie this season.  He has pitched pretty well considering he was 4-2 with a 2.75 ERA for this horrible Arizona team coming into tonight's game.  In addition to stranding a whopping 86% of the runners he allows to reach base.  He has gone 10 consecutive starts in which he has allowed 3 earned runs or less.

Make that 11.

None of this excuses the Giants lack of support for Lincecum however, the Snakes did throw out two mediocre relievers that the Giants couldn't manage to get anything going against either.  I would just chalk it up to a letdown from Wednesday's epic game but the off-day yesterday should have erased any of those letdown tendencies.

The Giants also received a scare when Buster Posey came out of the game in the 8th inning with a mild forearm strain, but it doesn't sound serious.  However with news of Stephen Strasburg having season ending and career threatening Tommy John surgery dropping earlier in the day the Giants I am sure were just a little jumpy.

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