There was a day where the mere mention of Tim Lincecum would strike fear into opponent’s hearts. Not as much these days, however. Timmy, or Timmeh as I prefer it spelled, is a mere shell of his former Cy Young self, the likely result of too much weed and too little wind through his once-flowing hair.
You wouldn’t know it from his 7-4 record this year, but grabbing Ryan Spilborghs’ favorite stat and a couple others tells the story. His xFIP is at a career high 4.49, as is his hard-hit ball percentage at 34.5%, and his K/9 is a career low 7.11. His fastball velocity is all the way down to 87.3, off 2mph from last year and down 7mph from his 2007 debut.
In other words, he’s become hittable. In a pre-game sound byte, Tulo said “I wouldn’t describe [Tim] as a finesse guy, but ….” He’s joined the same club as Dan Haren and Jered Weaver – smoke and mirrors. In Timmeh’s case, a lot of smoke.
The Rox big guns were ready for him in the first. DJ walked and stole second, Tulo singled and advanced on a WP, Arenado doubled, Rosario singled, and we had 3 runs before the San Fran fans were halfway thru the garlic fries for lunch. And there was more on the way. In the 2nd, Barnes walked, Rusin FC’d, Blackmon doubled, and it’s looking good …
Then DJ messed it all up for us. He scorches one back up the middle that catches Timmeh in the elbow, Posey grabs the ricochet and throws Rusin out at the plate. Had that ball cleared Timmeh, the infield was drawn in and that was a certain run. Instead, Rusin is running on contact and out, and Timmeh is having his elbow looked at. (Yeah, that white streak across Posey’s face is the ball about to find Timmeh’s bone.) It did look like it hurt. Timmeh was escorted off.
That was the rally killer. Yusmiero Petit comes in and shuts it down for a while.
In the bottom of the third, Chris Rusin runs into trouble with help from his friends. Blanco infield singled (against a shift, I might add – I don’t believe that improved-BABIP-on-shift stat at all), Petit attempts a sac into an force, Pagan bloops a single over DJ, and Panik at the Disco grounds into a … Rosario boot. Obviously affected by Pagan who hurdled the ball right in front of him. Duffy is next, and grounds into a … Tulo can’t blame that bobble on Pagan, and he gets the out at second but the turn to first is late, and one run scores.
Rusin should have been out of that inning unscathed, twice, but instead Posey is at the plate with two guys on. Rusin was frustrated he wasn’t making perfect pitches to Posey, and on the payoff pitch he really gets upset when Posey launches one to the LC gap. Posey doubles and it’s 3-3. But wait, there’s a dude hanging over the Intel logo. Walt suggests the guys in blue take a look at it, which they do.
They determine the dude did indeed get a finger on the ball way over the fence. It wasn’t headed out, about 2 feet short, so it’s fan interference and ruled a double. OK, guys were on third and first, not terrible. There should be one run scored, Duffy on 3rd, and Posey on 2nd.
Greg Gibson takes off the headset and gesticulates more than Heather Graham in the club scene in The Spy Who Shagged Me. He gives the fan interference sign, points at home (run scored), third (runner there), and second (runner there). Bochy pretends he didn’t hear that, keeps Duffy in the dugout, and asks one question. Gibson goes into the SF dugout and grabs a phone, and after a few seconds jogs back out to 1B. No Duffy. 3-3.
The explanation from NY: with two outs and the runners in motion, Duffy made enough progress and would have scored.
Talk about terrible luck for Rusin. He did make one bad pitch to Posey, who should have never gotten to the plate. But he’s got 3 runs, 2 earned (scorer can’t assume a DP, Tulo didn’t get an error) to show for his effort.
Rusin took it out on the ball in the top of the 4th. McKenry doubles, Barnes walks, and Rusin comes to the plate presumably to sacrifice. It goes by many names – slash, sluggo, butcher boy, my preference to the Queen score:
SLASH (uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh) U-UH #Rockies
— Don Dingee (@DonnyDinger) June 27, 2015
Rusin pulls the bat back and blasts one past Panik, driving in the Fort. Blackmon sac flies Barnyard in, and it’s a 5-3 lead. SF gets one back on a Duffy HR in the 5th, but let’s remember – THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE FIRST SF RUN.
Big difference between 5-1 and 5-4. Betancourt comes in for the 7th and blows up. Pagan walk, Panik force, Duffy doubles, Posey gets an intentional pass, and the guy who shouldn’t beat anybody – Andrew Susac – tears a ball straight down the third base line for a double, clearing the bags.
That was pretty much it. Betancourt gets the L where Rusin should have got the W. The Rox actually went 4-for-11 with RISP, even with an O-for-5 day from CarGo (anti-matter reaction to last night). If Lincecum had stayed in, the Rox might still be hitting and could have put that game away by the 3rd inning. If one of two foiled double plays gets turned, the dude hanging over the Intel logo is still in his seat. All the breaks fell the way of the Giants today.
To that hater on Twitter who said Rusin has no reason to be in the majors: you missed a good game.