Thursday, April 7, 2011
Lincecum 'All Aces' in second start
Tim Lincecum lasted only seven innings in the San Francisco Giants victory over the San Diego Padres, but he made all seven count.
Lincecum struck out 13 batters and walked none, the fifth time in his career he recorded double-digit strikeouts without walking a single batter.
Since 2007, his first year in the league, only Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke have as many such games (each with five as well).
In fact, this was Lincecum's 27th career double-digit strikeout performance. Elias tell us going back to 1900, only one Giants pitcher has recorded more such games, and that was Hall-of-Famer Christy Mathewson who did it 28 times.
Lincecum dominated the Padres hitters by confusing them with his changeup. He threw 17 changeups, 12 of which were out of the strike zone. The Padres swung at six of the 12 changes out of the zone, missing on all of them, including five that resulted in strikeouts.
He also finished off batters well when getting two strikes on them. Lincecum got 15 of the 24 hitters he faced to a two-strike count, retiring all 15, including 13 by strikeout.
Since the 2009 season, Lincecum leads all starters with a .116 opponent average and a 53.1 strikeout percentage with two strikes.
Elsewhere around the diamond:
• Miguel Cabrera hit his third home run of the season for the Detroit Tigers in their win over the Baltimore Orioles. It was Cabrera’s 250th career home run, reaching the milestone 12 days before his 28th birthday.
According to Elias, he is the fourth-youngest active player to reach the milestone, behind only Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Andruw Jones.
• The loss by the Orioles leaves the Texas Rangers and the Cincinnati Reds as the only two teams still undefeated in the major leagues.
Last season, the last remaining undefeated team was the San Francisco Giants, and we all know how that ended.
However you have to go all the way back to 1992 - when the Blue Jays started 6-0 en route to winning the World Series - for the last time MLB's last remaining undefeated team won the Fall Classic.
• On the other end of the spectrum, the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros are the 86th, 87th and 88th teams in the modern era of baseball (since 1900) to start a season 0-5.
Only two of those previous 85 teams managed to make the postseason: The 1974 Pittsburgh Pirates and the 1995 Cincinnati Reds. In fact, those two squads actually started 0-6 before getting their first win.
Using that piece of history at this point, 0-5 Boston, Tampa Bay and Houston have a 2.4 percent chance to make the postseason at this point.
• Elias tells us that with the Rays and Red Sox losing on Wednesday, this is this the first time the AL East had two teams start a season 0-5.