Thursday, June 28, 2012
Is Tim Lincecum back on track?
By David Schoenfield
The Giants completed a three-game sweep of the Dodgers to move into a tie for first place, improbably shutting them out in all three games. It's just the third time since 1969 that a first-place team was shut out in each game of a three-game series (the Mets did it to the first-place Phillies in 2010 and the Orioles to the first-place Red Sox in 1974).
Tim Lincecum pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits, two walks and striking out eight. Chris Quick of Bay City Ball shows how Lincecum kept the ball down in this game and that's his key moving forward.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Lincecum threw off-speed pitches 59 percent of the time, his second-highest rate in a start this season. The Dodgers put nine of those off-speed pitches in play, six of which were on the ground. While it was a good sign for Lincecum and the Giants, we probably can't read too much into this start, since the Dodgers haven't been hitting anybody this month -- they have six home runs in June. Heck, Juan Rivera and his .652 OPS were batting cleanup last night.