Lincecum Stops a Phillies Sweep

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, August 07, 2011 07:31 PM | Comments: 17
2011 Gameday, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts


The San Francisco Giants needed a stopper and they got one. Tim Lincecum spoiled Roy Oswalt’s return to the mound as the Giants beat the Phillies, 3-1, to avoid a four-game sweep.

Oswalt wasn’t sharp in his first game since June 23, giving up 12 hits in six innings, tying a career high, but the radar gun showed positive velocity on many of his pitches. Often times, the radar read 91-92 mph, meaning the Phillies 4th Ace is seemingly healthy once again. He also kept his team well within striking distance, although that’s easier said than done when facing Tim Lincecum.

Lincecum scattered seven hits over 7 2/3 innings to run his record to 5-0 with an ERA of 0.90 when matched-up against Oswalt in his career. Brian Wilson came on for his 34th save of the season in the ninth.

Ben Francisco smacked a one-out double in the final inning, but was left in place – as were eight other Phillies on Sunday.

With a nasty off-speed arsenal working on all cylinders, Lincecum made many Phillies look foolish, most notably Ryan Howard. The Big Piece had been in a groove before this weekend, but that all changed as he finished off his series against the Giants with an 0-for-4, 3 strikeout performance. Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz each put up two hits on the afternoon that went for naught.

Sitting in my living room, it seemed as though Lincecum was a beatable pitcher on this day. The Phillies were jumpy and were not patient enough against a guy who throws a lot of pitches in the dirt. But, as we’ve seen time and again, Lincecum owned the Phillies.

“The Freak” had his seventh career quality start against the Phils in nine starts.

As for Oswalt, he gave up a ton of baserunners, but did strand them. Let’s hope this is a stepping stone for better future starts. One worrisome aspect of the game against the Giants was that he could not get the Giants, with their terrible offense, to swing and miss at many pitches. Jeff Keppinger, the pesky two-hole hitter for San Francisco, went 4-for-4 and raised his average 12 points in one game. Oswalt’s velocity was fine, but he missed few bats. Hopefully that can change.

Three out of four ain’t bad and neither is an 8 1/2 game lead in the division over the Braves. And all good things must come to an end, as the nine-game winning streak was halted.

This was certainly a statement series for the Phillies, as many we’re slightly worried that the Giants had indeed gotten into the heads of the Phillies, especially following a San Fran series win in Philly a little over a week ago. The Phillies proved who the more complete and dominant team is.

Up next is a series with the Dodgers in L.A. to close out the 10-game road trip.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1709 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 81 PhP54

    Avatar of PhP54

    We won 3 of 4. it is all good. My only concern is we better figure Timmy out before October, or hope the D-Backs win it.

  • Posts: 81 PhP54

    Avatar of PhP54

    Also, Oswalt did give up a ton of baserunners as stated, but few were hit hard, which is fine. Most were bloops not hit to anyone. Not great – but not awful. A lot of luck involved.

  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Agreed, Oswalt wasn’t crushed, which is why he gave up just 3 runs. But the Giants got a lot of wood on some pitches, which is cause for some concern. Again, he was rusty, but you hate to let a sweep slip away. That really would have buried the Giants.

  • Posts: 0 David

    Real bad 0-2 pitch to Stewart hurt. I don’t know how you can call Francisco’s ball smacked. That was a blooper that dropped. It was probably a bad move to use Mayberry as a pinch hitter for Oswalt. I would have used Francisco there. Then he could have pinch-hit Mayberry for Ibanez in the 8th inning although I have to say that in Philadelphia, Ibanez’s ball probably hits the wall or is out.

    It’s a concern how Lincecum has suddenly figured out Howard and that Utley has never had any success against Lincecum. Nevertheless, the Phillies did beat Matt Cain yesterday and came close to 2 shutouts. Pretty solid series.

  • Posts: 81 PhP54

    Avatar of PhP54

    @Pat – Agreed. I want to watch him 2-3 more outings and ESPECIALLY the outings at CBP. It was not that bad because we already won 3, so i was not a must win for us. It was for them though LOL. Good game for him to come back though. All the pressure was on them.

  • Posts: 81 PhP54

    Avatar of PhP54

    ^it not i. Sorry – spell check did not catch it.

  • Posts: 222 tavian

    Avatar of tavian

    I liked a lot of what I saw from Oswalt. His velocity was decent, but his breaking pitches were hard for him to control. Overall, I think it was a favorable start and I am glad he was thrown right into heavy competition. I think he will be sharper in his next outing.

  • Posts: 5530 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    I just finished watching a DV Recording of the game.

    Why in the world did Lincecum pitch out of the stretch the entire game? Has anyone ever seen him do that before? Did he do that last week at CBP? I don’t get to see a lot of west coast games. He never went into a windup once that I remember. I was so used to that wild and violent wind up, it was just weird to see, but effective nonetheless.

    Don’t kid yourselves, the Giants easily could have won Cain’s start too, if not for one passed ball. We are better against the rest of the league, but IMO head to head, these teams are pretty evenly matched.

    Seriously if anyone knows the answer to my questions, let me know, thanks.

    • Posts: 81 PhP54

      Avatar of PhP54

      Supposedly Lincicum pitched from the stretch because he walked Jimmy on 4 pitches from the windup. As soon as he went into the stretch, he go everyone out. Piles aside, that would be reason enough for me. Do what works.

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I think Lincecum had piles that were burning and itching and by pitching out of the stretch, the piles, while a nuisance, were much more tolerable. At least that’s my take on it.

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Don’t laugh. Piles affect many more athletes than you’d expect, especially those over age 25. Taking powerful thrusts with your legs can really aggravate this common problem. Ask George Brett, who was the only player in my lifetime who had the nerve to talk about it. If you do not believe me, as a professional trainer. These piles commonly affect athletes who use weights and strain a lot.

  • Posts: 222 tavian

    Avatar of tavian

    Thanks for the explanation, Bart. I’ve had this problem myself. You are right. Never gave it much thought before.

  • Posts: 0 Eric

    I hope that’s a joke when you say Francisco smacked a double, it was a bloop off end of bat that was misplayed by Rowand in left. At least Ben can say he got a hit in his last at bat as a Phillie (he will soon be playing in AAA)/

  • Posts: 0 Morris Buttermaker

    Last night, I was down in Baltimore for the Orioles game. And as I was driving home, I was listening to the O’s port game show. And Buck Showalter was talking about one of his young pitcher’s elbow. And he said, “The good lord did not design the body to throw 100 pitches every 5 days.” Or something to that effect. But seeing the comments about Lincecum pitching from the stretch, and Oswalt returning from injury made me think about that line. Pitching is an incredibly unnatural thing. There is a reason pitchers get a lot of freak injuries.

    Here’s hoping we left our Ben Francisco in San Francisco.

    I’ll take 3 out of 4 at their stadium, and 4-3 for the season series. But yea, I’m pulling for Arizona to steal that playoff spot.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Lefty my opinion is against most of the league we are better than Giants because of our better offense. Pitching is about even with a slight edge on our side. However you are correct that Cain game could of gone either way. Now when we face the Giants although we have the better offense we cant seem to figure out Timmy an then are advantage shrinks. I still believe we have a slight edge over them when comparing both teams overall. Howard has been almost useless against the Giants top starting pitchers. Timmy can strike him out sitting down on a stool milking a cow with his eyes closed. So against them i believe we still have an edge but it isnt much an the series can go any which way if he have to face them. We just dont match up well against them. The pending question is what will the Phils do if Polly goes down. Do you give it to double play Valdez or to AAAA Mini Mart. Or do you call up Orr if so who goes down? It will be hard for us to make any more quality acquisitions. If Orr gets the call then it will be wise to get him up here soon so he can have some at bats against MLB pitching.

  • Posts: 577 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    Is it really cause for concern about Oswalt tonight? First game back from the DL, I for one expected him to need to brush off some webs. He hasnt pitched to Major Leaguers in how long? Not to mention, he gave up 3 runs in 6 innings. Still a quality start. Can’t win them all. The cause for concern is the usual. Yet another 3 strikeout game. I am not saying I was walks, I just want to see him actually “put good wood on the ball”. I personally can accept a 0-4 night with 4 flyouts than 3 strikeouts as I believe most of you as well. I know the highs and lows, and I will NOT say he sucks like some, but for crying out loud, can someone bring him into the batting cage and throw him nothing but breaking balls until he learns to NOT swing at a breaking ball down and in. I am not sure how I feel about his dropping weight anymore. His RBI’s havent taken a hit, but it seems him Home Run definitely have. The good thing is his fieling has improved rather well over the years as his weight dropped. Its not like I say waive him now, or we will regret it, and I dont think there are really any others out there (which we can actually get) that I would want, but this is getting increasingly annoying. 6 strikeouts in 2 days. He is well on his way to shatter the K record which he already set.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    What really upset me last night is we do not run. Rollins on first had so many chances. Vic hit the groundball and Rollins out at second. Why can’t we be a little aggressive Howard was not hitting the freak

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