Let Timmy throw smoke; Giant pitcher signs 2 yr $35 M deal

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary

SAN FRANCISCO–Speculation at the end of last season was that Giants ace pitcher Tim Lincecum was going to leave the Giants and shop other markets like his hometown Seattle and sign with the Mariners. Tuesday Lincecum signed a two year deal worth $35 million that runs through the 2015 season with the Giants.

Lincecum 29 reflected about all the things he went through as a Giant and that pretty much was the deal breaker, “I’ve been one of the most fortunate pitchers in this organization just to be part of many things, it was pretty special just to be in that kind of situation today, you kind of really see what’s going on and the emotions that are tied with it, I’m trying to figure out how to handle it” said Lincecum.

Lincecum is a twice winner of the National League Cy Young Award for two years straight in 2008 and 2009, Lincecum despite his struggles from last season finished at 10-14 was well sought after by the club and wanted to stay in San Francisco he was in awe of playing with former teammates, pitcher Randy Johnson and outfielder Barry Bonds, and current star teammates Pablo “the Panda” Sandoval and Buster Posey. He said with those memories and two World’s Championships from 2010 and 2012 it was very hard to walk away from San Francisco.

2013 World Series: The St.Louis Cardinals are in Boston for game one of the World Series, Adam Wainwright (21-10) starts for St.Louis and Jon Lester gets the call for the Sox (17-9) on Wednesday night. This is the fourth time in franchise history that these two teams match up in the World Series since 1946, 1967, 2004 and here we are again.

These are two great franchises St.Louis has won 11 World Series titles only second to the New York Yankees who have won more and this will be one interesting series and I can predict that this one will go a long way six to seven games and I don’t really have any winner in this one that both teams are so evenly matched that I really don’t have a choice in this fight.

Although I worked with in the American League with the Oakland A’s in radio and the Angels in Anaheim for TV it’s just hard to pick a winner both teams can win it’s not going to be a zero-zero match there’s going to be loser and a winner but their both winners, they already have rings already people forget when you make it to the World Series you already have a ring.

Looking back on Jimmy Leyland: Leyland was a class act and I’m glad that he retired and he’s leaving the Detroit Tigers and in a way I feel for him and I watched him in his press conference the other day some reporter asked Leyland “why did your team lose?” Come on this guy has been around 50 years in baseball here’s a 22 year old kid asking why did your team lose, it’s because the other team played better it’s baseball.

So it’s getting to him, he’s 69 let him enjoy life outside the media and the game and from baseball travel and wearing the uniform each day and answering these stupid questions and he deserves it and he could be a Hall of Famer. He won a World Series with the Marlins in 1997, he won a bunch of pennants, he’s well regarded with over 1700 wins, he’s managed for four teams, the Pirates, the Marlins, the Rockies, and now the Tigers.

So I’m glad he retired and I wish him nothing but the best he’s a classy old school manager. I can appreciate what he does and the traveling is overrated you go out many times to a town like Cincinnati in the summer it’s 100 degrees outside there’s nothing to do you stay in your room with your shirt off and the A/C on. It’s overrated and he already had a great career I congratulate him and I exactly understand what he is saying and wish him nothing but the best in retirement.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for the A’s, TV Spanish voice for Angels baseball and does News and Commentary each week for Sportstalk Radio

Lincecum exits with a win over the Dodgers

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By Morris Phillips

Tim Lincecum wanted to end his 2013 season—and possibly his career with the Giants—in style.  Fans of the Giants and Dodgers—weary of senseless violence– wanted peace.  And apparently, Brian Wilson wants his World Series ring after all.

To say Thursday night was a busy one on the shores of McCovey Covey would be an under statement.

Lincecum arrived in San Francisco in 2007- the final year of Barry Bonds as a Giant—and went on to win two Cy Young awards, two World titles and throw a no-hitter.  Now 29 and not nearly the pitcher and player he was a few years back, Lincecum enters the off-season as a free agent.  But if Thursday was his final act as a Giant, LIncecum made sure he leaves a winner, as the Giants squeezed past the Dodgers, 3-2.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen, but I was very happy with what he did tonight,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Lincecum.

While both sides have said all the conciliatory things, Lincecum may not be back.  The Giants will have bigger off-season priorities then resigning the Freak, and Lincecum will command offers to be a starter for other teams even as his skill set has eroded prior to him turning 30.  Given that, the fans in attendance brought signs and cheers of encouragement while Lincecum departed after seven innings pitched by giving the crowd a polite bow.

“That ovation was pretty special and I’ve always had an awkward way of acknowledging that,” Lincecum said.  “But I do have an appreciation and respect for the way they’ve received me.”

Lincecum cooled the Dodgers’ lineup during his stint, allowing single runs in the first and fourth inning and leaving with the game tied after the Giants rallied for a pair of runs in the fifth.  Angel Pagan’s drive to left in the eighth inning just barely cleared the wall and marked the difference in a hard fought game between the California rivals.

Prior to the evening’s first pitch the crowd stood in a moment of silence for Jonathan Denver, who attended Wednesday’s game and was stabbed to death after the game in a confrontation between Giants and Dodgers’ supporters near the ballpark after the game’s conclusion.

Arrests have already been made in connection to Denver’s death, but the violence between fans of both clubs again marred the rivalry as it did when Bryan Stow was severely injured outside Dodgers Stadium in 2011.  The moment of silence on Thursday was an eery reminder of that incident and also an indication that much work is to be done to move beyond the violence.

After the game’s final pitch, former Giant Brian Wilson ran across the field and confronted Giants CEO Larry Baer apparently over the delivery of his World Series ring from 2012. According to the Giants, they had approached Wilson a couple of times to arrange and schedule the gift of his ring but were rebuffed both times.   In the bizarre confrontation, Wilson was seen to be yelling while Baer stood befuddled.

The awkward solution?  Wilson’s ring was delivered to the Dodgers’ clubhouse soon after the confrontation without any fanfare.

The Giants take on the Padres in their final series of 2013 with San Diego’s Burch Smith facing San Francisco’s Ryan Vogelsong in the opener at 7:15pm.Image

Giants still pushing for respectability, win second straight

By Morris Phillips

No World Series champion has finished last in its division the following season since the 1998 Marlins were stuck with the dubious distinction winning just 54 games and finishing last in the NL East.

The 2013 Giants don’t want that jacket—especially since they originally had designs on defending their title unlike those Marlins who sold off all their high-priced pieces after winning it all in 1997.

On Monday, the Giants were officially eliminated from winning the NL West but that didn’t prevent them from earning a hard fought victory over the Rockies when Brandon Belt knocked in the game-winning run in the 10th inning.

Belt knocked in the game-tying run in the eighth prior to winning it in the 10th. Since August 1, Belt’s done the opposite of dialing it in, hitting .354 with 16 runs batted in, while adhering to the hitting adjustments suggested by hitting coach Hensley Muelens.

“I don’t think I’ve looked at the standings in a while. But we still care about ourselves,” Belt said. “We have some goals in mind and want to finish the season strong.”

“That’s what you want to see from your young players: improvement and adjustments,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Belt. “And he’s done that, he’s a different hitter now than he was earlier in the season.”

The Giants evened their season record at home at 37-37 with eight games remaining. The win also gave the team consecutive one-run victories for the first time since May 5, when they completed a three-game run of one-run wins. Overall, the team has captured nine of their last 16 contests.

Tim Lincecum pitched into the eighth inning, but that was only good enough and long enough to get him off the hook for the loss. Still, the Freak pitched well, after allowing six hits and two runs in the first three innings. As the game went along, Lincecum began locating pitches and relying heavily on his changeup which was effective in retiring Rockies’ batters.

“We got a couple runs early, but he shut us down after that,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said of Lincecum.

Lincecum win-loss record remains an unsightly 9-13 but he won three consecutive starts prior to Monday’s no-decision, his best run of success since April 2010. Is Timmy in the Giants’ plans for 2014 even with his declining velocity and spotty results? It remains to be seen, but it appears Lincecum is still stating his case, which in itself is a good sign.

In terms of statistics, Timmy’s done some good: 178 innings pitched with 175 strikeouts, which ranks him in the top 15 in the National League. But he’s also done some bad: his 70 walks are among the highest totals in the National League and he’s surrendered 19 home runs in 29 starts.

And what of the Giants trying to stay out of the cellar? Monday’s win brought the team within a ½ game of the Rockies and one game of the Padres, who are in third place in the division. Ironically, the Giants’ 36-28 record within the NL West is the best of the bunch, but the team has had 15 other opponents (excluding the Yankees, who they will see for the first time on September 20) whom they haven’t done well against (28-51).

Overall, a mixed bag for the Champs, but a bag they still seem interested in trying to organize, which is admirable.

On Tuesday, the Giants turn to Ryan Vogelsong who will be opposed by Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa.

Lincecum defangs Diamondbacks

By Jeremy Kahn

August 30, 2013

PHOENIX-Tim Lincecum is a free agent at the end of the 2013 season, but if he pitches the rest of the way like his two last starts, he should be wearing Orange and Black next season.

Lincecum went seven innings, allowing zero runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out two on his way to his second consecutive win and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 before a crowd of 24,380 at Chase Field.

“Best I have had felt out there in a while,” said Lincecum, who threw 99 pitches on the evening.

The win was also special for Giants centerfielder Angel Pagan, who made his return to a major league diamond for the first time since May 25, when hit a walk-off two-run inside-the-park home run at AT&T Park against the Colorado Rockies.

In his first major league at-bat in 82 games, Pagan hit a double off of Diamondbacks starter Randall Delgado and then scored the only Giants run that they would need, as Brandon Belt hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Pagan from third base in the top of the first inning.

“I was going, I was going to challenge (A.J. Pollock),” said Pagan.

Despite taking the loss, Delgado pitched an admirable game, as he went seven innings, allowing one runs on just three hits, walking two and striking out three; however he saw his record fall to 4-5 on the season.

Paul Goldschmidt, who entered the game with a .529 clip in his career versus Lincecum was retired in his first at-bats, but finally got to Lincecum, as he hit a single in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Following the Goldschmidt single, Martin Prado hit a single that sent Goldschmidt and immediately following the Prado single, Aaron Hill walked to load the bases.

After going 1-for-3 on the night, Goldschmidt is still hitting at .an .500 clip, as he is now 10-for-20 in his career versus the two-time Cy Young Award Winner.

Lincecum then struck out Miguel Montero on three consecutive pitches, and Pablo Sandoval saved the shutout, as he dove for an A.J. Pollock hit down the left field line, got up and threw to Belt for the final out of the inning.

“Ball down the line, looking at a crooked number,” said Bruce Bochy, “that was how we won the game.”

Marco Scutaro made an amazing play at second base, as Goldschmidt was running on the pitch, Scutaro was covering second and a ball hit by Prado was snared by Scutaro, who tagged second and threw to first to complete the double play.

Sandoval was forced to leave the game after being hit on the knee by a Brad Ziegler pitch in the top of the ninth inning and was replaced by Joaquin Arias at third base.

Sergio Romo came on in the bottom of the ninth inning, and shut the Diamondbacks down to pickup his 33rd save of the season.

Romo extends two different streaks at Chase Field, as he now completes 20.0-consecutive scoreless innings, tied for the second longest streak all-time by a visiting pitcher in the history of the ballpark (according to Stats LLC).

Also, Romo completed his 23rd consecutive inning of scoreless appearances at Chase Field, the longest such by any visiting pitcher at any ballpark since 1921 (according to Stats LLC).

NOTES: Ryan Vogelsong will take the ball in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday afternoon, while former Oakland A’s starter Trevor Cahill will toe the rubber for Kirk Gibson’s Diamondbacks.

Former Diamondbacks pitcher Yusmeiro Petit will face his former team on Sunday, while 13-game winner Patrick Corbin will head to the mound for the Diamondbacks.

To make room for Pagan, Francisco Peguero was optioned to Fresno and Andres Torres was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list after having surgery on his left Achilles.

With the victory, the Giants are now 5-10 following an off day this season, their first win after an off day since Chad Gaudin defeated the Diamondbacks on July 19 at AT&T Park.

The Giants have raised their record versus the National League West to 31-24, the best out of any team in the division.

When the game began at 6:40 (local time) it was a balmy 91 degrees outside of the ballpark, but a cool 78 degrees inside.