Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tim Lincecum 3.0 Shuts Down the Padres

Tim Lincecum had himself a game yesterday where he looked absolutely dominate. He went seven innings, striking out 13, walking none, and giving up only three hits. In his last start, the defense let him down. This start, he decided that the defense can't let you down if you get everyone out yourself.

This was Lincecum 3.0 at his best and quite possibly the best iteration yet. Lincecum 1.0 was the freak who won Cy Young #1 with a devastating fastball-curve ball combination. Lincecum 2.0 added a nasty change-up and added the second Cy Young award. Finally, there is Lincecum 3.0, which had some bugs to work out last season and the upgrade wasn't perfect (see his August numbers), but he has come back even stronger with another plus pitch, a hard slider, in addition to his other out pitches.

He faced 24 batters and less than half managed to put the ball in play on him, an impressive feat. He was also incredibly efficient with his pitches even while piling up strikeouts. He got through seven innings with just 105 pitches and had one inning that could be considered high stress where he went over 17 pitches thrown. He was getting Padres out very efficiently and quickly.

It is really a thing of beauty to watch and it isn't fair to the hitters. When Lincecum can throw 93-95 mph fastballs and then on top of that has his three secondary pitches working, there isn't a better pitcher in all of baseball to watch.

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