Baseball is weird sometimes.
In the first inning it looked like another disaster Lincecum start. Way too many pitches, three runs, and no defense or run support behind him. Exactly the kind of situation that seems to have been getting into his head and leading to five or six runs, a worn down bullpen, and yet another loss on a “Happy Lincecum Day”*. But then something magical happened. Lincecum struck out the side after he gave up those three runs in the bottom of the first, and then Ryan Vogelsong patted his back and gave him some sort of words of advice. It’s possible he healed some unknown injury magically through the laying on of hands or something, I just know it worked, okay? Don’t ruin my dream.
After that, it was a fairly late 2010 vintage win, really. The bullpen shut it down and the offense got it together in entertaining fashion juuuust about the time you started to wonder if it was going to happen.
I’m not going to declare Lincecum “back” or anything, baseball gods know that that’s backfired so far, but it was a definite step in the right direction. The one bad inning didn’t ruin him, he was able to pitch with runners on base without it turning into a disaster, and I think most importantly, he dug deep when he had to and showed some of the fight that we had come to expect out of him. Things could still go horribly wrong five days from now, but for the time being, I’m hopeful. Cautious, but hopeful.
That Brandon Belt guy did some stuff too, and Pablo skipped around after he blew through a stop sign Tim Flannery put up, George Kontos got the Giants out of a jam like a boss, and ya know. Baseball. It’s pretty neat.
*I kind of hate “Happy Lincecum Day”, for the record. Not because I have anything against, Lincecum, I absolutely don’t and don’t see how any Giants fans could in the grand scheme of things, but because it seems so shortsighted to act like a Lincecum start is somehow inherently more special than, say, a Matt Cain or a Ryan Vogelsong or a Madison Bumgarner start. There was probably a time it was cause for special celebration, but that’s been a long time ago now.