After much hand wringing, and hemming and hawing and whatever else one does when trying to make a difficult decision, Bruce Bochy elected to go with Barry Zito as the San Francisco Giant’s game four NLDS starter in Cincinnati. Shockingly, things were tense. Balls were thrown outside of the strike zone, batters walked, some runs scored. Despite holding a one-run lead in the baseball contest, the Giants, and their fans, were understandably nervous. Things probably didn’t get much better when the enigmatic Tim Lincecum arrived in relief during the fourth inning with two outs and two Reds runners on base.
Lincecum struck out Ryan Ludwick swinging. And then, five more batters over the next four innings. These things happened. I’m no proctologist, but I’m pretty sure that Tim Lincecum was pitching with hate in his little, gangly, freakish heart. It’s been a rough season, to say the least. The two-time Cy Young winner has gone from the top of the mountain to the … bottom of the mountain. Like maybe he fell or got tired and turned back or something. The point is he used to be elite, in the conversation for best pitcher in the game, and this season, he very well may have been the worst. That’s crazy. Crazy, I tell you!
And so Lincecum entered the game as a reliever and he pitched very well. The hate, the frustration, the indignity and injustice propelled him forward. That, and all that natural talent he has in his body and all the hard work he’s put in to hone that talent at the highest level in the world. But mostly the hate and the emotions and stuff I’m sure. I was happy for him. It sure seems like were the Giants to advance to the next round of the playoffs, Lincecum would start a game in that series. Which is cool.
In a silly little twist of fate, Lincecum was credited with the Win (W) after the game. Zeets McGeets didn’t pitch long enough to officially qualify, and so it was up to the official scorer, who no doubt had a reputation to maintain, to decide who was the most deserving pitcher. It might mean just about nothing, but I’m sure the designation wasn’t lost on Timmy. I’m sure it felt something like validation. And it will be funny to remember some day when people discuss Lincecum’s postseason win total.We’ll all be like, hey, ha ha, remember that one time when he was a reliever and got that win against the Reds? Yeah? That was weird.