Wed Jul 21 12:03pm EDT
As our own Tim Brown already detailed, the Giants win over the Dodgers on Tuesday was a wacky one for the ages with Don Mattingly's ninth inning do-si-do with Jonathan Broxton(notes) putting a memorable cap on the heated rivalry proceedings in Los Angeles.
But lost in that crazy coda was the night of San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum(notes), who posted one of his worst starts of the season while almost sparking a scrum with Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp(notes) after hitting him with a pitch. He also tried delivering a ball to Casey Blake(notes) before it slipped out of his hand mid-windup and flew straight to the sky in "Beam me up, Timmy!" fashion.
I particularly like the fourth and fifth screencaps in that sequence — "Uh, which way did it go, Buster? Which way did it go?" — and judging from The Freak's sheepish look in the top picture, he saw a bit of humor in the freakish pitch, too.
"It just kind of fell out of my hand. I had it happen in spring training, too. I didn't find a rhythm, wasn't throwing enough strikes, wasn't throwing pitches where I needed to or even wanted to, which was frustrating."
Dodgers announcer Vin Scully had a funny description of the pitch right after it happened:
"Casey Blake didn't quite know what to do with it," Scully said. "It certainly wasn't on purpose. It was like trying to throw a wet bar of soap."
Though the unintentional-eephus pitch drew a lot of attention during the game, most of the questions Lincecum received after it were about the hit-by-pitch he caught Kemp with in the fifth.
Tiny Tim didn't cite Ivory Spring as the culprit, but he did choose to use the "it was an accident" line — even though it came just one pitch after he brushed Kemp off the plate.
[Photos: See more of Giants ace Tim Lincecum]
"It just got away from me," Lincecum said. "I wasn't throwing at him on purpose at all. I had a hard enough time finding the strike zone, let alone wanting to hit somebody on purpose when we're down a run."
Though Lincecum might be twisting the truth there a bit, he wasn't lying about his control problems. Seven of his first eight pitches on the night were balls and he lasted just 4 2/3 innings — tied for his shortest outing of the season — after allowing five runs and three walks to the Dodgers.
Lincecum didn't pitch in last week's All-Star game and his complete-game domination of the Mets last Thursday suggested he might have escaped the post-Midsummer Classic hangover that has affected guys like Roy Halladay(notes), David Price(notes), Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) and Phil Hughes(notes).
But after an appearance with diminished fastball velocity and an inability to keep pitches down — heh — perhaps Lincecum was able to go a week before showing any symptoms.