Tim Lincecum(notes) rebounded from his worst outing of the season with a performance more fitting of the NL’s reigning Cy Young Award winner, but he didn’t get much help from the San Francisco Giants’ inconsistent offense.
With the Atlanta Braves in town, Lincecum might not need a lot of support.
Lincecum looks to continue his dominance of the Atlanta Braves and get his first win in three weeks Tuesday night when the Giants continue their three-game series in San Francisco.
After giving up a season-high five runs and a career high-tying 10 hits in six innings of the Giants’ 8-6 loss to the New York Mets on May 15, Lincecum (3-1, 3.45 ERA) bounced back with seven strong innings at San Diego on Thursday. He held the Padres to one run and four hits while striking out 10, but the Giants (21-23) still fell 3-2.
That was part of a four-game losing streak for San Francisco, which totaled five runs during the skid.
While the Giants certainly want more production at the plate, they won’t need a huge day Tuesday if Lincecum’s history against Atlanta (23-21) is any indication. The right-hander, winless in three starts since a three-start winning streak from April 24-May 5, is 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four career starts against the Braves. He’s struck out 27 in 26 2-3 innings.
If Lincecum can’t continue his mastery of Atlanta, however, San Francisco could have insurance in Travis Ishikawa(notes). The first baseman was 4 for 4 with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored as the Giants took an 8-2 win in the series opener Monday.
Ishikawa, hitless in his previous three starts, is 9 for 18 with two home runs, six RBIs and five runs scored in five career games against Atlanta. San Francisco is 4-1 in those contests, and in the one loss, Ishikawa appeared as a pinch-hitter and had only one at-bat.
“It’s good to finally get that off my shoulders,” Ishikawa said. “My mindset’s probably different than most people’s because I’m not hitting a lot of home runs. Home runs are an overrated thing. … I can’t control the playing time. I’m still doing the same thing I’ve been doing all year.”
The Braves hope to bounce back from Monday’s loss and avoid their first series loss on the road since they dropped two of three at Washington from April 20-22. Atlanta is 8-4 away from home since then with series wins over Cincinnati, Florida, Philadelphia and the New York Mets.
Kris Medlen(notes) (0-1, 15.00) will start for Atlanta on Tuesday. The 23-year-old right-hander made his major league debut Thursday, giving up five runs in three innings of a 9-0 home loss to Colorado. He threw two wild pitches, hit a batter, balked once and walked five.
“I can’t explain it but whatever it was, it’s unacceptable,” said Medlen, who was 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA in eight games with Triple-A Gwinnett before his promotion. “I felt fine. I can’t explain what happened. … The wheels fell off.”