Lincecum leads Giants past Padres
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—One of these days Tim Lincecum believes he’ll pitch a complete game. For now, the San Francisco right-hander will settle for leading the major leagues in strikeouts.
Lincecum pitched eight dominant innings and struck out eight to become the first pitcher in the major leagues to reach 200 this season in the Giants’ 5-0 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
“It’s great to get there,” Lincecum said. “I’ve never had that many strikeouts in any season. It’s cool. Everything was going well, everything felt good.”
Lincecum (14-3) gave up four hits while becoming the ninth pitcher in franchise history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season and the first since Jason Schmidt had 251 in 2004.
The Giants haven’t had a pitcher lead the National League in strikeouts since Bill Voiselle (161) in 1944. Currently, only Milwaukee’s CC Sabathia (192) is close to Lincecum’s total.
“That’s quite a milestone for the kid,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “At this stage of the season to have 200 strikeouts, that tells you what incredible stuff he has. What’s been impressive is how he’s emerged as a pitcher, too. He can throw any pitch any time.”
Lincecum walked three and didn’t allow a runner to reach third. Two of the walks came with two outs in the eighth but Lincecum got Adrian Gonzalez to fly out to end the inning.
In five starts against the Padres this season, Lincecum has given up only three runs.
“He just doesn’t miss very often over the plate and when he does it’s going 95 (mph),” San Diego’s Jody Gerut said after going 0-for-4. “It’s different to have success against him. You basically have to wait for him to make a mistake.”
Keiichi Yabu worked a perfect ninth to complete the shutout for San Francisco, which improved to 3-1 on its nine-game homestand.
Cha Seung Baek (4-8) pitched well except for the fifth inning when the Giants scored all their runs. Baek had a career-high eight strikeouts but lost on the road for the first time this year.
Emmanuel Burriss singled leading off the San Francisco fourth and took third when Fred Lewis hit a bloop double that got Gerut in center field. Molina followed with a two-run double to the gap in left-center. Three batters later, Ishikawa hit a first-pitch homer to make it 5-0.
“(Baek) pitched a solid game but they didn’t miss a mistake in the fourth inning,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “Bengie hit it well and the home run was the death blow.”
The five-run fourth was more than enough for Lincecum, who hadn’t been given more than four runs of support since June 3 when the Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 8-3.
Lincecum pitched ahead in the count most of the game while limiting San Diego to two hits over the first five innings.
Lincecum also continued his dominance of Gonzalez, San Diego’s home run leader who struck out three times in four at-bats. Gonzalez has only three hits in 20 career at-bats against Lincecum with eight strikeouts.
San Francisco’s young ace, who has yet to pitch a complete game in the majors, shrugged off being pulled after throwing 115 pitches.
“I would have been OK with going out there but there are other guys for that situation,” Lincecum said. “They don’t need to throw me out there if they don’t want to. I’d love to get a complete game in there. But if I don’t I’m still just trying to do my job and give them what I can while I’m out there.”
San Francisco SS Omar Vizquel was in the starting lineup for only the fifth time in the last 21 games. Vizquel went 0-for-3 and his average dropped to .181. … The Padres optioned IF Brian Myrow to the minors to make room for RHP Dirk Hayhurst, who the team plans to call up from Triple-A Portland and start Saturday. Hayhurst, who was 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA for Portland, will fill the hole in San Diego’s rotation left when Greg Maddux was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. … Padres RHP Chris Young, on the DL with a strained right forearm, will throw on the side before Saturday’s game.