Lincecum sets strikeout record but loses game
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—After matching his shortest start of the year, Tim Lincecum was in no mood to discuss strikeout records or postseason honors. All he wanted to think about was his next—and final—start.
Lincecum had a rare bad outing, slipping in the Cy Young race as the Colorado Rockies rallied to beat the Giants’ young ace 9-4 on Tuesday night.
“To come out there throwing like that and leaving like I did, I don’t feel that’s me,” Lincecum said. “I feel like I should have given my team a better chance to win and if you’re going to take anything positive from the game, I guess that’s it.”
Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had four hits including a home run, and drove in three runs. Seth Smith homered and had three hits for the Rockies, who snapped a five-game road losing streak, winning on the road for the first time in September.
“Against a pitcher like that I’m just trying to get a hit,” Smith said. “When a guy throws that hard it can help you if you barrel it up. Home runs for me are mistakes; they will happen once in a while.”
Smith, one of the heroes of the Rockies run to the World Series last year, got a chance to start consecutive games for the first time since June.
“I haven’t established anything yet but getting a chance to play is fun,” he said. “Starting is what everybody wants to do.”
Ubaldo Jimenez (12-12) pitched six innings, giving up three runs and four hits with four walks and four strikeouts, to beat the Giants for the first time in five career starts. He won his third straight decision.
“I never thought I would have 12 wins after I started so badly,” Jimenez said. “I felt like my arm is ready but my body is a little tired.”
“It was a good offensive night to back up a strong pitching performance,” Rockies’ manager Clint Hurdle said. “We had some big at-bats when we needed them.”
Lincecum (17-5) struck out in 4 1-3 innings to set the San Francisco single-season record with 252 strikeouts. He also allowed six runs and five hits with five walks. His ERA jumped up to 2.66, a point higher than that of New York Mets ace Johan Santana. Lincecum lost his second straight after a six-game winning streak.
“This kid has been grinding hard,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He came off two complete games. That wears on you, and this is his first full year.”
Rich Aurilia was originally charged with a two-run error on Tulowitzki’s grounder in the fourth. The official scorer changed the decision after consulting with Giants’ players following the game.
The Giants announced they were appealing the change.
Lincecum, making a serious bid for the NL’s best pitcher award, has thrown a combined 709 pitches in his last six starts (an average of 118 per start). He’s scheduled to start Sunday’s season finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“That’s the last thing on my mind,” Lincecum said. “I’m stuck in the here and now, trying to give my team a chance to win—that’s big on my list. I want to make a bounce back from this. I’d hate to end a season like this.”
Lincecum allowed his 11th home run, Smith’s solo shot in the third, to drop him into a first place tie with Jimenez for fewest homers allowed among NL pitchers with at least 120 innings pitched.
Lincecum needs 15 strikeouts to match Christy Mathewson’s modern-day single-season record of 267. … Giants C Bengie Molina went 1-for-3 and has a six-game hitting streak. He’s 11-for-25 (.440) in that span. … Jimenez became the fifth Rockies’ RHP to win at least 12 games. … The Rockies have won five of the last seven games against the Giants.