Lincecum wins final 2009 start
Aurilia played his final game as a Giant and could retire. The Big Unit might have thrown his final pitch in a decorated 22-year career.
Lincecum struck out seven in his last start of the season, Andres Torres(notes) homered and hit an RBI triple and the San Francisco Giants finished their home schedule with a 7-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.
“Definitely for Richie, you could tell it was going to be a big thing for him,” Lincecum said. “I walked off the mound and he said, ‘It’s been a pleasure for me just watching you.”’
Giants manager Bruce Bochy hopes Lincecum gets consideration for a second straight NL Cy Young Award despite a relatively low win total. The hard-throwing right-hander finished the year with 261 strikeouts, four fewer than last year.
San Francisco was eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday night, but plenty of fans came out to see Lincecum’s last outing and to say a likely goodbye to Aurilia, the popular infielder—and the last remaining member of the Giants’ 2002 NL pennant-winning team. Aurilia isn’t likely to return next year, and neither is outfielder Randy Winn(notes).
“I’ve known this day was coming for a while,” said Aurilia, who dealt with the death of his father this season. “I was kind of emotional out there today. I did have some tears in my eyes. … It’s a really great day for me and I can’t thank the organization enough.”
Aurilia received a rousing standing ovation each time he came to the plate and he tipped his helmet before stepping in against Haren (14-10) in the second. Fans chanted “Richie! Richie!” when he batted in the eighth. He flied out to center, then came out for a curtain call, waving and saluting the crowd. Aurilia spent 12 seasons with the Giants, first from 1995-2003 then again the past three.
“The first (ovation) was a little uncomfortable, the first at-bat, but I’m thankful that Boch put me in there today and let me have day like that,” Aurilia said. “Because that’s something you never forget as a player.”
Lincecum left to a standing ovation with none out and two on in the top of the eighth. He tipped his cap before disappearing into the dugout.
Johnson got his due, too. The 46-year-old Big Unit, a 303-game winner whose shoulder injury forced him into a reliever role, emerged from the bullpen to pitch the ninth.
Lincecum had allowed only a fifth-inning single to Chad Tracy(notes) before Gerardo Parra’s(notes) base hit to start the eighth. After a walk to Tracy, Bochy turned to reliever Bob Howry(notes). Stephen Drew(notes) later drove in Arizona’s first run on an RBI single off Dan Runzler(notes), who then gave up Justin Upton’s(notes) two-run single.
Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. were ejected in the bottom of the fourth.
Stottlemyre visited the mound to talk to Haren after a walk to John Bowker(notes). Plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt went out to break up the meeting, apparently thinking it had gone on long enough. Stottlemyre began arguing and followed Wendelstedt back to home plate before being tossed.
Hinch rushed out to argue and yelled for several minutes. He was ejected for the third time this season.
It was the first career ejection for Stottlemyre. Crew chief Dana DeMuth said after the game both were warned several times before being ejected.
“It was just the one inning,” Haren said. “I’ve been struggling the last few times out. I get into a jam and I can’t get out.”
Haren struck out the side in order in the third, but didn’t have any other clean innings. He struck out seven and walked one in six innings, allowing nine hits for the second straight start.
NOTES: San Francisco won the season series 13-5, beating Arizona at AT&T Park for the 10th time in the last 12 meetings. … Giants INF Juan Uribe(notes) had the day off to rest his tight shoulder. … The Giants drew 2,861,113 this season, the second straight year they missed the 3 million mark after reaching that number in the waterfront ballpark’s first eight years of existence. … Hinch hopes to get 70-80 pitches from Saturday pitcher Daniel Cabrera(notes) in a spot start. Cabrera’s most so far this year with Arizona has been 50. … San Francisco last won 50 or more games at home in 2003—their last playoff year.