Five Cuts: Lincecum displays old school dominance in opener
SAN FRANCISCO --
This says it all about how dominating was Lincecum: the Braves tried to hit his pitches 55 times. They missed completely on 31 of them. Never before in a game had Lincecum recorded more than 21 strikes on swings and misses.
In the second inning alone, the Braves swung nine times and missed with all nine tries. It was as if Lincecum was throwing baseballs that disappeared -- changeups and sliders that dropped out of sight in the first half of the game, and fastballs later that were long gone before the barrel of a Brave's bat had a chance to meet them.
The 1-0 victory for Lincecum and San Francisco was a decidedly old school game thrown in the year pitchers seized back ground they had ceded over the previous decade and more. Giants manager
It was the greatest postseason game pitched since . . uh, the day before, when
The last pitcher to win a 1-0 postseason game with two hits allowed or less was
And that's it. Six 1-0 complete games with two hits or less in the postseason. How good was Lincecum? Freakish.
These great games by Cy Young winners never get old. So far, four of the six postseason games have been started by them. And let's just say they've all done Cy proud with some deadball-style pitching:
As resourceful as are the Braves, with their superb pitching and the kind of depth that has allowed them to withstand injuries, their defense is a leak at the bottom of their playoff boat that sinks them.
Division Series Game 1 was nothing new for the Braves. Defense has been an issue for them down the stretch.
It's a shame that the Rays, a fun team to watch who became the third team ever to hunt down and pass the Yankees in a September pennant race, have suffered an epic, ugly meltdown against Texas. They are whining at umpires, chasing pitches out of the strike zone and suffering from a manager hitting a run of rotten luck at the dice table.
In the fourth inning of Game 2,
The game blew up in the next inning. It began not with the check-swing call on
Maddon should never have started Shields in Game 2 if he is going to hook him that quickly. And if he is going to hook him, he's announcing he needs to shut the game down at that very moment, which means he has to use one of his better, late inning relievers.
Qualls served up a three-run jack to Young. Was that the umpire's fault, too?
What more can I tell you about the Twins playing the Yankees in October? The Twins led another postseason game against them, blew the lead and lost.
As long as the Twins repeat themselves, I might as well do likewise: Their pitchers don't have the stuff to hold back the New York hitters. In two games, Minnesota has thrown 305 pitches and managed to get the Yankees to swing and miss at only 31 of them. Their regular-season swing-and-miss rate of 14 percent is down to 10 percent against the Yankees.
Minnesota went down when manager