Maybe his first career no-hitter will do the trick at last."I think any time you throw that well, which he's been throwing the ball well even before that, should do a lot for his confidence," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's in a good place. His delivery and where he's at as far as confidence, I like where Timmy's at."
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner will pitch again Monday night for the Giants against the Cincinnati Reds , giving the home fans at AT&T Park a chance to cheer his July 13 no-hitter at San Diego that provided the first-half highlight for the reigning World Series champions.
Lincecum took some time to celebrate the latest special moment in what has become an up-and-down career, albeit not for long.
The right-hander returned to his hometown of Seattle during the All-Star break for some relaxation and time away, relishing that remarkable 148-pitch gem.
Now, he's sticking to his mantra of not getting too high or too low about a particular outing and moving on to the next with the same, steady approach. He'll be pitching on eight days rest Monday."I had my time to enjoy it and celebrate it with my family and friends. That time has passed and it's time to move on and get ready for my next start," Lincecum said.
Lincecum has increased his workload between starts, rediscovered his consistent delivery and found himself in a nice groove again - at last, a month after turning 29."I'm happy with the progress that I've made and the differences and the changes I've made to my preparation in between starts to kind of help put me in the situation I'm at," he said. "I'm not saying the no-hitter or anything like that, but with confidence going out there and with a lot more conviction in my pitches."
He is 5-9 with a 4.26 ERA in 19 starts for the Giants (45-52), but that history-making win against the Padres snapped a six-start winless stretch in which he went 0-4.
This is the same guy whose problems a year ago earned him a bullpen spot for the postseason rather than a familiar place in the rotation. He shined in the new role, though made it clear he planned to work back to the top form he exhibited at Petco Park."He threw a great game, but not just that, how tough he was - 148 pitches ain't easy," fellow pitcher Ryan Vogelsong said. "It should be a real good confidence booster for him going into the second half. That was an impressive outing, 148 pitches or not."
Lincecum is still looking for his first win against the Reds (55-43) in his fifth try after giving up three runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 3-0 loss at Cincinnati on July 2. He's 0-2 with a 6.85 ERA in the series.
Not that he is thinking about such statistics or any hype surrounding his no-no, the 15th in franchise history and No. 7 since the franchise moved West to San Francisco in 1958.
Getting back on track takes time, something he has stressed with each start and each positive step he makes."I knew this was going to be a process and it was going to take time," Lincecum said. "It just goes back to believing in yourself and believing in what that's going to take to get through it. I'm not saying that I'm through anything or trying to make it through anything. I'm just trying to get better every day, whether it's coming in here and studying more or making sure I'm on top of my relationship with my catcher and the things I want to try to do."
The Reds won their first two against Pittsburgh over the weekend before losing Sunday's finale 3-2, dropping their deficit to five games behind St. Louis in the NL Central and three behind the Pirates for the first wild card.
They have a 4 1/2-game lead for the second wild-card spot, but now hit the road for an 11-game trip. Cincinnati is 5-11 in its last 16 games away from Great American Ball Park.
Bronson Arroyo (8-7, 3.42) has a 4.98 ERA on the road, nearly double his 2.58 home mark, but he was outstanding in his latest start in enemy territory. The right-hander held Atlanta to three hits and a run over seven innings July 12 in a 4-2 win.
He's 6-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his last nine starts against NL opponents, and there might be no one manager Dusty Baker would rather turn to in this situation. The Reds are 8-0 in Arroyo's starts this season following a loss.
"I try not to pitch any different, but to be honest, sometimes there's an urgency to the mood in the clubhouse," Arroyo told the team's official website. "This game is very difficult and nobody can go out there and just say, 'I'm going to win the ballgame today.' So it's partly probably luck and a bit of trying to just really want to not let your ballteam slide downhill again."
Lincecum also will be trying to help his team bounce back from a loss after the Giants failed to complete a sweep of Arizona with Sunday's 3-1 loss.
Bochy knows Lincecum will be ready, even after the highest pitch count of his career."You enjoy it, you savor the great outings but you have to understand you put that behind you and you have to be ready to go the next day, whether you're a position player or a pitcher," Bochy said."If you have a rough outing, you've got to wash that one off."
|July 20, 2013||Derrick Robinson||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|July 10, 2013||Ryan Hanigan||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|June 29, 2013||Johnny Cueto||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|June 28, 2013||Johnny Cueto||Day-to-Day||Left game - tight right lat|
|June 14, 2013||Jonathan Broxton||15-Day DL||Right elbow flexor mass strain|
|June 01, 2013||Johnny Cueto||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|San Francisco Giants|
|July 21, 2013||Jeremy Affeldt||15-Day DL||Strained left groin|
|July 09, 2013||Hector Sanchez||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|July 08, 2013||Joaquin Arias||15-Day DL||Appendicitis|
|July 05, 2013||Andres Torres||Day-to-Day||Left game - right calf cramp|
|June 24, 2013||Joaquin Arias||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 21, 2013||Chad Gaudin||15-Day DL||Right elbow contusion|
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Bronson Arroyo 's latest impressive performance at AT&T Park brought back memories of his Game 2 win in the playoffs last fall.
Arroyo tossed a seven-hitter for his sixth career shutout, beating Tim Lincecum and the Giants 11-0 Monday night for his first regular-season victory in San Francisco and No. 100 with the Cincinnati Reds .
Arroyo (9-7) struck out six and didn't walk a batter in his 15th career complete game, a 108-pitch gem that ended in 2 hours, 45 minutes. He had run support, and then some.
"Guys just kept hitting," he said. "I didn't know how many hits we had and I looked up in the ninth and it was 17 hits. That's unbelievable."
Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo homered in the second inning off Lincecum, pitching for the first time since his no-hitter at San Diego.
Jay Bruce also hit a solo homer, Todd Frazier added a three-run double and Derrick Robinson , a late addition to the lineup, had three hits. The Reds finished with nine extra-base hits.
"I couldn't have ordered it up any better than that," manager Dusty Baker said.
Robinson also provided the defensive highlight. Jeff Francoeur 's two-out fly to center in the ninth appeared destined for the other side of the fence, and even Arroyo thought his shutout was gone. Robinson instead made a leaping grab after the ball initially popped out of his glove.
Lincecum (5-10) was roughed up in his first start since throwing his first career no-hitter in a 148-pitch performance July 13.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner received a rousing ovation during pregame introductions, then immediately struggled while pitching on eight days' rest after tossing the 15th no-hitter in franchise history and seventh since the club moved West in 1958.
The Giants were handed their most lopsided shutout loss since getting beaten 11-0 by Arizona on Aug. 27, 2009.
"Honestly, it's a little bit embarrassing," first baseman Brandon Belt said. "It's something we definitely want to change. We can stop it right now and go out and win a couple of ballgames and be right back in it."
Cincinnati denied Bruce Bochy his 1,500th career victory as a manager. He is trying to become the 21st skipper to reach the milestone. Detroit's Jim Leyland and Baker are the only active managers with more victories.
Lincecum matched his career high by allowing three home runs, the third time he's done it. He was tagged for a career-high eight earned runs and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings, hardly the way the right-hander wanted to come out after his gem at Petco Park.
"They didn't miss any mistakes off him," Bochy said. "I do think the first inning took a toll on him. You're so close to getting out of it and I'm sure that was deflating for him."
Cincinnati opened an 11-game West Coast trip that takes the Reds to all three California NL West cities with an emphatic win against the defending World Series champions. San Francisco rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the NL division series last fall to stun the Reds - becoming the first team in major league history to rally from three games down in a best-of-five series with three straight road wins.
"I said yesterday, the times we have slid downhill out here on the West Coast, it's because we've gotten off to a bad start," Arroyo said. "It was important for us to get off good today, and this is about as good as you can get. Saved the bullpen a bit, those guys have been working hard over the last three games, and the bats came alive as good as they have all year."
The teams will play a traditional doubleheader Tuesday in which the Reds will wear their Sunday home uniforms - white pants with red tops - as the visiting team and bat last in the nightcap, a makeup for a July 4 rainout at Great American Ball Park.
Choo began the game with a double and Robinson followed with a bunt single, then Frazier doubled three batters later. After Mesoraco led off the second with a homer and Choo connected two batters later, Bruce hit his team-leading 20th clout in the third.
San Francisco is winless in four games against the Reds this season, getting outscored 25-3.
NOTES: Lincecum has allowed 16 runs in the first inning this year. ... The Giants will call up LHP Eric Surkamp to pitch Tuesday's opener, his first start in the big leagues since Sept. 28, 2011, after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He is from Cincinnati. ... Baker improved to 17-14 as a visiting manager at AT&T Park (7-6 with the Cubs, 10-8 for the Reds). He departed as Giants skipper following an NL pennant in 2002. ... The Reds lead the majors with 11 wins on Mondays. ... Giants RHP Ryan Vogelsong , who begins a rehab assignment Tuesday in the Arizona Rookie League after breaking bones in his right pinkie on May 20, turned 36. ... San Francisco reliever George Kontos threw a career-high 63 pitches in 3 1-3 innings.