“I’ve put myself in a big hole and I feel I’m finally crawling out of it. There’s still the crooked numbers but the innings outside of those, I feel better.” — Tim Lincecum, Tuesday night.
No, dude. You gave up four earned runs in six innings and took the loss. Yeah, you got some bad breaks along the way, but the crooked numbers COUNT — we’ve been saying this for a while now — and until you go out there and give us eight innings of one-run or shutout work, nobody should buy that you’re “finally crawling out of it.”
I’m not saying Lincecum won’t eventually “find it.” I have zero doubt that he will. But it HAS to be getting tired for Giants fans to hear about how close he is to turning the corner. In fact, a prominent Bay Area sports website’s headline after Lincecum’s Monday ho-hummer was “Corner Turned” — after a nonquality start!
Save it. Let’s start calling it as we see it. Lincecum is the fifth-best starter on the staff.
But guess what? That’s awesome! Tim Lincecum is your fifth-best starter! How great is your staff if that’s the case? Wow!
The good news: The Giants don’t need Lincecum to be his dominant self to win this division. They’re going to win it regardless. The recent power outage will end soon, and Tuesday likely taught Bochy to never EVER let Steve Edlefsen pitch in the ninth inning again. Not a fan. He’s the epitome of average.
Bottom line: The Los Angeles Dodgers have seen reality, and it’s 85 wins. The Giants have, too. It’s one hell of a rotation — not a bad No. 5 starter in Mr. Lincecum, remember? — and it’s an NL West title.
What’s up with Panda?
Pablo Sandoval is starting to strike me as an absolute knucklehead.
I interact with him on a regular basis and truly enjoy his company. Far as I can tell, he’s a good dude. And I want to give him the benefit of the doubt because I’m absolutely mesmerized by his talent; he’s the Charles Barkley of baseball, able to do things on a diamond that nobody his size should be able to do — a real freak of nature.
But good god, man. Have some pride. A great smile and bubbly personality don’t excuse a complete lack of professionalism when it comes to maintaining the physique of a big-league infielder. I thought we put this issue to bed in the winter of 2010-11, after manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean publicly mugged the Panda for being a fat-ass. Now Bochy’s back on the warpath, as well he should be. The Panda is a whale again, and if he doesn’t whip himself back into shape, the Giants are looking at an early exit from the playoffs. He’s that important.
And yes, the legal issue is related. What are you doing in Aptos at 4 a.m., Pablo? Consensual or not, it was flat-out stupid.
SPEED ROUND: If you don’t love that the Oklahoma City Thunder is in the NBA Finals, you don’t get basketball. Kevin Durant is everything a superstar athlete should be — humility at the top of the list — and the rest of the team follows his lead. Great stuff. … Welcome back, Yoenis Cespedes. The A’s were unwatchable without you. … Memo to the Warriors: If you can get Andre Iguodala, do it. Proven quantities trump prospects every day. … And finally, can someone PLEASE show up at Olympic Club this week dressed as a cellphone? Classic.
Mychael Urban, a frequent co-host of The Wheelhouse (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) on 95.7 FM The Game, can be followed on Twitter @BigUrbSports. His website is UrbsUnchained.com.