Thursday, May 20, 2010
No Sheltering Sky
Ah, Runzler. I'm becoming less and less of a fan with each passing game. Yeah, his stuff is nasty, but I've gotta say I'm pretty tired of watching him come in and immediately walk two guys to put himself in trouble, then leave the game so some other poor bullpen sap can wobble his way out of the mess. When Bochy left Runzler in to start the seventh instead of bringing in Jeremy Affeldt, I'm sure everybody could have predicted it'd be bad times.
Couple the bullpen meltdown with the fact that the ninth inning degenerated into one big bitchfest between home plate umpire Mark Wegner and the Giants bench, and this was a pretty brutal game to endure. As opposed to laundry list of nightmare games in Coors Field, the Giants have historically had better luck winning slugfests in the Chase Field bandbox, so I had a better feeling about pulling this one out. Nope. Between this game and the sight of Todd Wellemeyer and Brandon Medders giving the first game away, it was a bad short series under the desert sky. Yes, we need new dreams tonight.
Glossing over the late-game gag reel that sent the Giants to their undoing, I think we should ask why Tim Lincecum has suddenly lost his control. He's now walked ten batters in his last two games, and tonight he hit the 100 pitch mark in just the fifth inning. It's one thing to work carefully to a good Dbacks lineup in a hellish ballpark to pitch in. It's another to walk five Astros when the team is sporting a collective .277 OBP (I wish I were kidding).
Is Timmy fatigued? Don't say that word around the pitch count nazis. They'll cut you a good one. I'm thinking it's just a case of midseason small sample fooferah. Every pitcher has a stretch where they aren't sharp. Remember when we were ready to sing songs of the looming Apocalypse after Lincecum's first two starts last year?