When the Braves failed to get Omar Infante home after a leadoff double in the first, they lost the best scoring chance they would have all night. Tim Lincecum was nothing short of spectacular and was aided by the Braves’ lineup swinging at terrible pitches all game. “The Freak” used his fastball to get ahead in counts then went to his slider/changeup for the kill and recorded fourteen strikeouts en route to a complete game shutout.
Unfortunately, Lincecum’s masterpiece will overshadow the gutsy performance turned in by Derek Lowe. In 5.1 innings pitched Lowe recorded nine groundball outs to just one fly ball while striking out six. The only run he surrendered was aided by what turned out to be a devastating blown call. Replays showed that Buster Posey was clearly tagged out while attempting to steal second base in the fourth inning, but the second base umpire called him safe (TBS announcer Bob Brenly suggested he was out of position). Later that inning former Marlin Cody Ross hit a grounder that went right under Omar Infante’s glove scoring Posey from second. It would be the only run either team scored all night.
From a managerial standpoint, Bobby utilized the bullpen brilliantly. He relieved Derek Lowe in the sixth with Johnny Venters who came in and immediately got the double play ball that was needed. Bobby also went righty (Moylan), lefty (Dunn), righty (Kimbrel) in the eight inning in order to try and keep the deficit at one run.
To be fair this game happened like it was supposed to on paper. Our injury plagued lineup simply isn’t very good, and it was going up against one of the game’s best tonight. However, that is no excuse for our hitters’ collective lack of patience at the plate. Derrek Lee and Brian McCann, two of our offensive veterans, both struck out swinging on pitches that would have been ball four in the first inning. Likewise, Heyward did the same thing in the ninth inning on a pitch that wasn’t even close. Unfortunately, pretty much everyone, with the exception of Infante, did a lot of swinging and missing tonight.
Tonight’s game is about as must win as it gets. Hanson will need to follow in Lowe’s footsteps if we have any chance to steal a win, because I am not expecting much out of our lineup, especially against Cain.
Tags: Derek Lowe, NLDS, Paul Emmel Sucks, playoffs, San Francisco Giants, Tim Lincecum
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