‘Happy Lincecum Day!” That’s what Giants fans used to say to each other, whether they knew each other or not, as they’d pass on Market Street.
The occasion, of course, would be Tim Lincecum’s scheduled start.
These days, the day on which Lincecum pitches is not so happy. In fact, it’s filled with trepidation. That’s how far Lincecum has fallen in two short months.
And it’s ridiculous.
It’s gotten so ridiculous that after Lincecum held the defending champions of the National League West, the Arizona Diamondbacks, to a single earned run over seven innings this week, most media outlets characterized his performance as merely decent.
So baseball at large has told us that six innings and three earned runs is a “quality” start, but because Lincecum walked five on the way to seven and one, what he put together against the Snakes was just OK.
Tell you what: If the Giants had scored five runs and Lincecum had gotten a W instead of an L, pretty much everyone would be singing his praises and proclaiming him close to being “back.”
But he didn’t get a W. The Giants didn’t score for him — shades of 2011. He took the L. So his outing was ho-hum.
No. His outing was something about which every Giants fan should be stoked.
Five walks? Big deal. One was intentional, and two were pitch-around walks. Could his command have been better? Sure. But when he needed to make a tough pitch, as was the case when manager Bruce Bochy came out for a visit with runners at the corners and two out in the seventh, HE MADE IT!
Relax everyone. It’s OK to believe in Timmy again. Maybe not high-five-strangers-on-Market OK, but a knowing nod on the BART platform is a decent starting point on Lincecum’s way back.
BOLD MOVE REQUIRED: The Warriors got to keep the No. 7 pick in this month’s NBA draft, and they have three more picks in the first 52.
Time for the executives to show us what we’ll want to see from the players next season: whatcha got at crunch time?
Make no mistake. This is crunch time for the Dubs’ front office. It’s time for them to ball, and by ball I mean make something happen.
Is there a guaranteed impact player at No. 7? Nope. How about No. 2? No guarantee there, either.
But your chances at No. 2 are a lot better than at No. 7, and because there’s no way on God’s green earth that the Warriors can afford (or have room for) four draftees, the braintrust has to get to work on packaging some or all of those picks to move up from No. 7.
They say they want to be bold. Now is the time.
SPEED ROUND: Josh Reddick or Melky Cabrera. Whom would you rather have long-term? I go Cabrera based on him having been around longer, but if I’m the A’s, I’m locking up Reddick through arbitration as soon as possible. ... Jim Harbaugh’s odd characterization of the 49ers’, um, involvement with Peyton Manning was flat nuts. Jim, babe, chill out. You’ve got the Bay Area eating out of your palm. Shhhhhhhh, before they find out you’re a lunatic. ... And finally, a bit of advice for Terrelle Pryor: Pipe down. Pay some dues, Chachi. If you’re as good as you seem to think you are, we’ll find out soon enough. Until then, just work, work, work. We’ll always respect that far more than flapping gums.