LOS ANGELES — This was like a bad round of golf for Tim Lincecum, who got off to such a strong start this year. He had the dreaded two-way miss.
Lincecum couldn’t locate side-to-side and the Dodgers jumped all over him, notching eight hits and four runs against Lincecum in just four innings.
“I was missing over the middle of the plate to much,” Lincecum said. “Regardless of the ball being down or up, I was missing on sides of the plate I shouldn’t be missing on.”
Lincecum can still get away with a missed pitch when he’s throwing that fastball up in the zone or dropping his breaking ball down in the dirt, but with where his stuff is here and now, he can’t survive if he’s over the heart of the plate. He felt he made one mistake up — the changeup that Joc Pederson hit for a double — but the rest of his pitches floated right into a hitting zone. The Dodgers, having seen Lincecum last week, looked all too happy to go up there hacking.
“He made mistakes early in the count and they were aggressive,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
There’s not much left to analyze. Lincecum will have nights like this and the Giants know it. Still, they almost made this a real contest, scoring three times in the fifth before the Dodgers bullpen figured it out. For me, that was the real story tonight. These aren’t the Brian Wilson-Chris-Perez-Brandon League Dodgers.
Carlos Frias was throwing 96-98, Adam Liberatore was 93-95 from the left side, Yimi Garcia was 93-95 and Chris Hatcher was 95-97.
“The big difference I’ve seen is they’ve just got a ton of guys with velo,” Joe Panik said.
When Kenley Jansen gets back to handle the ninth, this could be a really tough bullpen.
“Their ‘pen just shut us down,” Bochy said. “That was the difference. They’ve got some good young arms, power-type arms that came up through their system."
--- Watching live, it looked like Roberto Kelly should have sent Nori Aoki in the fifth inning. Bochy disagreed.
“When you’re down, you have to be a little more conservative even though there are two outs,” Bochy said. “You’ve got to look at who is coming up and (Kelly) saw some pretty good hitters coming up.”
The Giants scored, so it didn’t ultimately matter.
--- Yusmeiro Petit has allowed multiple runs in three of his last five appearances and has given up seven runs in 11 innings. Bochy said he thinks Petit will be fine, pointing out we’re all a little spoiled after Petit’s remarkable postseason.
“He’s up (in the zone) a little more than I’ve seen him on some pitches,” Bochy said. “He got ambushed there (by Justin Turner). I think that was a cutter he left up over the plate. He hasn’t been quite as sharp, and I think that was the case (early on) last year."
--- Didn't have a chance to post anything before the game, but in case you don't follow me on Twitter: Ryan Vogelsong will start Wednesday and Bochy said Hunter Pence is likely about a week away from taking real BP. Pence is still just hitting off a tee and swinging at soft-toss pitches.