Their NL West rivals just made a major move. The San Francisco
Giants’ best counter now would be to get back into the win
Tim Lincecum will try to avoid his second three-start home
losing streak this season Sunday night when the division-leading
Giants and Atlanta Braves conclude their season series.
While the biggest headline made by the Giants (71-56) recently
has been Melky Cabrera’s 50-game drug suspension – and subsequent
failed cover-up – the Los Angeles Dodgers made a huge splash
Saturday by acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford
and Nick Punto in a blockbuster deal with Boston that could have
major implications on the division race.
The Giants have a two-game lead in the West after losing to
Atlanta 7-3 on Saturday before Gonzalez homered in helping the
Dodgers beat the Miami Marlins 8-2 later that night.
“I don’t think you react to a move another club makes – you do
what’s right for your club,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said
prior to his team’s five-game winning streak ending.
In years past, giving the ball to Lincecum (7-13, 5.30 ERA)
would be the right move for the Giants, but this has been a trying
season for the two-time Cy Young Award winner. The right-hander won
his third consecutive road start Tuesday by throwing 5 2-3 strong
innings in a 4-1 victory over the Dodgers, but he has a 5.73 ERA
while losing both of his August starts at AT&T Park.
“You can’t change anything that happened. You can just make
better pitches now,” Lincecum said of finishing the season strong.
“Just moving forward one batter at a time. I know it’s cliched, but
when I break it down small like that it relieves pressure on
Facing the Braves (72-55) might not be the best relief for
Lincecum, who has lost his last three starts in this matchup.
While the Giants try to keep a cushion atop the West, Atlanta
has a 2 1/2-game advantage over St. Louis for the first wild-card
Sunday’s starter Tim Hudson (12-4, 3.69 ERA) would like to help
the Braves stay in that spot as he seeks a seventh straight win,
but he needs to come out stronger. Of the 59 runs he’s allowed, 20
have come in the first inning after he surrendered four in the
opening frame of Monday’s 5-4, 13-inning loss at NL East-leading
The Braves had won the right-hander’s previous eight starts.
Hudson improved to 5-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his last eight starts
in this matchup after going 7 1-3 innings in a 3-2 home win over
the Giants on July 19.
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who is retiring after the
season, is expected to be in the lineup after getting Saturday off.
It will be his final career game versus San Francisco.
The Giants probably wish right fielder Jason Heyward was making
his last visit after he homered for the second straight game
Saturday – a three-run shot. Heyward is batting .394 (13 for 33)
with five homers and 11 RBIs in nine games at San Francisco.
“The crowd always keeps you on your toes here and it’s a good
environment to play in,” Heyward said. “They’re always here, it’s
a good team and they have good pitching, so you have to focus every
He’s 3 for 9 with a double off Lincecum.
Giants center fielder Angel Pagan, who had his eight-game
hitting streak snapped Saturday, is 11 for 31 with a homer against