Sure, it's one game, one series, in June, and all that. After 47 years following this game and this team, we're well aware that these moments can be fleeting. But, for Pete's sake, let's just forget that we're a bunch of naturally grumpy Giants fans for a minute here, and let's enjoy all the marvelous events that came spilling out of the 'Bell yesterday like an early visit from Santa Claus.
How about Tim Lincecum regaining his form at the most opportune time, given a chance to lead his team into a tie for first if only if only if only he'd just for once this season actually pitch like, well, like "Tim Lincecum." I mean, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease, just once? And responding with seven strong innings of four-hit shutout ball, never once succumbing to the "One Bad Inning" syndrome that's been his undoing all year. Who remembers a start he made on September 2, 2010, against the red-hot Colorado Rockies, in which after a nightmare August Lincecum turned his, and his team's, season around? Not saying this is like that, but not saying it isn't, either. We all know what this guy has, deep down inside, and with Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong having pitched shutouts before him, now he's reminded everyone else.
While we're at it, how about Lincecum blocking the plate against his opposite number, Chad Billingsley, in the third? He looked like Gumby in uniform trying to slow down a runaway truck, yet he held his ground, took the hit, and made the tag! (What a guy won't do to protect his ERA, huh?) And with Billingsley having stung him for a double and nearly scored, Lincecum went out in the bottom of the frame, drilled a base hit, advanced to second, and came around to score himself! Take that, ya big lug! And two batters later, Billngsley, thoroughly out of character, actually walked in a run. Whoa, Nellie!
How about sweeping three straight from the Dodgers, which would be sweet even if we were 0-159, and doing so with three bang-bang-bang shutouts? Sure, the Bums are dinged up, missing a few key ingredients in their lineup and all-- hey, we know all about it, we went through it just a year ago. With any luck, baseball's greatest rivalry-- yes, that includes you Yankee and Red Sox people-- will simmer all season long just like the old days. Twelve games remain betweem the two, six of them at the 'Bell-- including three in September-- with the last three games of the season at Dodger Stadium in October.
And thankfully, good old Chris Haft at the Giants' website went ahead and let us know that the Giants hadn't swept a three-game series with three straight shutouts since-- good golly, Miss Molly-- since April 1954, when they were still the New York Giants. (Saved us from having to leaf through heaven-only-knows how many dusty cobwebbed sheets of IBM green-bar paper, or from spending half an hour on retrosheet, whichever makes for the better story.) Another San Francisco first, and that makes it historic (but not "historical", as the grammatically-challenged headline writer at sfgiants.com would have you believe). It's also the first time in the franchise's 129-year history that they've treated the Dodgers with such glorious asperity. We had a feeling that three-game shutout sweeps are rare for any team at any time, and we're glad to be proven right for once
The Giants were seven and one-half games back exactly one month ago today. Now they're tied for first. Don't worry; be happy!