Tim Lincecum starts September with a victory after going 0-5 with a 7.82 ERA in August

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Tim Lincecum has gone through several rough patches this season, but the wheels came flying off last month as he went 0-5 with a 7.82 ERA in five August starts. He allowed opponents to bat .311 with five homers and a .519 slugging percentage, giving up 33 hits and 13 walks in 25.1 innings while his ERA ballooned from 3.10 to a career-worst 3.80.
Thankfully for the Giants he got back on track last night, racking up nine strikeouts over eight innings of one-run ball in his first September start to out-duel Ubaldo Jimenez in a 2-1 victory. Carlos Gonzalez’s solo homer in the fourth inning accounted for the only damage off Lincecum and there’s no shame in that the way he’s hitting right now.
“I’m going to try to take this momentum into the next series,” Lincecum told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. “There are a lot of positives. I was just trying to be aggressive and overall just kind of have a different mentality. Just like, ‘This is a big moment and I’ve got to step up and start off the month well.'”

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.