Tim Lincecum is ducking the Phillies. Or Vance Worley, anyway.
The Giants scratched their ace, who looked just fine at the White House yesterday, with a case of “the flu” Tuesday and moved up Barry Zito in the rotation to replace him in tonight’s showdown.
I think Lincecum just wanted to take his chances with Cole Hamels instead of the red-hot Worley. Worley has allowed one run or fewer in six straight starts, the longest such streak in the NL this season. If he can do it again tonight, he’ll match Justin Verlander for the majors’ longest streak this season.
Lincecum, on the other hand, has allowed one run or fewer in a mere five of his last six starts. He’s 8-8 with a 2.90 ERA, while Worley is 6-1 with a 2.02 ERA.
Perhaps there are a few who still miss the slope of Tal’s Hill rising from center field, but George Springer isn’t one of them. He lassoed a 403-foot fly ball from Todd Frazier in the seventh inning of Game 6, reaching nearly to the top of the wall to prevent the Yankees from gaining on the Astros’ 3-0 lead.
According to Statcast, a fly ball with an exit velocity of 103.6 MPH and a launch angle of 29 degrees lands for a home run 72% of the time. That wasn’t going to fly with the Astros, who were facing runners on first and second with one out and saw Justin Verlander‘s pitch count rapidly approaching 100.
It wasn’t long before the Yankees tried for another home run, however, and this one sailed far above the heads of all of the Astros’ outfielders. Aaron Judge lofted a 425-foot shot to left field in the eighth inning, destroying a first-pitch fastball from Brad Peacock and finally getting New York on the board.
The Yankees currently trail the Astros 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth.