Tim Lincecum

Tim Lincecum grinds out five innings, picks up first win


It wasn’t pretty, but Tim Lincecum put together his best start of the young season on Monday, limiting the Mets to one run over five innings to pick up the victory in the first game of Monday’s doubleheader.

Lincecum, who entered 0-2 with a 10.54 ERA in three starts, lowered his ERA to 8.20 with the performance.

Still, it was a tough five innings for the two-time Cy Young Award winning. Lincecum struck out  eight, but he also walked give and threw 108 pitches in his five innings. His velocity remained down about where it has been all season; he was typically throwing 89-90 mph with his fastball, though he did hit 92 mph on the gun.

Lincecum is going to have to keep making adjustments in order to succeed without his usual stuff. It worked out today, and since the Giants scored six early runs, it got him a win. Still, 108 pitches in five innings is far from ideal.

Red Sox ask Hanley Ramirez to report 15-20 pounds lighter next spring

Hanley Ramirez
The Associated Press
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Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …

Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.

Video: Clayton Kershaw notches his 300th strikeout

Clayton Kershaw
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.

He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.

Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …

The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.

Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.