Yahoo!’s Tim Brown has a feature on Tim Lincecum, the central part of which is Lincecum’s diminishing velocity, which has gone from mid-90s in his rookie year to a consistent 93 mph in 2008 and down to 91-92 last season, at least according to pitching coach Dave Righetti:
“I’m aware my velocity wasn’t where it was,” he said. “I don’t feel
like it’s anything to be scared about. I’ll just learn how to pitch
Whether he’s pitching at 91, 94 or 98, he said, “I’m not sure it’s a
choice. You go out there with what you have. I’m still going out there
with the same kind of confidence.”
Of course over that time his strikeout rate, WHIP, ERA, K/BB ratio, and home run rate have improved so it’s not like anyone is worried.
The scariest thing about Tim Lincecum? He’s right about the age where Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez took a step forward and transformed from really good pitchers with awesome tools to otherwordly pitchers who had awesome tools and truly understood the game of pitching.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.