Lincecum fans 14 batters, Giants coast to Game 1 victory

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It wasn’t a no-hitter, but Tim Lincecum was about as dominant as it gets on Thursday night in San Francisco as the Giants captured Game 1 of the NLDS by a score of 1-0 over the Braves.

Racking up a postseason franchise record 14 strikeouts over nine innings of work, the 26-year-old from Bellevue, Washington carved through Atlanta’s lineup with ease.  He allowed just two hits — a double to Omar Infante, a double to Brian McCann — and walked only one batter.

Lincecum, the 2008 and 2009 National League Cy Young Award winner, didn’t
have the best 2010 regular season and finished up on September 29 with a
relatively pedestrian 3.43 ERA over 33 starts.  That’s all in the
past now.  Lincecum is still “The Freak,” or “The Franchise,” or whatever you want to call him.

But, again, the umpiring is going to dominate the night’s headlines.  The Giants plated their lone run largely because of a blown stolen base call in the bottom of the fourth inning that put rookie catcher Buster Posey into scoring position and allowed him to cross home plate a few batters later.

Had the right call been made, the game probably would have moved to extra innings at a 0-0 tie and Lincecum surely wouldn’t have gone the distance.

Alas, the Giants boast a 1-0 lead in the five-game series.

Peter Bourjos returns to the Angels on minor league deal

Peter Bourjos
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Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.

Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.

The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.