Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum tossed seven scoreless innings last Wednesday against the Dodgers and limited the A’s to three runs in six innings the week before that. But the optimism built around those two outings has suddenly dissipated.
Lincecum was torched for a career-high eight runs (seven earned) in 3 1/3 innings Tuesday night in the nation’s capital. The Nationals currently lead 8-2.
Lincecum now owns a brutal 6.17 ERA and 1.55 WHIP through 17 starts this season. He has 101 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings, but those have come alongside a whopping 49 walks.
One wonders if the Giants will skip Timmy’s final turn before the All-Star break to give him an extended period of rest heading into the second half. Something has to be done, because the waiting game has not worked.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.