The Astros aren’t the most lethal of opponents, but we caught a glimpse of vintage Tim Lincecum on Saturday night in San Francisco. And it was good.
The Giants right-hander yielded just five hits over eight scoreless innings, racking up 11 strikeouts while issuing just one walk. He needed 114 pitches and his velocity declined steadily over the course of the evening, but Lincecum battled through all that and handed a 2-0 lead to closer Santiago Casilla.
Casilla blew the save, but backup catcher Hector Sanchez picked him up in the 12th inning with a walkoff RBI single that scored Pablo Sandoval.
Lincecum lowered his ERA from 6.42 to 5.93. He’ll take on the Phillies in his next scheduled outing.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Angels 3, Yankees 5
Diamondbacks 1, Cubs 4
Indians 9, Blue Jays 11
Tigers 6, Orioles 8 (13 innings)
Mets 7, Braves 8
Cardinals 2, Reds 3 (10 innings)
White Sox 3, Royals 6
Pirates 6, Brewers 4
Athletics 9, Twins 3
Nationals 1, Marlins 2
Red Sox 3, Rays 5
Phillies 8, Rockies 5
Rangers 0, Mariners 7
Padres 7, Dodgers 6
Astros 2, Giants 3 (12 innings)
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”
The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.
Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.