There are a handful of well-known big leaguers still out there looking for work, but Tim Lincecum intrigues more than any of them. Probably because he was a back-to-back Cy Young Award winner who then fell off a cliff and that kind of dynamic is both hard to get one’s heard around but impossible to ignore.
Lincecum isn’t close to signing anyplace, though. Jon Heyman reported yesterday that he’s throwing on the San Francisco Giants’ practice fields in Scottsdale now, but that we shouldn’t look into that as it’s mostly just a courtesy to a longtime member of the club. In reality, Lincecum is just working out in Arizona, still, throwing simulated games — Heyman says he’s working on a rotation schedule, doing 70-pitch sim games — and that the long-teased “Tim Lincecum Showcase” is going to eventually happen. Heyman has been promoting it so long I think Bill Graham was originally involved. It was gonna be at the Fillmore West or the Cow Palace, maybe.
Anyway, he’s still out there, wandering the desert. I can’t help but hope he latches on someplace soon. He was one of my favorites when he was on his game. And the idea that someone can have it all and be on top of everything to suddenly just lose it and then wander like that is fascinating to me.
The postseason has a knack for finding unlikely heroes. Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki was 1-for-23 in the postseason entering Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series. The Nats and Astros each plated two runs in the first inning, then went otherwise scoreless through the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, with Justin Verlander returning to the mound, Suzuki demolished a high, 1-0 fastball just below the train tracks in left field at Minute Maid Park, breaking the 2-2 tie.
Verlander proceeded to walk Victor Robles, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to take his veteran starter out of the game. Ryan Pressly came in to attempt to keep it a one-run game.
The underdog Nationals held on to defeat the Astros 5-4 in Game 1. Another victory by the Nats in Game 2 would put the Astros — heavy favorites according to oddsmakers — in a big hole.
Update: Pressly walked the first batter he faced, Trea Turner. Adam Eaton successfully sacrifice bunted both runners over. After Anthony Rendon flied out to shallow center field, Hinch decided to issue his team’s first intentional walk of the entire year to Juan Soto, loading the bases. Howie Kendrick then hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground out, but Alex Bregman booted the ball as he moved to his left. Turner scored to make it 4-2. The floodgates opened when Asdrúbal Cabrera lined a single to center field, bringing home two more runs to pad the lead to 6-2. While pitching to Ryan Zimmerman, Pressly uncorked a wild pitch to allow the two base runners to advance. Zimmerman followed up with a slow roller down the third base line which Bregman barehanded and proceeded to throw away. Two more runs scored. 8-2. Yiiiikes, Astros.