Coming off a no-hitter in his last outing, Tim Lincecum threw 148 pitches. Maybe he got too much rest through the All-Star break because his start tonight was the worst of his career.
"We're not trying to worry about anything, we know he's [Lincecum] one of the best pitchers in baseball," Brandon Phillips said. "We congratulate him on his no-hitter, I thought he would've had done that plenty more times since he's one of the best. We've been having some success against him. All we can do is hit off his mistakes or wherever we can find a hole."
No doubt the Cincinnati Reds took full advantage of every mistake Tim made. The Giants 11-0 loss to the Reds was the worst defeat of the season. Lincecum recorded his shortest outing since going 3 1/3 innings two games back-to-back against the Washington Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates last July.
Tonight he lasted 3 2/3 frames, surrendering a career-high eight earned runs and matched a personal worst by yielding three home runs. Shin-Soo Choo doubled to open the game and Derrick Robinson followed with a single. He struck out Joey Votto and made a spectacular defensive play to out run Choo to third base for the out after Phillips fielder's choice.
But Lincecum loaded the bases by issuing a free pass to Jay Bruce with two outs. Up next was Todd Frazier who knocked in a three-run double to center field and Cincinnati took a 3-0 lead. This was not the quality start Tim was looking for.
"It was just a little bump in the road," said Tim. He denied that the extended rest was no part of his performance tonight. Insisting he can regain his form in the second half of the season.
The bleeding didn't stop there, Devin Mesoraco hit a solo home run on the first pitch to start the second frame. Shin-Soo followed a with solo blast of his own to extend Red's lead 5-0. Bruce got in on the action and went yard in the third. Cincinnati added five more runs in the fourth through seventh innings. Two doubles from both Brandon and Xavier Paul, an RBI single from Mesoraco and a sacrifice fly from Jay.
"Yeah, that was the way to start a road trip," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I don't think I've ever seen that previous to a double-header. I couldn't have ordered it any better."
"Give them credit," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "They swung the bats. They didn't miss any mistakes."
The other pitcher made no mistakes. Bronson Arroyo didn't allow a runner past first base for six innings. He recorded his sixth career shutout and won his 100th game. In his 15th career complete game, the outing marked his eight quality start in the past nine outings.
"There's no method to his madness out there," Brandon Belt said. "Whatever he needs to do to keep you off balance, he does a good job of it. We went up there with an approach, but it didn't work out for us once we got in there."