It was a night to remember at AT&T Park. The Giants out-dueled the Dodgers to win 3-2 in what was possibly Tim Lincecum’s last start in the orange-and-black.
And if it was his final start as a Giant, Lincecum made sure it was a quality one. Big Time Timmy Jim gave up eight hits, two runs, two walks, and struck out six in his seven innings of work. He finished the season with 193 strikeouts, up from 190 in 2012, a 10-14 record, and a 4.37 ERA.
It looked like Lincecum was on the hook for the tough-luck loss after he allowed a sacrifice fly from Adrian Gonzalez in the first and back-to-back doubles to Juan Uribe and Mark Ellis in the fourth. Being down 2-0 is normally a bad sign for the Giants offense, but on Thursday night, they rallied.
Nick Noonan led off the bottom of the fifth with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch from Edinson Volquez, and ended up at third on a sacrifice bunt from Lincecum. Noonan came home on a groundout off the bat of Angel Pagan to make it 2-1. Then Gregor Blanco drew a walk and, with two outs, scored easily when Brandon Belt doubled down the right field line to tie the game.
Santiago Casilla pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning to preserve the tie, but it wouldn’t stay 2-2 for long. Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the inning with his first home run at AT&T Park since his inside-the-park homer on May 25. This one bounced off the top of the wall and over the left field fence to give San Francisco a 3-2 lead and the win.
Even though Lincecum didn’t get the win, he got several standing ovations. When he bunted over Noonan in the fifth, and every time he came off the mound. When he made that final walk to the dugout after the top of the seventh, all 41,221 were on their feet, many chanting, “Timmy! Timmy!”
“I thought that was probably one of the best sacrifice bunts I ever did in my life,” Lincecum said with a laugh. “That ovation was pretty special. I’ve always had an awkward way of acknowledging it, but I do have an appreciation and respect for the way they do receive me.”
Despite the Giants losing season, it’s always a good feeling to beat the Dodgers. San Francisco posted an 11-8 record against Los Angeles this season and have gone 14-10 in September.
But Thursday night wasn’t really about the Dodgers. It was about the Freak, Timmy the Kid Lincecum. The right hander who brought Giants fans two Cy Youngs, two World Series rings, and a no-hitter over the course of his seven years on the mound. The guy who comes to the ballpark ready to work, to help his team win in whatever role he can.
Lincecum is a free agent at the end of this season, and it remains to be seen where he’ll end up. But he’ll be back pitching for San Francisco if manager Bruce Bochy has anything to say about it.
“We don’t know what’s gonna happen, but I was very happy for him with the job he did tonight. We all know what he’s done in his career. It’s amazing what he’s done at his age….to see the fans behind him, you can see the signs supporting him. We don’t know what’s gonna happen, but we certainly hope he’s here with us.”
There’s no real way to describe what Tim Lincecum means to this team, these fans, this city, but perhaps Buster Posey summed it up best when he said, “He’s extremely talented, I think that’s what makes him successful on the field. For us, it’s hard not to like him. He’s just a likeable guy. He comes in with a smile on his face and…just…he’s Timmy.”