Lincecum aims to extend perfection
San Francisco (21-23) vs. Atlanta (23-21), 7:15 p.m. PT
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants ace Tim Lincecum doesn't remember his two-game stretch vs. the Atlanta Braves in 2008, even though he went 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA.
Not ringing any bells, Tim?
"Not so much," he said, intimating that recounting his poorer starts serves a greater purpose.
After the Giants' 1-5 road trip and win back at home Monday, Lincecum will take the ball Tuesday in the second game of a three-game set against the visiting Braves. He is 4-0 all-time vs. the National League East's second-place team.
In one start vs. the Braves last season, Lincecum vaguely recalled moving from the windup into the stretch in the fourth or fifth inning to simplify things. He'd done it before, but against the Braves the adjustment allowed him to increase his velocity and pitch deep into the game."It helps me," he said. "Less moving parts. Less to worry about."
"I find those issues [occasionally]."
Like when Lincecum went back to video after his first two starts this season, toting an ERA of 7.56.
As Lincecum sat in the clubhouse Monday, he said he remains less than content with his up-and-down performance on the mound this season. He yielded five earned runs to the NL East's New York Mets on May 15 before bouncing back with seven strong innings against the San Diego Padres a week later.
"I still need to find more consistency," he admitted.
Tuesday, Lincecum will also be in search of his 500th career strikeout; he stands nine short of the milestone which, if paired with a win on the mound, would be plenty memorable.Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Tim Lincecum (3-1, 3.45 ERA)
Lincecum has struck out 10 or more hitters in three games this season, including his most recent outing last Thursday at San Diego. He received a no-decision in that one despite allowing one run and four hits in seven innings. ATL: RHP Kris Medlen (0-1, 15.00 ERA)
Medlen looks to shake off a rough Major League debut against the Rockies on Thursday. In that outing, Medlen pitched just three-plus innings, allowing five earned runs on three hits, five walks, a hit batter, a balk and two wild pitches. Medlen posted superb numbers at Triple-A Gwinnett before getting called up to Atlanta. For Gwinnett, he was a perfect 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA. This will be the first road start of his career. Tidbits
Manager Bruce Bochy credited his starting rotation for giving the Giants bullpen some much needed rest. The 'pen logged just 1 2/3 innings combined in the final two games of the series vs. the Seattle Mariners. ... Left fielder Fred Lewis clubbed his second and third home runs of the season during the Mariners series. ... Entering Monday's game, center fielder and current leadoff hitter Aaron Rowand had raised his batting average 63 points to .277 in the past 15 games. Tickets
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Wednesday: Giants (Randy Johnson, 3-4, 6.26) vs. Braves (Kenshin Kawakami, 3-5, 4.73), 7:15 p.m. PT
Friday: Giants (Matt Cain, 5-1, 2.40) vs. Cardinals (TBD), 7:15 p.m. PT
Andrew Pentis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.