CINCINNATI -- One day after throwing 101 pitches at Philadelphia, Tim Lincecum had some stuff left as he fired a few well-placed verbal fastballs in reacting to comments made by Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.Though Lincecum earned the decision in the Giants' 4-1 victory Thursday by allowing three hits and striking out six in six shutout innings, Manuel described the right-hander's performance with remarks that some considered at least mildly disparaging: "Tonight I saw 90 [mph] fastball, 92 at the best. I saw a good changeup. I saw a breaking ball. I saw a cutter. Good pitching, but at the same time we can beat that. I've seen us do that." Told on Friday what Manuel said, Lincecum had a ready response. "You can be dominant and throw 85. Regardless, a guy's going to say he can hit that," Lincecum said. "Or you can throw 97 and he'll say he can hit that, too. When it comes down to it, it's all about execution." The Giants, who defeated Philadelphia in last year's National League Championship Series, handed the Phillies their first consecutive home defeats since April 18-19 and their first back-to-back losses anywhere since June 3-4 while ending their streak of nine series victories in a row. Referring to all that, Lincecum added, "I'm sure he was just speaking out of frustration and dealing with their first home series loss. It's something they're not used to. Maybe it has something to do with how things went last year in the LCS. I have no idea. You'll have to ask him." In response to a question, Manuel also refrained from lavishing excessive praise upon Lincecum and Matt Cain, who combined to allow Philadelphia zero earned runs and seven hits in 13 innings.
"They're good pitchers. You say they're great pitchers," Manuel said. "To me, I don't know how great they are. I think as they move on into their careers, there's the longevity part and things like that. I think that's when the greatness might come by."Lincecum didn't dispute the good-versus-great issue. He did imply that there's no substitute for effectiveness, regardless of how it's achieved. "Cainer was probably throwing the same kind of [velocity] that I was throwing up there," Lincecum said. "He doesn't try to hump up unless he necessarily has to. He still dominates teams. So I don't know what miles per hour has to do with dominance." Then came Lincecum's coup de grace. "They had a guy [named] Moyer, right?" That would be Jamie Moyer, the soft-tossing left-hander who compiled a 267-204 record in 24 seasons, including 56-40 with Philadelphia from 2006-10.
Zito gets Sunday start; is it his last?
CINCINNATI -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy made two separate announcements Friday that really weren't separate at all: Barry Zito will start Sunday's series finale against the Reds, and Jonathan Sanchez will start Aug. 5 against Philadelphia at AT&T Park.The latter date is when Zito would make his subsequent start. "We just think that's a good place where Johnny could go," Bochy said. Bochy declined to state that Zito's upcoming outing represents a final chance to prove himself. The left-hander won three consecutive starts after returning from a foot injury, then allowed eight runs in 3 2/3 innings at San Diego on July 16 in his first performance after the All-Star break. The Giants skipped Zito's next turn in the rotation, so he pitched with nine days' rest Tuesday at Philadelphia. He allowed six runs in seven innings and absorbed the decision in a 7-2 Giants loss. That's an 0-2 record and an 11.81 ERA in two games. Asked whether Sanchez would start occasionally, replace somebody -- most likely Zito -- in the rotation or become part of a six-man rotation, Bochy said, "We haven't made that decision. ... That's what we're going to be talking about this week, in our free time."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.