Tim Lincecum, 20-game winner
Wednesday, Nov. 3/Thursday, Nov. 4
SAN FRANCISCO — Tim Lincecum was a 20-game winner this year. Though he didn’t reach that number in the traditional sense, every victory helped.
When I mentioned his 20-game milestone to him Wednesday, he said self-deprecatingly, “I had 40 chances at it.”
Well, not quite, but close. Lincecum was 16-10 in 33 regular-season starts and 4-1 in five postseason outings.
He wasn’t a 20-game winner in the true sense of the phrase. But every victory counted — especially the last nine, given the tightness of the National League West race and the must-win atmosphere of the postseason.
“Having the opportunity and the chance to pitch in postseason makes everything that much more sweet,” Lincecum said.
Aubrey Huff’s seventh-inning bunt in Game 5 of the World Series that advanced Cody Ross and Juan Uribe was an anomaly. It was Huff’s only sacrifice bunt in Major League competition and his first since 2000, when he played for Triple-A Durham in Tampa Bay’s system.
Though Huff must have discussed his bunt after the Series clincher, I wasn’t sharp enough (nor have I had enough time) to find an article that included his side of the story. So I coaxed this brief but suitable explanation from him Wednesday.
“It [the bunt sign] was given to me, but I was doing it anyway,” he said. That is, he fully intended to give himself up for the team.
Though Edgar Renteria’s homer rendered Huff’s bunt moot, there was no doubt that the sacrifice accelerated the Giants’ momentum. It left you KNOWING that the Giants would score in that inning.
Huff said that he might have had trouble pushing the bunt to third base. But directing it toward first, as he did, was no problem. “I do that bunt pretty good in batting practice,” he said.
The wait to cram yourself inside a Dugout Store to buy World Series merchandise approaches three hours at times. Too late now, but do you know when was the best time to shop? Right before Wednesday’s parade began! Less than an hour prior to the scheduled start, there was no wait to get inside the main store at AT&T Park, though the checkout lines stretched deep.
– Chris Haft