You Got to Watch Out for Those Small Right-Handers

Tim Lincecum completely shut down the Cardinals today, throwing a 2-hit shutout in only 95 pitches, walking none and striking out eight.  One of the Cardinals’  two hits was a double by Pujols, the best hitter in the NL, if not baseball.

The thing that made Lincecum so tough tonight, I suspect, is that the Cardinals have seen very little of him.  This was only his third start of his career against the Redbirds and the first since April of last year.  With his unusual motion, his stuff and his ability to mix pitches, he’s got to be extremely tough on any team that hasn’t faced him in well over a year.

If you’re the Cardinals in these circumstances, your best hope is that Lincecum’s control isn’t sharp that night.  If he can locate his fastball and keep his change up down, there’s pretty much no hope.

Speaking of small right-handers, Roy Oswalt also pitched a two-hit complete game victory against the Padres in San Diego, which had to help Oswalt at least a little bit.  Nonetheless, Oswalt never fails to amaze me.  Every year for the last couple of years, I have expected that Oswalt’s arm is going to give out, given his small size and all the innings he’s pitched for the Astros, kind of like Tim Hudson last year.

After a rough first four months of the season last year, Oswalt was dominating in August and September; and after a slow start this year, his pitching in June has been better than either May or April.  Still, after being worked like a dog in 2004 and 2005 (a combined 478.2 IP), his innings pitched totals have fallen each of the last three full seasons, and his ERAs have risen.  He’s too good a pitcher to write off just yet, but the trend is certainly not good.

Explore posts in the same categories: Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants

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