Thursday, August 18, 2011

8/18/11 San Francisco Giants 0, Atlanta Braves 1

Turner Field, Atlanta, GA
Game 4 of 4

Timmy who?!?…this is the MIKE MINOR Show!!

I had this MLB Network Thursday Night Baseball game queued up to watch what I expected to be one of those “games that matter” with the upcoming pennant race in September. I also thought, “hey, I haven’t seen Lincecum in action very much this season” and also “hey, Mike Minor has been great but uneven, but I haven’t seen him much either.” That being said (well, I did just say it) I have to admit I wasn’t expecting a pitchers’ duel…at all.

The last game in a 4 game series, the Braves took the first two, the Giants took the last one, so the series will end in a split or better for the Bravos. Bob Costas and Tom Verducci made it a point during the pre-game to highlight the reality of the Giants’ somewhat sterilized lineup and their season-long injury woes. Well, OK…but weren’t the Giants somewhat “sterile” last year, and look what they did…?

Costas and Verducci didn’t use “sterile” at all…I did…

And not only that, but don’t you sometimes exert a “say what” when ‘injury issues’ are projected to hurt a team’s chances at any point in time? It’s a long season…don’t tell the Phillies their injuries held them up at all this year. You can bake perfectly good cookies with less-than-stellar flour, after all.

So, yes…Lincecum is still just amazing to watch. I particularly love his at-bats, the whole “throws right, bats left” still slays me, complete with his non-chalant “look I have a helmet on” gaze. But he is a great pitcher. Chipper Jones knows this, and took a Tim Lincecum fastball for a ride with the game’s only run scored on his solo HR. Chipper Jones is still a bad-ass.

However, this was indeed the MIKE MINOR show. The former pride of Vanderbilt rang up 9Ks, only one BB, 0 runs on 4 hits in 6 remarkable innings…probably his best outing of the season so far. If this fella can isolate and eradicate some of the elements that plagued him early on, thus inflating his ERA and clouding a real assessment of his talent, he won’t be spending any time in Gwinnett next year and will be chugging some serious Ws for the Bravos.

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