Tim Lincecum got in some work on the mound in a minor league warmup against the Los Angeles Angels.
The NL Cy Young winner, trying to improve his mechanics, allowed
one run on five hits and struck out six in five innings Saturday night for the San Francisco Giants.
San Francisco held Lincecum out of the team's game against San
Diego because he could face the Padres twice in the first three
weeks of the regular season. Lincecum is scheduled to start the
first game of the Bay Area series against Oakland on Thursday
before facing Milwaukee in the Giants' regular-season opener April
7 at AT&T Park.
Although Lincecum has a 3.78 ERA in five regular spring training
appearances, he said he still felt a little uncomfortable in his windup.
"I can't emphasize it enough, the rhythm thing," Lincecum said. "I just haven't found a consistent track to keep holding onto that rhythm. It's a little frustrating, but I'm glad I got a little bit more time before the season starts. (Spring training) is always a matter of trying to get everything back. It's a matter of getting your body used to the games, the grind, everything. Just taking all that in.
"Every year, it's trying to get that again and again."
Because of the unique format, Lincecum faced Angels catcher Mike
Napoli in each of the five innings he pitched. Napoli doubled twice
and walked twice, scoring the only run Lincecum allowed.
"He took some good hacks," Lincecum said. "It was just one of those days."
Pitching coach Dave Righetti monitored Lincecum's outing.
"When he is in the stretch, he's a little more comfortable than
when he is in the windup," Righetti said. "It's something pitchers go through every spring."
Lincecum threw at least dozen changeups and worked on his
breaking pitches. He threw four changeups in one at-bat to Napoli.
"I was trying to tell him that there are situations where you're going to have to get out of jams; this is the time to work on stuff," said Molina, who caught Lincecum. Lincecum said the longer spring this year because of the World Baseball Classic is definitely a plus because it will allow him more time to find the form that helped him go 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA and 265 strikeouts in 227 innings last season.
Lincecum was hit in the rear by a grounder in the second inning, but was not injured.