RENO — As a wannabe, second-guessing, Monday morning quarterbacking (can you use that term in baseball) scout, I have to wonder about the wisdom of the Los Angeles Angels to have Tim Lincecum pitching at 4,700-foot elevation in 98-degree heat.
Lincecum, the former San Francisco Giants hero, was the starting pitcher for the Angels Triple A affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees against the Reno Aces Tuesday at Greater Nevada Field. My father and I decided to catch our hero in his comeback attempt.
I’m rooting for Lincecum, so I’m saying the jury’s still out on if the former Giants’ pitcher can make a successful comeback. Lincecum’s velocity was in the 89-91 mph range, but pitching in 98-degree heat had to take 2-3 mph off of his fastball.
He also didn’t have command of his breaking pitches, but again, ask any pitcher what pitching at 4,700 feet does to their breaking stuff.
So it wasn’t surprising Lincecum struggled in the first inning, allowing four runs. But he settled down after that, shutting down the Aces for the remainder of his appearance.
I would like to see how well Lincecum pitches on a 60-degree night with a nice breeze blowing at sea level in Anaheim.
What also stood out about Lincecum is, he’s not that big. He just looks like a regular guy. Maybe that’s why we root for him. We think he’s one of us.
— Charles Whisnand