Lincecum speeds to 500th strikeout
Giants ace reaches milestone K in 69th career game
WASHINGTON -- Giants starter Tim Lincecum notched his 500th career strikeout when he caught Washington's Cristian Guzman looking to start Tuesday's game at Nationals Park.
Even though he reached a milestone, Lincecum wasn't very happy with his performance afterward because the Nationals rallied for a 10-6 victory.
The right-hander is very tough on himself and thought he could have done better than his 6 1/3-inning effort where Washington got four runs (two earned) on eight hits off him. Lincecum wound up striking out seven and walking two, but wanted to go longer.
But he'd already thrown 110 pitches, and manager Bruce Bochy pulled him.
"It's just frustrating," Lincecum said. "I mean, I want to go out there and hopefully last a little longer than I did. Nobody wants to sit there and so it's a little frustrating for me."
Bochy said Lincecum did fine, but throwing 29 pitches in the first inning helped push his pitch count up early and made it harder to stay in the game later.
"It took him awhile to get in a groove," Bochy said. "He wasn't quite commanding it like he normally does, but he was good."
Lincecum started well, striking out Guzman to open the first inning. Guzman thought he had drawn a walk, but home-plate umpire Mark Wegner called him out on the 3-2 pitch on the inside portion of the plate. Lincecum now has 91 strikeouts and 21 walks in 71 2/3 innings.
He's struck out 506 batters in 445 career innings.
That strikeout of Guzman came in Lincecum's 69th game, making him the fastest Giants pitcher to reach that milestone, for players whose first game came since 1900. Jason Schmidt (75 games) was the previous record holder, and Matt Cain had the record for a player who debuted with the Giants, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Bochy, a former catcher himself, said he didn't know about the record but can understand why last year's National League Cy Young Award winner is having so much success.
"He's got great equipment," Bochy said before the game. "He throws hard. He throws strikes and on top of all that, he's got a great makeup."
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.