Lincecum goes offspeed to finish off sweep

US Presswire

Tim Lincecum tossed seven scoreless innings as the Giants completed a historic sweep of the Dodgers.The Los Angeles Dodgers now have company atop the NL West after the San Francisco Giants swept their in-state rivals to move into a tie for the division lead.

The Giants held the Dodgers without a run in each of the three games, marking the first time the Giants swept a series with three shutouts since April 1954 over the Philadelphia Phillies. It was also the first time the Giants have held the Dodgers scoreless over three straight games in franchise history.

It is the first time ever that the Dodgers have been shut out in a series sweep of three-or-more games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The three consecutive scoreless games matches the longest such streak by a Dodgers team in the last 100 years, most recently done in 2007.

Inside the Series
Giants vs Dodgers

The Dodgers have not enjoyed their recent visits to the Bay area. The Giants sweep comes just a week after the Dodgers were swept by the Oakland Athletics across the bay. The Dodgers were outscored 24-2 in losing all six games.

The Giants are also the third team in the Divisional Era (since 1969) to throw a shutout in each game of a three-game series sweep versus an opponent that was in first place at the start of the series, according to Elias.

The others to do this were the 1974 Baltimore Orioles over the first-place Boston Red Sox, and the 2010 New York Mets over the first-place Phillies.

Tim Lincecum had perhaps his best start of the season, throwing seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts to snap a career-worst 10-start winless streak. Lincecum relied on his offspeed pitches to put away the Dodgers, throwing his fastball just 41 percent of the time, his second-lowest rate this season.

The Dodgers were 2-for-14 with five strikeouts in at-bats ending with an offspeed pitch, and missed on 17-of-33 swings against an offspeed pitch. It is the first time this season an opponent has missed on over half its swings against Lincecum's offspeed offerings.

Around the Diamond

• The Mets snapped their four-game losing streak and avoided a series sweep by the Chicago Cubs with a 17-1 blowout win. The 16-run differential matched the second-biggest margin of victory in Mets history.

Four different Mets had at least four RBI, matching the most players with four-or-more RBI in a single game since RBI became official in 1920. It had been done three times previously and most recently by the Texas Rangers in a 30-3 win over the Orioles in 2007.

Jose Bautista hit his major-league-leading 13th homer in June in the Toronto Blue Jays’ loss to the Red Sox, setting the franchise record for homers in a month. The last player to hit at least 13 home runs in June was Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998.

• The New York Yankees completed a sweep of the Cleveland Indians, but lost Andy Pettitte for at least six weeks after he was hit by a line drive and broke his fibula. Pettitte’s 3.22 ERA is the best among the Yankee starting pitchers this season. It is also his second-best season ERA as Yankee, behind a 2.88 mark in 1997.