Tim Lincecum’s Slider
Since Changing Grip (Sept. 12)
In Game 1, Tim Lincecum got the win despite lasting only 5 ⅔ innings and giving up four earned runs, the most earned runs he has allowed in any postseason game. He takes the hill in a rematch against Cliff Lee, who will try to rebound from his first career postseason loss.
Since changing his slider grip in early September, Lincecum has relied on the pitch more frequently with increased success. In Game 1, he threw 35 sliders, 12 more than in any other start this season.
Lee’s control and command in Game 1 weren’t as sharp as usual, especially with his off-speed stuff. He threw 11 curveballs; only three (27 pct) were strikes and only two (18 pct) were in the strike zone. Entering that start, he threw 57 percent strikes with his curveball and threw it in the zone 41 percent of the time.
Last 2 World Series Games
In addition, he hit Andres Torres with a pitch in the third inning after hitting only one batter during the entire regular season.
Lee has struggled somewhat in his last two World Series starts, giving up at least seven hits and five earned runs in each of his last two World Series starts. However, in last year's Game 5, the Phillies scored eight runs to give Lee the win.
Freddy Sanchez doubled three times off Lee in Game 1, the first two coming on pitches down in the zone. On the season, Sanchez's .267 batting average against low pitches, while above the league average, was far worse than his .316 average on all other pitches. Sanchez also did not swing and miss on a low pitch in Game 1, something he has done almost 27 percent of the time this season.
LincecumBoth pitchers have had success in limited opportunities with Jeff Kellogg calling balls and strikes. Lincecum has one start, going eight innings allowing two earned runs with eight strikeouts and one walk with Kellogg behind the plate. Lee, who has started twice with Kellogg as the home plate umpire, has a win and a loss with a 3.21 ERA and 11 strikeouts with no walks.
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Despite his subpar outing in Game 1, Cliff Lee has still held opposing batters to a .190 average in nine postseason starts. He is one of only two active pitchers to hold opposing batters below the Mendoza line in his first nine postseason starts, the other being Josh Beckett (.163).
ALSO FROM ELIAS: Road teams now have an 18–13 (.581) record during the 2010 postseason and will finish with a winning record for only the fourth time since the adoption of the Division Series in 1995.