Tim Lincecum vs. Carlos Zambrano. Hopefully both will be at the top of their game. With Derrek Lee's neck spasms and Aramis Ramirez's balky shoulder, Lincecum will face a weak Cubs line-up. That hasn't necessarily worked in The Freak's favor in the past.
Lincecum throws a few pitches. Four- and two-seam fastballs, change-ups, curveballs and even a few sliders. To facilitate a thumbnail of the Giants' ace, I'm dealing with fastballs (both varieties), curves and changes. Here are a few of my favorite metrics, both for 2009 and his career (most of his games are in PITCHf/x, even many of his 2007 starts). You can click the headers to sort.
His change-up is the most effective pitch in baseball, based on run values. And it's no fluke. The basic experience with Lincecum can be summarized as:
- Fastballs that you can't do much with and get called for a lot of strikes
- Curveballs that freeze you in the zone and produce at least an average whiff rate (for a curve)
- Change-ups that are devastating
*two feet wide, individual hitters' top/bottoms