Lincecum impresses Hall of Famer
Perry's record being challenged by Giants phenom
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gaylord Perry would be more than happy to share a portion of his Giants fame with Tim Lincecum.Perry's 12-1 record through July 4, 1966, represents the most victories by a Giants starter with only one defeat since the team moved to San Francisco in 1958. Juan Marichal was 10-0 in that same 1966 season before losing his next two decisions. Perry has noticed the momentum Lincecum has built while compiling a 9-1 record, which he'll test in Thursday's series finale against the Chicago Cubs. "If he continues, he'll have the best start," Perry said Wednesday from his home in North Carolina. "I hope he does." Perry has been impressed by what he has seen of Lincecum on television. "He goes right after the hitters," said the Hall of Fame right-hander. "I don't think anyone's scaring him at all. That's what you need, confidence." Perry didn't regard the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Lincecum's relatively small stature as a hindrance, as some skeptics have. "He might be 10-0 if he was 6-foot-4," Perry said jokingly. Citing Whitey Ford, Stu Miller and Bobby Shantz as examples of pitchers of below-average size who excelled, Perry noted, "They knew how to pitch. And this kid is doing a good job of it." Recalling how he managed to post such an impressive season-opening record, Perry said, "Everything went right. If I needed a double play, we got it. If I needed four runs, we got four runs. I was making the right pitches and the ball was going where it was supposed to go to -- on the corners." Perry, who finished 1966 with a 21-8 record, also had Giants legends such as Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Jim Ray Hart and Jim Davenport playing behind him. But he insisted that Lincecum's teammates don't suffer much by comparison. "The Giants aren't as bad as y'all think," Perry said. "They're better than a lot of people thought and I think they'll continue to improve over the year."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.