PHILADELPHIA -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy wanted closer Brian Wilson and setup man Sergio Romo to pitch Thursday night to knock the rust off their valuable right arms.
Bochy got his wish, though he and the Giants had to endure some ninth-inning dramatics in their 5-2 victory over Philadelphia.Wilson and Romo had been idle since Saturday's 3-2, 11-inning victory over San Diego, which happened to be the last game the Giants won before Thursday. Romo relieved Jonathan Sanchez, who allowed Shane Victorino's leadoff single and fell behind Placido Polanco 2-0 to begin the ninth with the Giants leading, 5-0. Polanco flied out before Chase Utley singled. Romo struck out Jayson Werth after falling behind on the count 3-1, but surrendered Mike Sweeney's two-run double on a 1-2 pitch. In came Wilson, who made his previous two appearances in non-save situations. He retired Raul Ibanez on five pitches to record his 34th save, second-most in the National League.
Stuck in slump, Lincecum back to basics
PHILADELPHIA -- Struggling Giants ace Tim Lincecum focused on the basics during his between-starts bullpen throwing session in an effort to reclaim his Cy Young Award-winning form.Lincecum, who has lost three consecutive starts for the first time in his career, said Thursday that he tried to avoid overanalyzing himself during his Wednesday workout. "Just kind of letting your body do it naturally," said Lincecum, who has a 9.00 ERA during his losing streak. "You know what happens when you start overthinking things -- you start forgetting about other parts of your body when it kind of knows how to move. I've done this long enough. It's muscular memory." Consistent with that philosophy, Lincecum expressed little concern about the intricacies of his delivery.
"If you start focusing on mechanics too much, you get away from the focus of pitching -- throwing quality strikes," he said.Lincecum, who's 11-7 with a 3.62 ERA overall, was encouraged with his results. "It felt like I'm getting there," he said. "Obviously, only time will tell." The next time will arrive Saturday, when Lincecum faces St. Louis and right-hander Chris Carpenter. "Whatever I'm working with that day," Lincecum said, "I just have to battle with it and forget about the other stuff."
Matthews backing Posey for NL ROY
PHILADELPHIA -- Gary Matthews, the last Giants position player to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award, hopes that Buster Posey ends the drought.Matthews, who captured the award in 1973, has seen Posey play only in this series. But those two games, not including Thursday night's finale, were enough to impress the former outfielder. "I like him," said Matthews, a Phillies television commentator who watched Posey go 3-for-8. "It doesn't take you long to like people who put the bat on the ball right away. I'm pulling for him. He has a pretty good shot. He should be a shoo-in, but he has some people to contend with." For example, Matthews noted that Atlanta right fielder Jason Heyward has dominated the conversation regarding the NL's top rookies.
"He's getting a lot of the press," Matthews said. "[Mets first baseman] Ike Davis was, but he slowed down. You don't hear a lot about [Posey] out here. It's just the difference in the media, basically."Matthews has been impressed by Posey's ability to thrive offensively while playing home games at AT&T Park, which typically favors pitchers.
"To me, to be able to hit and be consistent in that ballpark, you should get a little bit of an edge," Matthews said.John Montefusco was elected the NL's top rookie in 1975, but he was a right-handed pitcher. Four Giants have been named top rookies since Matthews was honored, but they were honored by The Sporting News -- not, with the exception of Montefusco, by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, the organization whose awards are considered the most prestigious. Matthews happened to be TSN's Rookie of the Year in 1973, too. TSN also selected right-hander John D'Acquisto (1974), Montefusco, outfielder Larry Herndon (1976) and second baseman Robby Thompson (1986).
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.