06/28/10 10:23 PM ET
Selfless dedication nets All-Star honor
By Chris Haft and Cash Kruth / MLB.com
Sandoval trying to improve righty hacks
SAN FRANCISCO -- Honing a swing and keeping it in tune throughout the baseball season is a meticulous task.And, as one can imagine, maintaining two swings is even more tedious -- especially when you're Pablo Sandoval and a .211 right-handed hitter. Although Sandoval hit lefties at a clip of .314 last season, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Sandoval's struggles are simply part of being a switch-hitter. "With some switch-hitters one side always demands a little more maintenance, little more work, and you get out of sync. It's tough, and I think that's just the case for Pablo right now," Bochy said prior to Monday's series opener against the Dodgers. "He's been spending time on the right side trying to get it figured out. ... He's just got to go up there and get a good pitch to hit. While Sandoval is struggling as a right-handed batter, he's hitting .296 as a lefty. And although his power numbers are down this season, opposing teams still are well aware of Sandoval. "I hope he struggles a little bit longer," Dodgers manager Joe Torre joked. "Pablo is a good hitter and fearless up there. Everyone is aware that he doesn't have much of a strike zone, but that doesn't keep him from being dangerous."
Giants skipper not worried about Lincecum
SAN FRANCISCO -- It's tough to believe because it has rarely happened during the past few seasons, but Tim Lincecum was pulled after three innings Sunday for one reason."In my mind that was plenty, that was enough, he was done," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Monday. "His stuff just wasn't there." On Sunday, Lincecum threw 79 pitches and allowed two home runs -- a solo homer to David Ortiz in the first and a three-run shot to Mike Cameron in the third -- in his shortest outing since Opening Day 2009. "More than anything, he was done, he was fatigued," Bochy said. "He threw a lot of pitches, his stuff dropped off -- he'll tell you that, in the second inning it did -- and he went back out there. ... You could see him laboring, and at that point it's not worth trying to get some more innings out of him." Sure, Lincecum had his struggles in May (4.95 ERA). But he bounced back with four solid outings, including three straight wins (2.17 ERA). Bochy is confident Sunday's performance was just an aberration, and although he understands why some may cry injury or blister, he said he's confident Lincecum -- who still is 8-3 with a 3.13 ERA -- will continue to be a dominant starter. "There's not getting around that. Everybody, the expectations when Timmy hits the mound [are high], and when it doesn't go well, sure, you're surprised because it doesn't happen very often," Bochy said. "The way he threw in Houston [on Tuesday], I felt very good in the way he was there and commanded his pitches. He was just off [Sunday]."
Sunday's 4-1 loss to Boston was the Giants' third consecutive losing series. On Monday, Bochy emphasized the importance of ending that streak. "We've got to pick it up," Bochy said. "We've got to get back to taking series. Every team will say that, but we've lost three in a row right now." ... Bochy was asked about the possibility of right-hander Todd Wellemeyer (right quad strain) pitching out of the bullpen when he returns from the 15-day disabled list, but Bochy said he would wait until closer to Wellemeyer's return date (around the All-Star break) before deciding Wellemeyer's role. ... The Sept. 1 home game against Colorado has been moved up one hour, from 7:15 p.m. PT to 6:15 p.m., to accommodate the Rockies.