6/27/2014 3:08 A.M. ET
Crawford making case for ASG inclusion
By Chris Haft and Ryan Hood / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- With online-only voting for the 2014 All-Star Game commencing on Thursday, things are coming down to the wire. The Giants have the National League's second-best record, but no players atop any position in the voting.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford is one of three players -- Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval being the others -- in third. Crawford trails the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki by just more than 2,000,000 votes and the Brewers' Jean Segura by roughly 180,000.
Although the Giants have maintained throughout the season that they don't care about All-Star appearances, Crawford's career season has given him a legitimate case for inclusion. His 36 RBIs are nine shy of his career high, and he's hitting .338 against lefties this season, to go along with eight triples, which is tied for second most in the Majors.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 8:59 p.m. PT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Lincecum doesn't want to be defined by no-nos
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum awoke on Thursday morning anticipating the future instead of basking in his glorious recent past.
Less than 24 hours earlier, the right-hander celebrated pitching his second no-hitter against the San Diego Padres in two years.
"I hung out at my house and did what I said I was going to do. Nothing too crazy," said Lincecum, who had joked about partying after Wednesday's gem.
But he also sounded as though he was already beginning to focus on his next start, on Tuesday against St. Louis.
"Just embracing a new day, another day to work, to get back on the horse," he said, relating his first conscious thoughts from Thursday. "Not treating [the no-hitter] too big."
Lincecum, who's still in the process of changing the emphasis of his pitching from power to finesse, does intend to use videos and memories from Wednesday's game as learning tools to hasten the transition.
"It'll always be something I can lean on," he said. "Maybe not the outing as a whole, but what I was able to do with secondary pitches, and the way I was finishing guys off a little better and [maintaining] location -- I wasn't over the middle of the plate as much as I have been. So it'll be something I lean on more from a mechanical standpoint."
With Wednesday's feat, Lincecum joined Roy Halladay, Randy Johnson and Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers with multiple Cy Young Awards and no-hitters. The club of pitchers who have multiple no-hitters, Cy Young Awards and World Series rings has only two members: Koufax and Lincecum.
Though Lincecum, 30, appreciates the historic significance of his second no-hitter, he isn't dwelling on it.
He understands the distinction of being in the same company with Koufax but doesn't want that to define his career.
"Hopefully, that's not where it ends," he said.
Lincecum admitted that he reveled in one aspect of Wednesday's game: His hitting. He singled twice in three at-bats after entering the game batting .045.
"I watched the replays of my hits," he said. "I'm kind of proud of those."
Duvall goes deep in memorable big league debut
SAN FRANCISCO -- Minutes after his first Major League game ended, Adam Duvall was greeted by a group of 10 friends and family members outside the home team's clubhouse inside AT&T Park. A special stranger joined them.
That stranger is named Tony. Tony was the season-ticket holder who, an hour earlier, caught Duvall's first career home run, a no-doubter into the left-field bleachers. Tony returned the newly-minted keepsake to Duvall, who returned the favor by taking pictures and autographing both a ball and a bat for Tony.
"I was just hoping it was going to go out," Duvall said of his seventh-inning blast. "I've heard a lot of talk about how it [the ball] doesn't fly and it's hard to hit out here, so I was just hoping I got enough.
"When I finally saw that it did clear the fence, it was a pretty cool feeling."
Pretty cool feelings are becoming commonplace for the 25-year-old. Late Tuesday night, he received his first Major League callup. After catching a flight from Texas, Duvall arrived at AT&T Park minutes before first pitch on Wednesday afternoon. Three hours of Tim Lincecum brilliance later, he witnessed a no-hitter for the first time. Not a bad first day on the job.
Orientation abruptly ended late Thursday afternoon, though. Shortly after first baseman Michael Morse was scratched from the lineup due to illness, manager Bruce Bochy informed the newcomer he'd be making his first career start.
One home run later, Duvall had earned employee of the day honors as one of the lone bright spots on what otherwise was bleak performance by the Giants in the 3-1 loss to the Reds.
Pretty cool, indeed.
"That's a feeling I'll never forget, running the bases," Duvall said. "It's my first hit, so it was pretty neat to be able to do that.
"I'm not sure what I saw after I hit, I was just making sure I touched all the bases."
That he'd again touch all bases was the last glimmer of hope for the spectators who remained in the stands for the bottom of the ninth inning. With two outs and Buster Posey on second, Duvall entered the batter's box to face flamethrower Aroldis Chapman representing as the tying run.
The funny-but-scary possibility of Duvall's first plate appearance coming against the power-pitching lefty had crossed Bochy's mind before Morse fell ill. "Then I thought, 'I can't do that to him,'" Bochy joked before Thursday night's game.
Duvall lined out to third baseman Todd Frazier for the night's final out, thus concluding the wildest 48-hour stretch of his life.
"The nerves were there for sure," Duvall said. "I was just trying to tell myself it's the same game, just a bigger crowd."
He won't look back on Thursday as just another day at the office.
Junior Giants Stretch Drive underway
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants on Thursday launched their sixth Junior Giants Stretch Drive, their annual fundraising effort to help area youth play baseball.
The Stretch Drive was created in honor of Hall of Fame first baseman Willie "Stretch" McCovey to help fund the Junior Giants baseball program for more than 21,000 children in 90 underserved communities.
In addition to McCovey, right fielder Hunter Pence has lent his name to help support the effort.
The recommended donation is $50, the cost of enabling one child to participate in the Junior Giants program throughout the summer.
Those giving $50 will receive a Pence bobblehead that features the diving catch that preserved Tim Lincecum's 2013 no-hitter at San Diego. Other rewards are given for higher donations, including a baseball autographed by McCovey and Pence ($440), a Pence-autographed bat ($1,500), a McCovey-autographed jersey ($4,400) and a meet-and-greet session with McCovey ($10,000).
To make a donation, visit jrgiants.org.
Lincecum, Pence talk World Cup
SAN FRANCISCO -- When cameras captured Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum wearing Team USA soccer jerseys on Wednesday while celebrating Lincecum's no-hitter in the clubhouse, the U.S. men's national team received some free publicity.
The personalized jerseys had arrived before the game, which Pence said put Lincecum in a good mood before what would prove to be a historic evening. Neither player wore the jerseys on Thursday, but the Giants' biggest soccer fans were content with the national team advancing out of the "group of death" despite its 1-0 loss to Germany.
"I wanted something better, but I'm glad they made it through," Lincecum said. "They've done a lot of hard work, and obviously, they were in the group of death, so to make it out is a feat in its own right."
Lincecum credited playing a FIFA video game with sparking his interest in soccer. His go-to team? Atletico Madrid.
Pence, who watched Thursday's match with his father, is looking forward to Team USA's round-of-16 match against Belgium being shown in the clubhouse prior to the game against the Cardinals on Tuesday.
As for a prediction?
"I'm going to enjoy watching it," Pence said, "that's my prediction."
• Brandon Belt began his rehab assignment at Class A Advanced San Jose on Thursday night. Bochy said the plan is for Belt have three or four at-bats per game and serve as the designated hitter through Sunday, then play first base for Triple-A Fresno beginning on Monday.
• Second baseman Marco Scutaro played three innings with the team's Arizona League affiliate on Tuesday, and he will play four or five innings on Friday.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.