National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, June 27th
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Dodgers (43-32) at San Francisco Giants (42-33), 3:45 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles - Chad Billingsley (4-6, 4.15)
San Francisco - Tim Lincecum (2-8, 6.07)
(Sports Network) - After a rough start last time out, Tim Lincecum showed
vintage form and once again flashed encouraging signs he is ready to break out
of a season-long slump.
If he can do that today, he can hurl San Francisco into a first-place tie in
the National League West.
Lincecum and the Giants take aim at a big three-game sweep of the slumping Los
Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon.
The right-handed Lincecum hasn't won since April 28, going 0-6 in 10 starts
since. That run also included nine straight losses for the Giants with the
former Cy Young winner on the mound, but that skid came to an end on Friday in
Oakland. Though Lincecum got a no-decision, the Giants knocked off the A's
The 28-year-old was roughed up for three runs and all three of his hits
allowed in a 43-pitch first inning, but retired 18 of his final 20 batters
faced over the six-inning start without allowing a hit.
Still, Lincecum is 2-8 with a 6.07 earned run average in 15 starts this year
and that includes a loss at Los Angeles on May 9. He yielded four runs over
five innings and struck out eight.
He is 5-5 with a 3.07 ERA lifetime versus the Dodgers.
Lincecum will look to extend a solid run of starting pitching that has seen
the Giants shut out the Dodgers over the first two games of this series. Barry
Zito hurled seven scoreless frames in Monday's 8-0 win before Ryan Vogelsong
followed up with seven shutout innings of his own in last night's 2-0 triumph.
Vogelsong scattered seven hits and walked one as the Giants won for the fourth
time in five games and pulled to within a game of the Dodgers for first place
in the NL West.
"Pitching has been right on in this series," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
"Vogy (Vogelsong) is pretty amazing, what he has done and how consistent he's
been ... He knows what he's doing."
Melky Cabrera smacked a solo homer as part of a two-run fourth inning for the
Giants, who have registered back-to-back home shutouts against the Dodgers for
the first time since 1987.
A winner in each of his past four starts at AT&T Park, Clayton Kershaw was
charged with two runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings for Los
Angeles, which has dropped three straight and seven of its last eight
"It's just a matter of us staying the course," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly
said of his team's struggles. "It's my job as a manager that we don't panic."
Mattingly will go with Chad Billingsley for today's finale and the right-
hander has lost two straight starts. That includes Friday's outing at the
Angels as he gave up season highs of six runs and 10 hits while pitching five
Billingsley had won two straight starts prior to the consecutive losses,
allowing two runs over a combined 14 frames in that time. However, the right-
hander now sits at 4-6 on the season with a 4.15 ERA in 15 starts.
The 27-year-old did not factor into a May 9 start versus the Giants, yielding
two runs while lasting only four innings. In 10 starts at AT&T Park,
Billingsley is 1-3 with a 3.19 ERA.
The Dodgers have won seven of their past 12 versus the Giants, taking two of
three at home over San Francisco from May 7-9.
06/27 10:30:17 ET