Usually when Timmy smiles, good things happen.
So, when Tim Lincecum made an impromptu diving play after chasing down a ball off the bat of Chris Young that tipped off Lincecum’s glove, the boyish grin that followed seemed a picturesque foreshadowing of good fortune to come. The Giants offense took its cue, rallying to tie it in their next at bat, starting with back-to-back singles by Aubrey Huff and Brandon Belt in the top of the sixth. So it seemed, the Giants were going to write a little opening-day destiny.
But, unlike most of last season, when Lincecum digested a sub-.500 record despite posting the NL’s fifth best ERA, his offense was not to blame for the loss – as the Giants fell to Arizona 5-4. Lincecum’s lackluster presence and shoddy command were his undoing. And, the next time he walked off the Chase Field diamond, it was when manager Bruce Bochy took the ball in the bottom of the sixth, after Lincecum surrendered the eventual game-winning runs on a two-run double by notorious Giants killer Ryan Roberts.
Now the Giants are 0-1. No loss before the All-Star Break stings quite like an opening-day loss. However, there was cause for optimism in the hit column. Sure, the Diamondbacks made some noise with a pair of mammoth home runs in the first inning – one by Young before the Giants had even recorded their first out of the season, and later a majestic two-out bomb by another burgeoning Giants killer, Paul Goldschmidt. Yet, the Giants ultimately outhit the D-Backs 11-7.
While the Bay Area is abuzz regarding the brewing legacy in Yoenis Céspedes’ first domestic home run – one that highlighted all the local highlight reels Friday night – Giants fans were witness to a fine opening act of sorts in Melky Cabrera’s first home run in orange-and-black, a fairly impressive 350-foot low liner that, in its own right, was crushed.
And, of course, not only did Buster Posey play the entire game, he looked limber and agile while doing the catchers dance behind the plate. Not to mention, Posey also had two hits, and currently leads the Giants in hitting.
Most fans know Giants pitchers are going to shut down anyone they please. Shoot, pretty much the whole baseball world knows it. But, with an underlying hit parade in the desert, coupled with the anticipation of Freddy Sanchez’s return, the Giants provided plenty of reason for optimism towards the 2012 season on opening day.