Friday, April 10, 2015

Morrow, Lincecum face off in San Diego

Not long ago, the pitching matchup for Friday's Giants-Padres rematch would have been certain to generate intense emotion.
In Seattle.
Rewind to the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. Seattle selected University of California right-hander Brandon Morrow with its first-round selection, fifth overall. Five picks later, San Francisco plucked another right-hander, a fellow from the University of Washington who happened to be Tim Lincecum. Mariners fans duly noted the soaring success enjoyed by Lincecum -- including two Cy Young Awards, four All-Star selections, contributions to three World Series triumphs -- and they were unhappy about it, believing that the kid from their own backyard could have led a baseball renaissance in Seattle.
Now, Morrow's and Lincecum's paths cross again, with their respective teams trying to gain early footing in the National League West race.
Things to know about this game
• Giants manager Bruce Bochy said it was likely that Buster Posey will play first base and Hector Sanchez will catch Friday. It keeps Posey's bat in the lineup while sparing him from the rigors of catching. It also pairs Lincecum with Sanchez, who have collaborated effectively.
• San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso's six hits in the season-opening three-game series at Los Angeles was the team's highest total and tied for fourth-most in franchise history through three games. Only Benito Santiago in 1991 (eight), Tony Gwynn in 1996 (eight) and Luis Salazar in 1983 (seven) had more hits through the same juncture.
• In Lincecum's last eight appearances against San Diego, he has posted a 7-0 record with a 2.01 ERA and two no-hitters.
• The Padres figure to score more runs this season with the additions of such thumpers as Matt Kemp and Justin Upton, but the flipside of that is they've added players who have a history of striking out. Entering the Giants series, San Diego led the Major Leagues with 32 strikeouts in three games.

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