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SF 6, ATL 3: Pull the String!

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Extra Malo points to anyone who knows the movie from which I quote. But of course the real reference is to Tim Lincecum's change-up. Timmy struck out 10 this evening, and all 10 were swinging as Tim pulled the string on that nasty change-piece. It hits home how much he's mastered that pitch in only two years -- he learned it after his first big-league season, I believe -- to see him in the highlights throw it at the perfect speed, in the perfect spot, every damn time. Except once. See for yourself.

Pitcher of the week isn't a difficult choice. Lincecum has struck out 17, walked one, and won twice under unusual circumstances: the hoopla of another team's opening day, and the limbo of a four-hour rain delay.

Position player of the week can go in a few directions. Edgar Renteria is deserving for his plethora of singles and electrifying home run off Billy Wags Friday. Panda got hot Sunday . Juan Uribe's been swinging well. But I'm making an oddball pick: Mark DeRosa. His stat line is a weird .222 / .391 / .389, but he's done several things that a guy who's not swinging a hot bat still needs to do: Work the count. Take walks. Be a heads-up baserunner. Hit the ball the other way, as with his crucial RBI single Sunday. Strong work.

Grant relayed this note from the New York Daily News about Bochy's head-scratching maneuvers Friday. I'm going to pile on by asking why the hell didn't we see Schierholtz start in RF tonight, with Bowker moving to LF and DeRosa to 2B? Sure Velez drew a key walk before Sandoval's HR, and he made a beautiful catch, but starting Nate in RF would have been the better defensive alignment by far. What? Velez has more speed at the top of the lineup? (I heard this comment on the call-in radio wasteland this weekend.) Remember, Nate hit an inside-the-park home run last year. He's got plenty wheels enough. Bat him second, see what happens. Allow me the first one of the year: Free Nate!

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