SAN FRANCISCO -- Mike Fontenot remembers what it's like digging into the batter's box against Tim Lincecum.On nights like Thursday, Fontenot is glad he's in the same dugout as the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner. Lincecum made one of the most incredible postseason debuts imaginable, two-hitting the Braves and setting a Giants postseason record with 14 strikeouts, as he handcuffed Atlanta hitters in Thursday's 1-0 win over the Braves in Game 1 of the NL Division Series.
"He was lights-out," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "We had two runners at second base the whole night and that was it. I don't know how many he struck out, but it was more than the fingers on my hand."Before Fontenot, a backup infielder, was acquired by the Giants from the Cubs on a Deadline-day trade, he had seen his fair share of Lincecum. In 13 career at-bats against the Giants right-hander, Fontenot managed only one hit -- a single -- and struck out six times. Although Fontenot said he has experienced some success against Lincecum -- "I got some hits off of him in Spring Training, man," he joked -- Fontenot said what makes Lincecum so tough is the batter never knows what he's going to get. "Every at-bat, it's like he had a different plan of attack against you, so it wasn't like you can get comfortable against him, like, 'Oh, I think I'm going to get a fastball here,'" Fontenot said. "Any count he can throw any pitch -- and they're all good pitches -- for strikes, so he really keeps you off balance, throws hard, moves the ball around." Lincecum's number of different pitches -- fastball, slider, curveball and his most deadly, his changeup -- is the key reason for his success. That variety is another reason outfielder Cody Ross, who is 1-for-6 against Lincecum, said the right-hander is so tough. "He's got dominating stuff and he throws four pitches that are plus-pitches," Ross said. "When you get a starter that can throw three that are plus, you've got a pretty good starter. But when you've got a guy who can throw four, he goes and does what he did tonight. To be able to do it in his first postseason start, it's incredible."
Lincecum's 14K's shine bright
|B. Gibson||'68 WS 1||Stl.||Det.||17|
|K. Brown||'98 NLDS 1||S.D.||Hou.||16|
|R. Clemens||'00 ALCS 4||NYY||Sea.||15|
|L. Hernandez||'97 NLCS 5||Fla.||Atl.||15|
|M. Mussina||'97 ALCS 3||Bal.||Cle.||15|
|S. Koufax||'63 WS 1||L.A.||NYY||15|
|T. Lincecum||'10 NLDS 1||S.F.||Atl.||14|
|M. Scott||'86 NLCS 1||Hou.||NYM||14|
|M. Boddicker||'83 ALCS 2||Bal.||CWS||14|
|J. Candelaria||'75 NLCS 3||Pit.||Cin.||14|
|J. Coleman||'72 ALCS 3||Det.||A's||14|
|C. Erskine||'53 WS 3||Bro.||NYY||14|
Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.