"I got a lot out of that," he said. "Even when we were on the road and people were booing you, you drew off of that. And if a player tells you they don't, they're lying."Lincecum, however, sounded sincere Friday when he said that he strives to keep his emotions in check when AT&T Park patrons roar in anticipation of strike three. Otherwise, he said, "it kind of takes me out of my focus." He admitted that he occasionally gets swept away by the fans' mood, as was the case July 13 when a sellout crowd at Chicago's Wrigley Field cheered thunderously for Kosuke Fukudome when he pinch-hit with two outs in the seventh inning, one runner aboard and the Giants leading, 4-1.
"That kind of got my heart rate going," Lincecum said. Footnote: Lincecum struck out Fukudome on a 3-2 pitch.Mostly, though, Lincecum doesn't need additional juice from the audience.
"I love the game so much, I think there's enough excitement going on anyway," he said. "When we score a run and I'm not playing, I'm like, 'Yeah!'" Lincecum punched his palm with his fist for emphasis.Don't expect Lincecum to follow Montefusco's tendency of predicting victories against his next opponent.
"I understand how humbling this game can be," Lincecum said. "I don't want to test those waters."Montefusco doesn't regret his boldness. "You don't want to be boring!" he said. Through the prism of experience, Gallagher summarized the differences between the colorful right-handers. "Lincecum lets his pitching do the talking," he said. "Montefusco was fortunate he could back some of this stuff up. But the result is similar." Moreover, Lincecum has a fan in Montefusco, who has watched the 24-year-old on television.
"He's got some great stuff," Montefusco said. "If he can keep the ball down, he can be even better than he is now."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.