"Another tremendous job," Bochy said. "I don't know what else to say about him."With two outs in the seventh inning and Lincecum's strikeout total briefly resting at 199, the AT&T Park crowd stood and roared in anticipation as he got two strikes on Nick Hundley. The cheers rose as Lincecum fanned Headley with a 2-2 pitch. But Lincecum wasn't aware of his achievement until pitching coach Dave Righetti -- who grew up in San Jose rooting for the Giants, fittingly enough -- presented him with the ball that he fired past Headley as a memento and offered congratulations. "That was pretty nice to hear," said Lincecum, who accumulated 196 strikeouts last year (150 with the Giants and 46 at Triple-A) and totaled 199 as a junior at the University of Washington in 2006, his final collegiate season. "It's a big number." Lincecum's still stuck on zero in the complete-game category through 50 Major League starts. He appeared on track for his first after throwing 100 pitches in seven innings and retiring the first two Padres batters in the eighth on four pitches. But Lincecum walked Luis Rodriguez and Brian Giles before Adrian Gonzalez flied out, elevating his pitch count to 115 and prompting his removal. Asked what kind of pitch total Lincecum would need to stay in for the ninth, Bochy said, "It's more about watching him. He got two quick outs but he did labor on the next three hitters. He had trouble getting the ball where he wanted and he said that. I had made up my mind. I don't want to overwork this kid." Finishing the game wasn't a major issue for Lincecum.
"That's not really up to me," he said. "I would have been OK with going out there. Of course I'm going to say I feel good and I do."
He expressed desire to record a complete game someday -- "They're good to keep your bullpen fresh" -- but added, "If I don't, I'm still trying to do my job and give them what I can."If Ishikawa's recent efforts reflect what he can do, he might enter 2009 as the favorite to claim the first-base job. His second homer since his Aug. 13 hinted at his potential to generate the power that San Francisco sorely lacks. Asked if he can be at least an adequate long-ball source, Ishikawa replied, "I want to say yes, but it's not up to me. I put my trust in God and if that's what He wants to happen, I'm going to continue to work hard at it." The left-handed-batting Ishikawa avoided trying too hard when he drove the first pitch he saw in the fourth from Padres starter Cha Seung Baek (4-8) over the left-field barrier.
"I don't have that kind of strength to pull an outside pitch over the right-field fence, so I've learned to go with the pitch," he said.Ishikawa's hit ended the Giants' scoring. The rest of the evening was reserved for Lincecum's special brand of tedium, in Vizquel's estimation. "If that's what boring means," Lincecum said, "I like being boring."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.