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by Ben Burns - 07/21/2010
Two big questions and one giant bad beat came out of San Francisco’s come-from-behind win
over the Dodgers Tuesday.
1) What is Rule 8.06?
2) What is wrong with Tim Lincecum?
The answer to No. 1 cost anyone who backed the Dodgers a chance to close the deal. We’re
still waiting for the answer to No. 2.
With steady starter Clayton Kershaw on the mound, the Dodgers were around -118 favorites
against Lincecum and the Giants. It was the first time all season San Francisco had been an
underdog with Lincecum starting.
>From the beginning, Lincecum didn’t have his best stuff. He was wild and, more concerning
for the Giants, had trouble hitting 90 mph on the radar gun. The Dodgers took advantage,
scoring three runs in the first and tacking on two more in the third off to take a 5-1 lead.
The frustration mounted for Lincecum, who first knocked down Matt Kemp, then, on the next
pitch beaned the Dodger outfielder in the fifth inning. Lincecum claimed it was unintentional,
but because Kershaw plunked Andres Torres to lead off the game, there was some doubt.
"It just got away from me," said Lincecum, who left after surrendering five runs on seven hits
and three walks. "I wasn't throwing at him on purpose at all. I had a hard enough time finding
the strike zone, let alone wanting to hit somebody on purpose when we're down a run."
Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ ace was rolling. Kershaw steamed into the sixth, before the Giants
capitalized on a Xavier Paul error and scored three runs.
Leading 5-4 in the seventh, Kershaw pegged Aaron Rowand and was ejected, along
with Dodger manager Joe Torre. That turned out to be the bigger of the ejections.
The Dodger bullpen held the lead and turned it over closer Jonathan Broxton in the ninth.
Broxton wasn’t as efficient as normal and worked himself into a bit of a jam. He intentionally
walked Aubrey Huff to load the bases with one out. This is when rule 8.06 came into play.
Hitting coach Don Mattingly, who was acting as manager in place of Torre, went to the mound
to discuss strategy with Broxton. After talking to Broxton, Mattingly headed back to the dugout.
He took two steps off the mound, but turned around to instruct first baseman James Loney how
deep to play. Those two steps proved costly.