I know that a lot of comparisons have been made between the Giants’ Tim Lincecum and Houston’s Roy Oswalt, but after watching the two starters face off on television (last week in Houston), and now for five innings in person (here at the Big Phone), I don’t really see it. I mean, sure, they’re both little guys who throw ungodly stuff, and in that sense they’re the same. But to watch them pitch is like apples and oranges.
For one, Oswalt is not nearly as exaggerated in his over-the-top delivery. For two, he’s not nearly as reliant on his fastball. For three, Oswalt seems to have a purpose behind each pitch. The last two items, of course, would go to experience, and obviously, Oswalt trumps LIncecum in that area, and there’s nothing Lincecum can do except gain some.
As for The Franchise, does anybody else feel like they’re witnessing another Burt Hooton when they watch Lincecum pitch. Don’t get me wrong, Lincecum’s stuff blows Hooten’s away (though Hooton had that nasty knuckle-curve) but to watch the way Lincecum delievers the ball with his body contorted and his arm coming from way down low to way over the top reminds me of how Hooton delivered the ball. Can’t seem to recall if Hooten had arm troubles, but he made at least 30 starts in seven of nine seasons after establishing himself in the majors, so maybe that’ll bode well for Linceum.
Meantime, Lincecum still is relying heavily on his gas, though not nearly as heavily as in his debut two weeks ago. This is natural and there’s no need for him to change dramatically yet, because Lincecum is still mostly crusing. But to watch him contrasted against Oswalt is to understand that Lincecum is still feeling his way. Imagine how silly he’ll be when he gets a better idea of what he’s doing out there.