Some baseball games are just fun to watch, no matter what team you follow or how seriously you enjoy the sport.
San Francisco Giants' ace Tim Lincecum and Arizona Diamondbacks' number one starter Ian Kennedy exchanged zeroes for eight innings in a remarkable pitching duel last night before the Diamondbacks' bullpen faltered in the ninth.
If anything was worth being disappointed over it's that the Diamondbacks lost 1-0 on a walkoff single -- but how can you complain about a game where a walkoff is not the most spectacular occurrence?
Lincecum and Kennedy were dealing last night, with each pitcher making the opposing lineup look positively doofy.
Lincecum threw five no-hit innings to start the contest, and even after he'd allowed his first hit he kept piling on strikeouts and scoreless innings. Kennedy was up to the challenge of facing the best starter in baseball, matching him frame-by-frame.
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Both starters left after the eighth, with Lincecum striking out nine, walking two, and giving up four hits. Kennedy struck out eight, walked three and gave up four hits also.
The incredible eccentric Brian Wilson relieved Lincecum in the top of the ninth and kept the Diamondbacks off the board. Manager Kirk Gibson sent reliever David Hernandez out to keep the game tied at AT&T Park but Hernandez was unable to hold down the fort against the Giants.
Hernandez gave up the dreaded leadoff walk to Buster Posey to start the inning, allowed an easy stolen base to Posey's pinch-runner, Darren Ford, and then gave up a walkoff single to Cody Ross.
It's a loss and it hurts, sure, but it's ultimately no big deal. Kennedy's performance is of greater importance for the Diamondbacks' future. The young starter continues to grow on the mound after a disappointing start to his career with the New York Yankees, which bodes well for the season and fans.