SAN FRANCISCO — Tim Lincecum's no-hitter last weekend at San Diego provided a rare first-half highlight for the stumbling San Francisco Giants. And, perhaps, a glimpse into the Freak's immediate future in the Bay Area.
General manager Brian Sabean said on his regular radio show Thursday that the Giants don't plan to trade the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner this season.
"That's definitely good. I've always had a great time here in SF and I just hope to see that go further," Lincecum said after the Giants held a post-All-Star break workout at AT&T Park on Thursday night.
Lincecum is in the final season of a $40.5 million, two year contract.
"I expect Timmy to be in a Giant uniform," Sabean said on KNBR-680. "I find it hard to believe that he'd pitch elsewhere this year."
Now, the defending World Series champions must get back to work in a hurry if they want to hang around in an NL West that is still wide open. The first-place Arizona Diamondbacks are in town for a three-game series starting Friday night to kick off the second half.
"We know where we're at, and what has to happen in the second half, and that's us getting more consistent in all facets of the game," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said as the Giants held a light workout Thursday evening. "This thing's not going to happen right away as far as getting right back to where you want to be. It's a gradual thing, and that happens by playing good baseball."
At 50-45, Arizona leads the fourth-place Giants (43-51) by 6 1/2 games — so this series will be important for both clubs. Arizona will look to separate, while San Francisco hopes to gain ground in a tight division. The Giants are struggling in every phase, with a daunting August schedule on the horizon.
First, there's an important nine-game homestand, which includes a 10th game at AT&T Park on Tuesday in a doubleheader with Cincinnati in which the first game features the Reds as home team to make up a July 4 rainout.
Players and coaches held a team meeting Friday in San Diego.
Nobody is counting out the Giants at this stage.
"This is the team that's won two out of the last three World Series. They're still the king of the hill in this division," D-backs infielder Cliff Pennington said. "Just being ahead of them after the first half doesn't knock the team that won the World Series two out of the last three years out of it."
Still, San Francisco has lost 14 of its last 20 games and is desperately seeking some momentum. Not to mention some good fortune.
"They seem eager to get back. That's great news," Bochy said. "I think it's pretty simple, really: Early, our pitching wasn't what it normally is, and we went through a month really not hitting, not putting runs on the board. That was our biggest issue. It got contagious and we had a hard time getting out of it. ... It's going to be up to us to find a way to get some runs. We just got shut down too many times the last four or five weeks."