The Diamondbacks are having a pretty good season, and though I don't think that they can win a title with Willie Bloomquist as an everyday shortstop and Jason Marquis the magic missing starter who will make everything fall into place, they are not a bad team by any means.
Lincecum had an interesting performance, mowing down Arizona in the first, then struggling with 48 pitches over the second and third innings, though the righty did not allow a run. His fastball actually clocked at 96, which is certainly good news, but his command came and went. Somewhere in there Timmy must have had some dazzling movement on his pitches though, with the hardest hit ball coming in the sixth inning on a grounder to Aubrey Huff. Two other hitters topped the ball in front of the plate making the sphere look positively dizzy.
And then came Arizona's new first sacker, Paul Goldschmidt, in the fifth.
I like Goldschmidt. I wrote about him a month or so ago in my weekly minor league piece in the USA Today, right around the time my mate Zach Steinhorn was hoping to score the first baseman for one of his teams.
Coming from Double-A Mobile, Goldschmidt was hitting .306-30-94 so far this season. The first sacker usurped Juan Miranda, who beat out Russell Branyan (released) and Brandon Allen (traded), not to mention the possibility of Wily Mo Pena (also released) grabbing the spot.
When I got to the yard before the game, I asked the guys who sit next to me how he looked last night, and they said he hit the ball hard.
Well, in Goldschmidt's second at-bat tonight he parked a first-pitch Lincecum fastball somewhere in the night (I never did see where it landed). Up until the fifth, Lincecum did not allow a hit, until Ryan Roberts lined a single to left and Goldschmidt became the first rookie to hit his first homer off the two-time Cy Younger.
That was Goldschmidt's only hit, but, he also made a great diving stop in the ninth: not a bad play for a big (6'3" and 245 pounds) guy.
I would say that the Diamondbacks made a smart move giving him a chance. Not only that, it was the right move.