BOX SCORESAN FRANCISCO -- All that noise about Saturday night being a make-or-break start for Tim Lincecum against the Houston Astros?First Lincecum heard about it."I wasn't aware of it at all," he said after making the Astros look like a minor league outfit with eight shutout innings and 11 strikeouts, both season highs. Call them the AAAstros.And manager Bruce Bochy agreed that there was no hangman waiting in the back...just in case. Not even with Lincecum have been shelled in his two most recent outings, in Washington and Pittsburgh, giving up a combined 13 runs in 6 23 innings to the Nationals and Pirates."He was never approached with that," Bochy said.In fact, Bochy reaffirmed that Lincecum would make his next start, in the sweltering heat of Philadelphia."I'm not going to answer 'What if?' But he's starting Friday. This was a great outing for him to get back on track."Something, though, switched on him when the calendar flipped to August in 2010. Consider: before that month, Lincecum was a combined 51-21 with a 2.94 ERA. Since then, he was 21-30 with a 3.93 ERA entering Saturday. And that's counting a 5-0 September in 2010 that catapulted the Giants into the postseason and World Series.Against Houston on Saturday, though, Lincecum lowered his career ERA against the Astros to 0.99."I was just being aggressive, trying to command the zone...trying to feed off that with the mindset of attacking hitters."Lincecum has also been much better at home this season, as his 2-4 record and 3.99 ERA at AT&T Park versus a 1-6 mark and 9.00 road ERA would suggest.Four of his next six starts should be on the shores of McCovey Cove."I can only worry about my next start," he said."Today was a good day."Beat the Astros Sunday behind Matt Cain, who authored the franchise's first perfect game the last time he faced Houston on June 13, and the Giants will have swept the Astros for the first time since May 14-16, 2010.While it was Hector Sanchez's second career walk-off hit, it was the Giants' fifth walk-off win of the season. Sanchez's sixth-inning run-scoring double was his first extra-base hit off a left-handed pitcher since May 23 at Milwaukee.Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie left the game in the third inning after being spiked by Grego Blanco at second base. The injury was described as a right ankle sprain, though he seemed to be grabbing at his right knee.
The hot stove is heating up.
Giancarlo Stanton is the biggest name swirling in trade rumors and the Giants are reportedly pushing forward in their attempt to acquire the slugger. San Francisco's front office has proposed a trade to Miami for Stanton, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Details of what the Giants offered have not been reported yet.
Stanton, who recently turned 28, is guaranteed $295 million over the next 10 seasons. His contract includes a full no-trade clause and an opt-out after 2020.
On Thursday, Stanton was named the National League MVP after hitting .281 with a league-leading 59 home runs and 132 RBI. The last MVP to be traded in the offseason after winning the award was Alex Rodriguez from the Rangers to the Yankees before the 2004 season.
The Arizona Fall League came to an end for seven Giants prospects on Thursday as the Scottsdale Scorpions (12-17-1) came up short from playing in Saturday's championship game.
Let's take a look at how these seven names fared against some of the top young talent in all of baseball.
As the Giants are linked to trade targets in center field like Billy Hamilton and Jackie Bradley Jr., a young in-house option only helped his case in the desert.
Steven Duggar likely would have seen the AT&T outfield this season, but his season was hindered by injuries, keeping him to only 44 games between three levels. With the Scorpions, Duggar took advantage of his opportunity with more at-bats.
Duggar left Arizona with a .263/.367/.421 slash line over 20 games. The speedy lefty also stole nine bases and hit three home runs. Even if the Giants go for an experienced glove in center field this offseason and keep Duggar, the 24-year-old has also played 135 games in right field during his minor league career.
For the second straight year, the Giants sent catcher Aramis Garcia to the AFL. And he's sure to be coming home much happier this go around with an up-and-down campaign.
Splitting time behind the plate with three other catchers, Garcia appeared in 13 games and slashed .259/.293/.333 and hit one home run. Garcia struggled to get one base with only one walk to 10 strikeouts, but showed his natural ability to drive runs in with 10 RBI.
Rounding out the Giants' trio of bats they sent to Arizona is arguably their top prospect, but his time in the AFL was cut short. Chris Shaw only played in five games and hit .158. He dealt with a sore shoulder.
The Giants sent two starting pitchers (Tyler Beede and Joan Gregorio) and two relievers (Tyler Cyr and D.J. Snelten) to the AFL.
Pitching for the first time in nearly three months, Beede showed exactly why he's the Giants' top pitching prospect. Beede went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts, but his final three show the potential he's full of -- 14 innings pitched, three earned runs, a 1.93 ERA, 10 strikeouts and only one walk.
Gregorio, who was suspended this season for Performance Enhancing Drugs, pitched in eight games (three starts) for Scottsdale. He left with a 1-0 record and 5.87 ERA. In Triple-A, Gregorio went 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA this year over 13 starts. The 25-year-old presents an interesting arm that can help sooner than later in the bullpen.
Cyr's stats don't look pretty (0-1, 5.63 ERA, 8 IP), but he's catching some attention. The right-hander was named to the Fall Stars Game and is most likely to start 2018 in Triple-A after converting 18 saves at Double-A in 2017.
Snelten, a 6-foot-7 lefty, impressed in eight appearances out of the bullpen. He didn't allow an earned run until his final outing of the fall, bringing his ERA from a perfect 0.00 to 2.25 in 12 innings pitched.
After combining for a 2.20 ERA to go with an 8-1 record between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017, Snelten is a name to know as the Giants look to find more lefties for their bullpen.