Two pitchers attempt to put a miserable 2012 season behind them on Wednesday when San Francisco's Tim Lincecum squares off against Josh Beckett of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the rubber match of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Lincecum was awful a year ago, posting the worst marks of his career in nearly every major pitching category, including losses (15), ERA (5.18) and walks (90), all while failing to throw a single complete game in 33 starts. His ERA was the worst in the NL and more than two runs higher than the 2.74 mark he posted in 2011.
"It's a new year," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Let's see what happens this year. That's how he has to look at it."
As bad as his regular season was, Lincecum shined for the Giants in the postseason as a reliever. However, he failed to carry that momentum into the spring where he was 0-3 with a 10.57 ERA over 15 1/3 Cactus League innings.
"I think I want what any player wants," said Lincecum. "At the end of the year you want to be playing in October and into November. Obviously on a personal note, coming off a lackluster year for me, coming back and surprising myself in a way and obviously surprising some (other) people would be a big thing for me."
Beckett, meanwhile, struggled as well a year ago, as he posted a 5-11 mark with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts for Boston before being dealt to the Dodgers in late August. Things got better for Beckett in L.A., where he threw to a 2.93 ERA over seven starts, but was just 2-3.
Both Lincecum and Beckett have some work to do if they plan on matching the pitching performances through the first two games of this series.
After Clayton Kershaw's four-hit shutout paced the Dodgers in the opener, Madison Bumgarner surrendered just two hits over eight scoreless innings to help the Giants to a 3-0 win on Tuesday.
Bumgarner (1-0), who retired 18 Dodgers in a row at one point, struck out six for San Francisco, which tallied 10 hits but grounded into four double plays.
"I felt really good, the best in a long time," Bumgarner said. "It feels good to get started on a good note. I felt like I was careful and made some quality pitches."
Joaquin Arias tallied two hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Sergio Romo picked up his first save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth.
South Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-1) made his highly-anticipated major league debut for the Dodgers and gave up three runs -- one earned -- on 10 hits over 6 1/3 frames. He fanned five and walked none.
"He knew what he was doing, he changed speeds. He wasn't as sharp as spring training, but he gets himself out of jams," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Ryu.
The Giants won the season series from the Dodgers last season, 10-8.