At this point in the season, it's safe to say that if a player is underperforming it's not a case of them simply getting acclimated to the new season. Early in a season when a player isn't quite up to snuff, you can say, "Well it's only April/May," or "It's still early in June," to give them some reprieve for their performance. However, it's now July 4 and prior to today, the San Francisco Giants have played 81 games - exactly half of the season's total.
That being said, I think now would be the appropriate time to start thinking about skipping Tim Lincecum's next start on Sunday, July 8. With his start coming just one day before the All-Star break, it would be easy to do. All the Giants would have to do is call up someone from Triple-A Fresno to start that Sunday and the rest of the rotation could continue normally when the break was over. It would actually work out best because it would give Lincecum an extra five days of rest and he would have 15 days between starts - hopefully giving him plenty of time to work out whatever it is that is preventing him from getting things going this season.
In his most recent start on July 3, Lincecum gave up nine hits and eight runs (seven earned) while striking out just two batters in 3.1 innings pitched - his second shortest outing of the season. The Giants would lose the game 9-3, but I really have to say that the loss doesn't fall squarely on Lincecum's shoulders.
There were three separate occasions during the game when the Giants had a lead-off runner on second base with no outs and were unable to bring them home; let alone advance them to third base. It's that lack of timely hitting with RISP that leads to a low output of run support for Lincecum. If the Giants start rallies with those runners on second and no outs, there is not telling how may runs could have scored.
Despite the fact that a day off could help Lincecum's mentality, I doubt that Bruce Bochy will go ahead and skip his next start. During the Giants' post-game presser, Bochy said that Lincecum will have one more start to gain some momentum heading into the All-Star Break. Perhaps the break itself will be enough to give Lincecum a little extra time between starts. Still, I think it's a good idea to give him as much time off as possible without having to put him on the DL.
The Giants are 4-13 in Lincecum's starts this season. Just imagine how far ahead of the Los Angeles Dodger the Giants would be if we were even 10-7 or 9-8 in his starts.
Food for thought: Does skipping Lincecum's next start on July 8 sound like something that you would promote? Better yet, do you think that it will do anything for his struggles this season or is he beyond saving?
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
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