When Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants has been on this season, he has looked really good. At one point against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night (June 5) he had struck out six of eight batters and was on a roll. He would finish the night with eight strikeouts and one walk, while giving up just five hits over six innings - sure sounds like the Tim Lincecum of old to me. However, he would also finish the night with four earned runs, increasing his season ERA by 0.01 points to a robust 5.83.
The last time Tim Lincecum had an ERA over 5.00 in June was in 2007, during his rookie year, when he finished the month of June with a 5.19 ERA (after enduring part of the month in the high fives). In eight of his 12 starts this season, Lincecum has allowed at least four earned runs, and in those 12 starts the Giants as a team are 2-10. While there are those - such as Giants' broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper - who are saying that Lincecum is turning things around, it sure doesn't appear to be true because the one-inning disaster is a recurring event.
I will admit that the loss against the Padres was not on Lincecum's shoulders. Yes, he put his team behind the eight ball allowing an early four-run inning, but the Giants battled back and even gained the lead in the seventh inning - giving Lincecum a shot at the win. However, it would be the long ball that would get the best of the Giants as Jeremy Affeldt and Steve Edlefsen each gave up solo home runs - one of them a walk-off job by Logan Forsythe against Edlefsen. (What Edlefsen was doing in the game is beyond me.)
At this point in time, it's starting to look like locking up Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner were the smart moves to make. My colleague and friend Anthony Garcia told me the Giants have given Lincecum plenty of reason to walk after 2013. Perhaps his dissatisfaction is hindering his ability to remain focused and effective.
Regardless, I'm still not sure what Lincecum has to do in order to fully turn the corner and be on the road to recovery. He seems closer to being the Lincecum of old than he was earlier in the season, but these wild innings seem to be the one thing holding him back from regaining his Cy Young form. All I can hope is that somehow, Lincecum and the coaching staff figure out what is going on and correct it.
Food for thought: Do you think Lincecum's issues are purely mechanical or more about his focus - or lack thereof? How long before you become seriously concerned about Lincecum or are you already there?
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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