The San Francisco Giants could blame it on the weather, suggesting Tim Lincecum simply doesn't do well when it's incredibly hot.
But it would be just another excuse.
The fact is, Lincecum pitched poorly again, failing to follow up his wonderful previous start against the Dodgers with another strong outing. He took a step backward. He gave up eight runs and got pulled in the fourth inning of a 9-4 loss in Washington.
Lincecum said the heat "just got the better of me today." He threw 21 pitches in the first inning, and he never recovered. Another 24 in the second. And 26 in the third. He was done in the fourth.
"It wasn't any one inning," Lincecum said, and it wasn't. It was another inferior start, from beginning to end, and he remains in limbo as he struggles to recapture what used to go so right for him.