Originally written on SF Lunatic Fringe  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Mlb_may_15_def9
First of all…Tim Lincecum, I want to say Congratulations…and Thank You.  I know that the relationship between you and the fans hasn’t been so clean the last couple of seasons, but we are still rooting for you, and we appreciate that you are still working on your art and craft, and doing it so that Giants fans can appreciate it, rather than some who don’t, and wait until they can find a new situation to try and be happier. That was an amazing game, an amazing moment, and a not-at-all surprising but still worthwhile achievement.  So, congrats, and thanks. … Okay, here’s the thing about pitch count fears, and what I worry about in the aftermath of that game The worry about a pitch count is not that an arm, or shoulder, or pitcher is just going to explode after the 127th pitch.  That’s silly, and it would be unlikely to actually happen. What I worry about is the longer-term effects. When Matt Cain went a season-high 125 pitches last year for his Perfect Game, his ERA dropped to 2.18.  Now, 125 pitches isn’t exactly a ridiculous number, it’s right around that point that makes people uncomfortable, but not crazy.  But Cain gave up less than three runs only twice in his next seven starts, and his ERA kept rising until mid-August, when he returned to form, allowing more than two runs only once in his final 10 regular season starts. That backslide was a little disturbing.  We called it a hangover, but was it more? Let’s look at Edwin Jackson.  Jackson went 149 pitches in 2006, the highest no-hitter pitch count recorded, one more than Lincecum. It’s a good comparison.  Jackson did his on June 30th, close to the same time of the season as Lincecum.  Jackson had gone a little over 120 pitches a couple of times that season.  But, also, Jackson wasn’t having the best season, having a 5.05 ERA going into his no-hitter.  Lincecum was at 4.61. After that no-hitter, Jackson gave up at least four earned runs in each of his next five starts.  His ERA ballooned from 4.63 right after the no-hitter, to 5.16 at the end of July.  Jackson did return to form in August, but again, there’s that string of rough starts after an unusually long pitch count. Of course, there are key differences.  Mostly that Tim Lincecum is Lincecum.  He’s got an unusual throwing motion.  He doesn’t ice.  And, Lincecum will get an extra-long break between starts with the All-Star Break, which is something I can’t find a precedent to look at. So let’s look at what we can.  In 2008, Lincecum threw a then-career-high 132 pitches on August 27th, going 7 2/3 innings, giving up one run.  His very next start, he matched a career high with five runs given up.  However, he bounced back, giving up just one earned run in his next start, and then, going for a complete game shutout and throwing a new career-high 138 pitches.  Two starts later, he gives up a new career-high in runs, with six. In 2011, a Tim Lincecum more like the current one threw 133 pitches on May 21st against Oakland in a complete game shutout.  After that, he gave up three runs, five runs, four runs and then had a seven run, four-inning start.  But, he bounced back. I’m worried about a slide after this outing.  I think there’s plenty of evidence to see that coming.  And I worry that the Giants can’t survive Tim having a slide in performance for a month. That said…I’m still glad he didn’t get taken out sooner.  I wouldn’t have done anything different.  No-Hitter, baby!
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

Report: Browns interested in drafting Marcus Mariota

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

WATCH: South Alabama coach bloodied after kick to the face

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.