Found June 11, 2012 on Seed Spitters:
Mlb_may_15_def9

As most Giants fans know, the two-time Cy Young award winner, four-time all-star and dazzler on the mound known as Tim Lincecum has not been his self in 2012.

Not even close.

After yesterdays 5-0 loss to the Texas Rangers (all five runs earned by Lincecum), Lincecum’s ERA is now at an even 6.00 on the year. Before this season, his career ERA stood at an impressive 2.98. Yeah, he is pitching about half as well as he usually has – yikes!

We have seen him suffer since Opening Day in Arizona – two home runs in the first inning and an eventual 5-4 loss. Giants fans could live with that game as they knew he would bounce back.

San Francisco Giants' starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) talks to pitching coach Dave Righetti. ( Nhat V. Meyer )

“He just had the jitters that’s all…” we would say with our noses pointed toward the sky. Ha!

Now, over a third of the way through this season, Tim Lincecum has started in 13 games, while the Giants are 2-11 in those same games.

“Well wins aren’t a good stat to represent a pitchers abili-” You know what? Fine, I wont use wins. I can use his ERA like I did earlier (which is 6.00 need I remind you!), or perhaps the good ‘ol WHIP for good measure (oh by the way, it’s 1.58, .40 more than his career average)?

Let’s face it, there is something freaky going on with “The Freak” because he isn’t pitching like he has in the past. The amount of strikeouts isn’t concerning, he still has great strikeout stuff. He has struck out 77 batters in the 72 innings pitched thus far (roughly 9.6 per nine innings – well above league average and his normal pace).

One big standout from previous seasons is his 4.9 walks per nine innings compared to his career 3.3. He just had four walks yesterday making a grand total of six games with four or more walks. Granted, two of those games were rare wins where he earned one run or less, but you get my point.

I also have to recognize the glimpses of the old Lincecum we have seen this season. His eight inning, 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on April 28. He allowed just three hits (four walks, blegh) and one run while striking out five to earn his second win of the year.

He hasn’t won since.

He came close about a month later against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park. He lasted seven innings, gave up four hits, five walks(!!), one run and six strikeouts, but the Giants ended up losing that game 4 to 1.

So what has been the problem? Somehow the amount of walks he lets on haven’t been a problem (although I think he has been really lucky so far in this category), but I believe its the length in which he pitches in games that is ruining him.

Here is a chart on the amount of runs Lincecum has given up in each inning this season:

Inning1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th Earned Runs126413012100 Innings pitched13.013.012.112.011.06.23.01.00.0 ERA8.314.152.929.750.0016.193.000.000.00

Okay, the fiirst thing that jumps out at me is his 8+ ERA in the first inning. Once he passes the first he is usually lights out until the fourth inning, where he tends to struggle as well. After the fourth though, he is very dominant in the fifth, having yet to allow a run in that inning.

Then we move into the sixth inning…

He holds a 16.19 ERA in the sixth inning, and has only made it out alive six times out of his 13 starts. In the sixth inning, his WHIP is also at a bloated 2.25 (welllllll above average). Batters are hitting .385 off of Lincecum in the sixth inning. To compare, the second highest batting average against in an inning is .298 in the fourth inning – which is by far his second worse inning.

The sad part about Lincecum’s starts is when he pitches really good one inning, and then completely falls apart the next. Take yesterday’s game for example: in the first inning he walks the bases loaded only to get out by the skin of his teeth; the second inning goes smoothly, striking out the side – no hits, no walks.

Giants fans are going: “Yes! Timmy is baaaaack <3 <3 !!” one inning, and then by the end of the night, I (somehow) listen to disgruntled fans call into KNBR post-game show telling Marty Laurie to trade Lincecum for Starlin Castro* or to demote Lincecum to AAA-Fresno.

Honestly, I don’t think that’s what he needs.

Disclaimer: I am not a pitching guru, nor am I a professional coach and/or athelete. 

Lincecum needs to be babied. As much as I hate how managers keep close eyes on pitch counts and how much work they are making their starting pitchers do, I feel Lincecum is not in the peak physical condition to pitch seven to eight innings every night (let alone six).

Pitch him next outing for four innings, no matter the score or if he is pitching a two-hitter. If he complains, tell him to stop complaining. The outing after that, give him five innings, see how he does. After that, stretch it to six, and then seven until he reaches the level of comfort he once had.

I have no clue if this idea will work as it’s just an idea, but I feel like he loses his confidence after the fifth inning and gives up hanging curve balls which turn into four-run innings. He needs to build up his confidence again, as he has been a completely different pitcher ever since spring training began.

I’m sure everyone has their beliefs as so why Lincecum is pitching so poorly, and my guess is as good as yours (or Dave Righetti’s, or Bruce Bochy’s or even Tim Lincecum’s). One thing is for sure: Timmy needs to pitch like Timmy.

*Can we put this ridiculous “[blank] for Castro!” business to rest?? He will not be traded from Chicago anytime soon  ever.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Lincecum needs change, not changeup

San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum was 24 when he won his first National League Cy Young Award, symbolic of his status as the best pitcher in the league, and 25 when he picked up his second piece of Cy Young hardware. Now, with his 28th birthday coming on Friday, the baseball world is waiting to find out just how good a pitcher Lincecum really is. Giants fans are starting...

Maybe a trip to Seattle is what Lincecum needs

Should the Giants pull Tim Lincecum from the rotation and rest him for a start? In the wake of another Lincecum clunker -- five runs, nine hits, four walks, 5 2/3 innings -- the Giants might consider all options, and one is to sit him out for more than the regular four days and have him get his act together. Sounds like a real possibility. Not now, however. Not when his next...

Giants have no plans to rest Lincecum

The Giants have no plans to rest struggling right-hander Tim Lincecum or send him to the bullpen to work out his problems. The two-time NL Cy Young award winner is winless over his last eight starts. Lincecum has a 6.00 ERA that is the highest on San Francisco's staff. Lincecum has lost five straight decisions and is 2-7 this season after Texas tagged him Sunday. Manager Bruce...

Another poor outing for Giants' Lincecum

A bad Tim Lincecum start no longer is a rarity. It's part of a trend. Nine hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings? Thirty pitches in the first inning? For a guy who thinks WHIP (walks and hits over innings pitched) is one heck of a stat, Lincecum might not want to see his these days. As manager Bruce Bochy said of Lincecum, whose WHIP is 1.58, ERA is 6.00 and winless streak...

“Don’t give up on Lincecum just yet!”

For those of us this year that drafted Tim Lincecum in the early rounds of our fantasy draft or used a nice chunk of our auction budget to pick him up, we are all probably asking ourselves the same question, “Will the real Tim Lincecum please stand up?” Through 12 starts so far this season, Lincecum’s ERA (5.83) is almost double what his career ERA (2.98) was coming into this...

SF Giants Rumors: Lincecum Drops Another, Melky’s Bat MIA, Over The Weekend

Another Tim Lincecum start, and another loss for the San Francisco Giants. The G-men have only won 2 of Lincecum’s 13 starts this season. He doesn’t have to get the win in every game, but the team should be winning more than 2 games in his 13 starts.   With that said, the Giants are only 5 games back of the Dodgers. If Lincecum can snap out of his funky rhythm (which I think...

Rangers beat Lincecum, Giants

Tim Lincecum avoided the one bad inning that has buried so many of his starts this season. Instead, the lanky right-hander spread out his mistakes all over the place. Indeed, the calendar is well into June and Lincecum and his funky delivery are still out of whack. Lincecum extended his winless streak to eight straight starts in the San Francisco Giants' 5-0 loss to the Texas...

Don't Give Up On Tim Lincecum Just Yet

Photo Credit: Acordova For those of us this year that drafted Tim Lincecum in the early rounds of our fantasy draft or used a nice chunk of our auction budget to pick him up, we are all probably asking ourselves the same question, “Will the real Tim Lincecum please stand up?”Through 12 starts so far this season, Lincecum’s ERA (5.83) is almost double what his career mark ...

Postgame Wrap: Giants Listen To Advice, Don’t Mess With Texas

In Brian Wilson’s absence, Tim Lincecum has taken it upon himself to make Giants baseball torturous once again. Remember, Torture doesn’t mean bad. Torture means just good enough to hang onto your hopes and your dreams and feel like there’s a reason to wake up each morning. Torture is good pitching and bad hitting, or good hitting and bad pitching, or stranding baserunner...

Rangers shut out Giants again

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a rematch of the 2010 World Series, the Texas Rangers exacted some revenge, pummeling Tim Lincecum, who was the winning pitcher in the deciding game 5 of that World Series. Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton each hit two-run doubles off Lincecum to take the rubber game of the series as the Rangers beat the San Francisco Giants 5-0 on a warm Sunday afternoon. "...

FanGraphs Audio: Dave Cameron

Episode 196 FanGraphs managing editor Dave Cameron makes his weekly appearance. Discussed: • Luck and unsustainability, the difference therein (especially as regards Tim Lincecum). • How the Pirates are accidentally in first place; the Cardinals, accidentally in third. • Mike Trout: early MVP candidate? Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter...

Rangers 5, Giants 0

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a rematch of the 2010 World Series, the Texas Rangers exacted some revenge, pummeling Tim Lincecum, who was the winning pitcher in the deciding game 5 of that World Series. Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton each hit two-run doubles off Lincecum to take the rubber game of the series as the Rangers beat the San Francisco Giants 5-0 on a warm Sunday afternoon. Alexi...

Baseball ProGUESTus: Scouting with PITCHf/x by Adam Foster

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball...
MLB 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!

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.