Posted June 21, 2012 on AP on Fox
The Oakland Athletics didn't get down on themselves earlier this month when they were struggling, and now they're playing their best baseball of the season. San Francisco right-hander Tim Lincecum is at a low point now, and it's uncertain when the two-time NL Cy Young winner will end the worst stretch of his career. The surging A's go for a seventh consecutive home win over San Francisco on Friday night when the Bay Bridge Series continues. A season-worst nine games below .500 on June 10 following a 4-14 skid, Oakland (34-36) has since won eight of nine. The A's are nine games back of AL West-leading Texas, but they've won three straight series for the first time since September 2010. "At the time (we were struggling), our attitude as a team when we were going through it was, 'Lets' stick with it. Things will turn around.' And they did," third baseman Brandon Inge told the A's official website after Yoenis Cespedes' walk-off three-run shot in Thursday's 4-1 home win over the NL-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. "Now you don't get too high, just like you don't get too low." Things can't get much worse for Lincecum (2-8, 6.19 ERA), who is 0-6 with a 6.44 ERA in 10 starts since his last victory April 28 against San Diego. "I know he's taking it hard,'' manager Bruce Bochy said after the right-hander surrendered five runs in five-plus innings of Saturday's 7-4 loss at Seattle. Lincecum needed 90 pitches to get through four innings of a 6-2 defeat May 20 that ended San Francisco's 11-game home winning streak versus Oakland. The Giants won two of three last month against the A's, but they're winless across the bay since a 6-3 victory June 24, 2009. Right-hander Jarrod Parker (3-3, 2.82) will try to extend San Francisco's struggles at the Coliseum while helping Oakland match a season high with a fourth consecutive home win. With the club limiting his innings after he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009, Parker gets the ball for the first time since throwing seven shutout innings of an 8-2 road win over Colorado on June 14. "We are very careful with him," manager Bob Melvin told the A's official website of the decision to switch Parker and Travis Blackley in the rotation Thursday. Parker should be careful pitching to Melky Cabrera, the majors' hit leader with 101, who went 8 for 11 with a double in last month's series against Oakland. Cabrera had one of the four hits off Parker on May 18 when the right-hander was pulled after giving up six runs in two-plus innings of an 8-6 loss. Cespedes missed that series at AT&T Park with a strained left hand, and he could DH for these three games as he's only been back two since returning from a hamstring injury. Recent call-up Brandon Moss, batting .333 with team highs of six homers and 11 RBIs during the A's 8-1 run, will get his first look at Giants pitching in three years. He is 1 for 5 against Lincecum. Left fielder Seth Smith is 9 for 30 with three homers and two doubles off the right-hander. Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is batting .414 (12 for 29) with three homers and seven RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak, but he has no RBIs in the last six contests. All three of San Francisco's shutout losses in 2012 have come in the last 12 games. The Giants batted .184 and scored five total runs in their last visit to Oakland from June 17-19, 2011.

On the farm: Brown, Panik, Hembree updates

Between worrying about Tim Lincecum‘s performances, the recovery of a “heavier” Pablo Sandoval, the joys of watching Matt Cain pitch perfectly or Melky Cabrera move into third in the National League for starting outfielder in this summer’s All-Star game, I’ve decided to shed some light on the future of the Giants organization. Before this season, I was excited about the...

SF Giants Rumors: Zito, Cabrera Record, All Star Voting, Giants Linked to Starting Pitcher

The San Francisco Giants have dropped game 2 of the 3-game series to the Angels. Barry Zito tossed 3 1/3 innings before Bruce Bochy finally decided to pull the hook. Zito gave up 8 runs in his short outing.   Outfielder Melky Cabrera is having an awesome year thus far. Last night he reached 100 hits in 291 plate appearances. That’s the fastest in San Francisco history! The living...

Daily Notes | Tim Lincecum's Season Turns Around Tonight

Tim Lincecum is 2-8. He has not won since April 28. His team has lost 9 straight games he has started. He has an ERA over 6.00. He has a career worse 4.8 walks per 9 innings. His average fastball velocity is lower than ever. Tim Lincecum is also 28. He has won two Cy Young Awards. He is striking out more than a batter per inning this season. He and the team claim that he is healthy...

SF Giants Rumors: Another Series Loss, Huff DL, Cains Perfect Game

First Seattle, and now Anaheim. The San Francisco Giants have lost back-to-back series to American League teams on the road. Next up for the Giants is the Athletics in Oakland.   Infielder Aubrey Huff is eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday, but manager Bruce Bochy isn’t going to guarantee he’d rejoin the team that day. Perfect Game Matt Cain‘s hat, cleats, game...

Norris arrives from minors to share Oakland's catching job with Suzuki

For a team playing as well as it has all year, the A's made an unexpected move Thursday. Oakland brought up its top catching prospect, Derek Norris, and Norris was in the lineup for the team's 4-1, walk-off win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Coliseum. It was the Athletics' eighth win in nine games. Manager Bob Melvin said that Kurt Suzuki, the A's longtime...

Postgame Wrap: Tim Lincecum Pitches Poorly, Then Well, Answers No Questions

There was a point last year when Tim Lincecum would start games and look pretty bad. Keep in mind, this is back when Lincecum was generally a really good pitcher. Still, he had a tendency to give up a couple hits or walks before he got a good command of the strike zone and truly settle in. Typically at that point he’d be in great shape, but it led to quite a few antsy first innings...

2012 Fantasy Baseball, Week 12: Buy Low On Lincecum, Sell High on LaHair

Tim Lincecum (credits below) I won’t be doing the self-rating this week. It will be an every-other week thing, so that it doesn’t become redundant.

Sell High: Bryan LaHair

One of the nice surprises of 2012 has been Bryan LaHair, who has both invigorated Cubs fans and infuriated them. LaHair has provided the Cubs with the dilemma of whether to sell on LaHair to make...

This Coco Crisp sign is spectacular

Thigh Five: MLB on FacebookGet the latest Thigh updates by following us on Facebook & Twitter.a2a_linkname=document.title;a2a_linkurl=location.href;

Lincecum working every angle to figure out funk

Tim Lincecum looks back at his extreme, 30-pound weight loss before this season and wishes he had approached it all differently. He says he dropped it too fast, taking drastic measures. All because the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner didn't feel right at the 190 pounds he reached in 2011 eating whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. The thing is, he was still winning then...

Athletics sweep Dodgers on walk-off

Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning for his first career game-ending shot, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 on Thursday for a sweep. Cespedes connected with no outs off Josh Lindblom (2-1), sending a drive just inside the left-field foul pole. Oakland has won eight of nine after holding the NL's best team to eight total hits in...

Giants 5, Athletics 4

Brandon Belt hit a tying two-run double and scored on Hector Sanchez's single during a four-run ninth inning, and the San Francisco Giants rallied past the Bay Area rival Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Friday night. Ryan Cook (2-2) walked Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval on nine pitches to open the final inning. Belt sliced a double down the left-field line just out of the reach of...
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
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.