Tim Lincecum’s seven-year career thus far has been very impressive. The fan favorite is a two-time Cy Young Award winner, a two-time World Series Champion, and now a distinguished member of the no-hitter club.
The San Francisco Giants have struggled mightily this season and are now currently fourth in the NL West. They own a 43-51 record and have been outscored by 40. The rotation has struggled, the bullpen has been average at best, and the offense has slumped in recent weeks. Naturally, the defending World Series Champions had high expectations coming into this season. Even if the team wasn’t destined to win another World Series, they were going to be legitimate contenders until the end. The All-Star break is about to conclude and the Giants find themselves in an unimaginable hole. The division is certainly still up for grabs and the Giants can very easily come back. Regardless, no one could have predicted such a miserable start, especially from the defending champs.
Lincecum gave his clubhouse one of its lone bright spots and did it at a perfect time. It seems almost too perfect that Lincecum’s no-hitter occurred right before the All-Star break. The Giants were in freefall and desperately needed a boost. The Freak gave his club just what it needed and restored faith in the season.
There has been a significant amount of trade speculation surrounding the clubhouse in recent weeks. The problem is that no one knew if the Giants were going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. Rumors swirled around Lincecum after his no-hitter and the Giant faithful were left wondering about his future with the team. The Detroit Tigers quickly came up as possible trade partners as well as the Boston Red Sox and several other teams looking for pitching help. The interesting fact is that the Tigers were not looking to use Lincecum in the rotation, but rather in the bullpen. After his success in the 2012 postseason as a reliever, many contenders have sought Lincecum for use in the bullpen. He is viewed to be a dominating closer, capable of the crucial strikeout or extended relief.
This has all seemingly come to an end today. Brian Sabean went on the record saying that the Giants had no plans to trade Lincecum this season. This occurred on his regular radio show and the news immediately reached The Freak himself. Lincecum has expressed his love for San Francisco and his desire to continue a career with the Giants. It’s honestly hard to believe that any organization would trade a beloved superstar after winning a World Series. Bad season or not, a trade just doesn’t make any sense. It would be immensely unpopular with fans, breakup a very tight nit roster, and basically call it quits for the rest of the Giants season.
The Giants have a good shot at getting back into the NL West race; with Lincecum’s heroic no-hitter a mere six days ago, the franchise would be foolish to become sellers. The injured Ryan Vogelsong is getting ready for his rehab assignment and could return sometime in August. This would boost not only the rotation, but also the bullpen. Replacement, Chad Gaudin, would be a very useful in stabilizing the bullpen. It’s tough to predict how the rest of the season is going to go. Knowing the Giants, however, Lincecum’s no hitter was exactly what the team needed to turn it all around.