Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 10/19/12
Before Game 4, one player said it would be a mistake to underestimate Tim Lincecum. "He's actually smarter than he gets credit for," the player said. "He knows how to pitch." The player defending Lincecum was not a teammate but an opponent -- infielder Skip Schumaker of the Cardinals. Alas, once Lincecum took the mound, there was no escaping the jarring reality that the 2012 Timmy is not the 2010 Timmy, and might never be again. Fans, reporters, teammates, opponents -- we all enjoy watching Lincecum so much, we've been in a season-long denial, thinking he eventually would snap out of it. But as Lincecum said after allowing four runs in 4 2/3 innings in the Giants' 8-3 loss to the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLCS on Thursday night, he has shown only "flashes" of who he once was. He did it at various points in the regular season, did it while pitching 8 1/3 innings of relief in his first three postseason games. But when his team needed him most, he couldn't do it against the Card...
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