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Reason for optimism with Tim Lincecum?

Jun 23, 2012, 11:06 AM EDT

Tim Lincecum AP AP

The Giants continue to exhibit patience with Tim Lincecum, despite his season-long struggles. While he still owns a 6.07 ERA and remains winless since April 28, he at least showed some signs of turning things around last night against the Athletics.

Lincecum was on the ropes in the first inning, giving up three runs on three singles and two walks before recording an out. Things could have been much worse, but he struck out Brandon Moss, Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington (all swinging strikeouts) with the bases loaded to escape.

It didn’t look like Lincecum would last very long after throwing 44 pitches in the first inning, but he was efficient and effective the rest of the way, holding the A’s hitless over his final five innings of work while issuing two walks. He ended up allowing three runs over six innings for just his second “quality start” of the season and his first since May 30. The eight strikeouts tied a season-high. Despite being in a early three-run hole, the Giants came back to win the game 5-4. has the video of Lincecum’s post-game comments, where he expressed optimism about his ability to build off of his strong performance following the first inning jam.

  1. rooney24 - Jun 23, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    What options do the Giants have other than patience? Can’t send him to the minors. Won’t necessarily help to send him to the pen. Could skip a start or two, but extra rest may not help. So, you keep running him out there and hope he gets it turned around.

  2. redux23 - Jun 23, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Belt’s bumbling defense certainly didn’t help lincecum in the 1st inning either.

  3. buffalomafia - Jun 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    There must be some bad POT in S.F.?

    • Matt S - Jun 23, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      Wow, a Lincecum pot joke. So original!

    • jjschiller - Jun 23, 2012 at 12:54 PM

      Scooby dumb-dumb-dumb!

    • ratflop - Jun 23, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      that’s a clown comment, bro.

  4. elgorditodehumboldt - Jun 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    you do realize that he was pitching against the AAA’s, right?

  5. 11nfcwestchamps - Jun 23, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    You mean the A’s that just swept the first place dodgers!

  6. minimoose763 - Jun 23, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    This was definitely an encouraging start. The 1st inning could have been so much worse, so it was nice to see him compose himself and strike out the side. I would like to see him pitch well against the Dodgers next week before I declare that he’s “back”, but this was a game against an A’s team that has been on a roll. Hopefully he can build off of this start. If Timmy gets back to being Timmy, the Giants will be in a very good position to make a legitimate playoff run.

    • gotmelk - Jun 23, 2012 at 10:59 PM

      He was one pitch away from his entire season collapsing, maybe even his career.

  7. sisqsage - Jun 23, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    It’s a mental/confidence issue with Lincecum. He still reaches 93-94 with the fastball, so it’s not physical. Even in his worst starts there’s 3-4 innings when he is unhittable, just like last night. He just has to pitch his way out of this slump, which takes a while with him because his unorthodox mechanics have to be perfect..or he’ll end up walking 5-6 guys, give up a key hit, and go on a losing streak all over again. Same thing happened in August 2010 (0-5 record). I think the Braves, Phillies and Rangers (playoffs-World Series) would agree he rebounded pretty well from that slump.

  8. thomas2727 - Jun 23, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    I have been saying and still say his issues are mainly related to pitching out of the stretch. That in turn has gotten into his head in other areas imho.

    Then the defense makes mistakes knowing they are trying to make a play as evidenced Belt and Hector in the 1st inning last night. Belt did not take a force out at first base. On the same play Hector had a force at home and thought it was a tag play. When you are going bad things like that seem to go against you.

    Not mentioned in the article but shown last night was Ryan Vogelsong in the dugout after the 1st inning with his arm around Lincecum seeming to give him words of encouragement. If anybody knows how to fight, reinvent his game and never quit it is Vogelsong.

    Giants fans want Tim to succeed so bad and it is tough to watch him struggle.

  9. mybrunoblog - Jun 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    SF fans don’t want to hear this but the truth is painful. I don’t know where that earlier post got his info but Lincecum velocity is not the same it is down. Yes, he can still reach 93 or so occasionally but not consistently like he used to. That is a huge red flag. His small frame could finally be showing the wear and tear. He should probably be shutdown or sent to be checked out by doctors.
    I’m not a “hater” or a Dodger fan I actually like watching this kid throw. Hope I’m wrong but we’ve seen this before many times.

  10. bigdicktater - Jun 23, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    I’m hoping Tim comes ALL the way back.
    Is it just me, or does his dad remind anyone else of Colby Rasmus’ father?

  11. riverace19 - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    So tired of hearing velocity…. It’s CONTROL people. Look at his walk rate. Winning vs Seattle then walks the leadoff batter on 4. His failure to locate pitches this year is 100% of the problem.

  12. 49ersgiants4life - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    That pot joke was weak cause everybody in the world knows nor cal has the best weed in the world I’m pretty sure that’s a fact

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