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Tim Hudson warns Tim Lincecum about relying too much on “sexy” strikeouts

Aug 27, 2012, 8:52 AM EDT

Tim Lincecum

Tim Hudson beat Tim Lincecum last night and after the game had some advice for the struggling Freak.

After noting that Lincecum’s velocity seems to be fine, he observed that, like a young Tim Hudson, perhaps Lincecum just needs to be more aggressive in the strike zone, letting hitters put the ball in play more, sacrificing some strikeouts for good old fashioned outs:

He doesn’t have to make every pitch a swing-and-miss pitch. I was the same way when I was younger. You feel like a stud out there when people swing and miss. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve preached to our young guys that strikeouts are sexy, but outs are outs, man, no matter how you get them. It’s a lot cooler for me pitching in the seventh or eighth inning than it is going 5 1/3. Your manager likes it a lot more, too.”

Hudson added: “Lincecum’s shower shoes have fungus on them … If he wins 20 in the show, he can let the fungus grow back and the press’ll think he’s colorful. Until he wins 20 in the show, however, it means he’s a slob.”

  1. wlbaileyjr - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    bull Durham reference, awesome

  2. willclarkgameface - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    If I’m Tim, I listen to this guy because HE’S RIGHT.

    Strikeouts are definitely sexy, outs are the best thing on your list just below your team getting the W.

    • thereisaparty - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      And the only way to ensure outs? Missing bats

      Am I really supposed to believe that Lincecum’s career worsts in LOB% and HR/PA are because he is trying to generate too many swinging strikes?

      • willclarkgameface - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

        This is ridiculous.

        Strikeouts will kill your arm. You need outs. How are we gonna get outs? Nice ground balls to properly positioned infielders. I’ll even take some opposite field fly outs.

        I want to Tim to be effective and he won’t be effective because he’s trying to miss bats.

        Nice try.

      • thereisaparty - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        Strikeouts will kill your arm? Please provide evidence. Otherwise, this is pure nonsense.

        Good luck controlling batted balls. There is a reason pitcher BABIP has a very small range. Strikeouts mean that there is no chance for a hit. Look at the list of best pitchers in MLB and notice the high correlation with the leaderboard for K per PA. This is not a coincidence.

        Lincecum is posting the fifth worst strand rate among qualified starters. His walks and HRs are at or near career highs. This is because he is trying to get too many strikeouts? It doesn’t add up

      • thereisaparty - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        Lincecum’s velocity is not fine. His avg fastball is down from 92.5MPH to 90.5MPH. This alone is not necessarily a cause for concern, as he has coped with a decrease in velocity in the past (see also: Felix Hernandez). However, his changeup speed has not decreased at all. A 9MPH difference in offerings is now down to 7MPH. What was once his best pitch is now becoming a liability.

  3. frenchysplatediscipline - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Is he really just trying for the K on every hitter? Who knows. Is it Tim Hudson’s place to say something about it? Probably not, even if he is almost 100 games over .500 in his career.

    What I do know is that I watched the entire game last night and Timmy doesn’t need to be pitching to contact right now. He can’t hit his spots – plain and simple. I would judge he missed the target on over 60% of his pitches last night. Mix that with trying to pitch to contact and I would think a bad situation becomes worse. The bottom line is that he doesn’t look comfortable out there. I have only seen 2 of his starts this season, but in those he couldn’t find a rhythm and seemed to be out of sorts. Last night Hershiser pointed out that he kept looking at his landing spot right after throwing a pitch. Whether this means there was a problem with the mound or his mechanics putting him in a place he shouldn’t be, I don’t know.

    I can’t stand the Giants. But as a baseball fan I am a HUGE fan of Timmy Jim. Here is to hoping an off season gives him the chance to clear his head and find whats missing.

    • kiwicricket - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      I fully agree. It’s an almost identical situation for a bowler in Cricket, when they are spraying it about the area they should be constantly peppering. Same poor results. Accuracy = pressure. (Increased velocity only increases the leniency slightly, I feel). The two sports are very similar in that regard.

    • temporarilyexiled - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      It’s possible you and Tim Hudson are both right.

      But I’m not really sure, and apparently no one else is either, or this problem would’ve been solved.

      But whatever it is, Zito is my fourth starter, and Lincecum doesn’t start in the postseason.

      That sound you hear is me grinding my teeth in fear.

      As for the rest of it, it sounds like we’re opposites.

      I love the Giants, but have grown weary (and you kids get off my lawn) of all of the various hair, tattoo, and sign-language vanities, and of ballplayers actually thinking these vanities are cool.

      I’m all for being non-conformist.

      Would it hurt if and when these non-conformities actually looked good?

      What the heck.

      I’m probably just a disgruntled hippie mad as hell about premature baldness.

      • frenchysplatediscipline - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        Unless you play Atlanta – then Zito is your #1 starter.

        WHY DOES THAT GUY KEEP BEATING US!?!?!

      • temporarilyexiled - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        soft tossing lefty…

  4. heyblueyoustink - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Right Said Fred would totally disagree.

  5. number42is1 - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    Stupid Sexy Strikeouts

    • 14thinningstretch - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      “Feels like I’m hitting nothing at all!” *bat waggle*

  6. lardin - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    “strikeouts are Facist, be democratic throw some ground balls”

    • toddm22 - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      He’s not “clearing the mechanism.”

  7. snowbirdgothic - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    To be fair, strikeouts are fascist.

    • snowbirdgothic - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      Damnit, beat me to it.

  8. steveohho - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    If strikeouts are fascist, then getting out of inning through ground balls or fly balls is down right un-American!

  9. The Dangerous Mabry - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    It’s interesting that while the research shows that strikeouts don’t inflate pitch count, so many people inside and outside baseball continue to think they do. It’s WALKS that inflate pitch count. The only way strikeouts hurt your pitch count is if “trying” to strike out hitters is causing you to walk them instead. And in that case, the problem isn’t that you’re trying to strike people out, it’s that you’re missing.

    • thereisaparty - Aug 27, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      Thank you. I don’t understand how this myth continues to have legs. How could outs inflate pitch counts? Base runners inflate pitch counts, so the culprits must be H and BB, not K’s.

  10. cleekk - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Ask Greg Maddox. He didn’t produce a lot of strikeouts, but he won a lot of games.

    • thereisaparty - Aug 27, 2012 at 4:53 PM

      Yes, one person “proves” you correct.

      Look at Maddux’s K:BB (or K/PA – K/BB). No would be shocked he succeed with those numbers. It is clearly not impossible to succeed with low strikeout figures. No one is going to argue this. However, high strikeout rates correlate highly with effective pitching, because the pitcher has almost zero control once a ball is batted.

  11. mannyicey - Aug 27, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    I concur regarding Greg Maddux. He’s the best I’ve ever seen and he was the MASTER of the ground out. As a Braves fan, I had the opportunity to watch him pitch on many occasions. People loved the guy because if the game started at 7:20PM, if Maddux is pitching you are almost guaranteed to be home in front of your TV at 10PM. His games were like going to the movies. 2 hours and let’s go home.

  12. barbara0120 - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    Ouch, Mr. Hudson! I respect your experience and advice to let impossible expectations go. You need to in order to go the distance. Seems you hold back your snake bite. YOU could have kept the shower shoes information just between you and he. Maybe made a suggestion to replace them and kept it at that. But instead, Tim and the rest of the world found out how mean-spirited and tacky you can be.

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