Tim Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young award winner, isn’t fooling hitters this year and has completely fallen off the map. The San Francisco Giant great is 2-8 with 6.07 ERA.
Although he is still missing bats from time to time (91 strikeouts), Lincecum’s command seems to be his downfall in 2012. Lincecum has allowed 45 free passes this year, which is the second most in the National League.
No matter how filthy a pitcher’s stuff is, if he allows 45 walks in 83 innings pitched, chances are runs are going to be scored at a higher clip. Hitters have been capitalizing on Lincecum’s mistakes; he has already given up 83 hits this year.
At the beginning of the year, somebody mentioned Lincecum has completely stopped throwing his slider because of arm problems that came along with the pitch. For him, the slider was his swing and miss pitch along with the change-up. That could explain some of his problems, but not the walks and missing locations.
However, a veteran and proven pitcher like Lincecum will figure it out sooner rather than later. If not, a lot of talent and a pitcher in his prime will go down the drain.
Luckily for the Giants, guys like Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner have picked up the slack and have San Francisco just five games back of the Dodgers. If Lincecum can get back on track, the Giants will have something to say by the time October rolls around.