Tim Lincecum Finally Turning the Corner?

6/27/12 in MLB   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

It's no secret that Tim Lincecum has been struggling this season. The two-time Cy Young award winning Freak has begun the season 2-8 with an ERA over 6.00 and entered today's finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers having not won in his last ten starts, with the Giants going 1-9 over that stretch. He is the weakest link in an otherwise very deep Giants starting staff, which is mind-boggling because the Giants also employ Barry Zito. 

If San Francisco was to be competitive this season, they were going to need a few things: An improved offense, good defensive play and continued success from their pitching staff. Lincecum signed a two-year extension in the off-season worth $42 million, but has not looked like a guy worth that kind of money at all. Although he contributed to a three-game sweep of their rival Dodgers, giving seven innings of shutout ball in a series where the Giants did not give up ANY runs in all three games. This is the first time since 1988 the club has kept their opponent scoreless in three games, and third time in franchise history (1960 being the other).

June 10, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) pitches the ball against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIREHe flipped the script today by shutting out the Dodgers through seven innings, striking out eight and giving up only four hits, shrinking his ERA to 5.60, still a staggering number for a pitcher of his caliber. He even managed to recover after throwing a wild pitch in the third inning, with Chad Billingsley charging home from third, by tagging him out at the plate and preserving his shutout. He has continued to pitch every five days, regardless of the result, and for that perseverance, credit is due. 

He's worked his way through bad stretches before, most notably the 2010 World Series season when Lincecum went 0-5 in the month of August with a 7.82 ERA, before turning it around in September and October, leading the Giants staff to the championship. 

With the 3-0 victory today over the Dodgers (and the Giants moving ahead of LA for first place in the NL West), Lincecum improves his record to 3-8 on the season, and the Giants can only hope this will continue through the All-star break. 
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