San Francisco Giants' Tim Lincecum: The Freak Or The Weak?

By Brandon Medeiros

So far this season, San Francisco Giants starter Tim Lincecum has proven that his long hair wasn’t his source of power.

Since cutting his hair in the offseason, Lincecum is off to a 2-1 start with a 4.41 ERA. Though not the best numbers for the former two-time Cy Young winner, it is a glimpse of hope from his disastrous campaign last year. Last season, Lincecum posted a 10-15 record with a 5.18 ERA. For the most part, his career has been plagued by inconsistency, and so far this season has been no exception.

After winning two consecutive Cy Young awards and being a four-time All Star, Lincecum has been on a downfall. His ERA has shot upward as well as his losses. After going 40-17 with a 3.03 ERA in his first three seasons, Lincecum has only maintained a 39-39 record and has averaged a 3.78 ERA over the last three seasons, a prime example of his gradual decline.

Not only has his stats on paper been sub-par, but his mechanics on field seems to be falling apart as well.

Lincecum’s fastball velocity has dropped from 95 mph to 91 in a span of four years. Though he is still getting plenty of swings and misses and is racking up strikeouts, this may be a cause of concern for the 29-year-old. Lincecum has also struggled with his command and control. His strikeout/walk ratio was at an all-time low in 2012 at 2.11. Lincecum, in six starts, has shown a slight improvement this season at 2.24.

Though historically a “work horse” throughout the regular season, he turns into a whole different animal come playoff time. In 12 games played, Lincecum has a 5-2 record with a 2.47 ERA, a significant improvement from his regular season totals. Though Lincecum has only been in the postseason twice, he has two World Series Championship under his belt to show for it.

In 2012, Lincecum saw the majority of his contributions coming from the bullpen after a shaky season. Nonetheless, he played his role to perfection and helped bring a World Series back to San Francisco.

Tim Lincecum has risen against adversity his entire Major League career. Normally, somebody at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds can’t generate significant velocity in their pitches, but Lincecum is abnormal, and that’s what makes him “The Freak”. Expect him to bounce back from his past struggles and be a main contributor in attempting to bring the Giants back to the Fall Classic.

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