The San Francisco Giants have to be absolutely stunned at what Tim Lincecum has become. Lincecum won back to back Cy Young awards in 08 and 09, and was in serious contention in 2011. He was one of the most feared pitchers in baseball and was the Giants’ ace. However, he really fell off of a cliff in 2012, going 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA, by far the worst year of his career. He’s been almost as bad so far in 2013, going 4-5 with a 4.75 ERA. Strikeouts haven’t been a problem for Lincecum, as his 9.2 mark was excellent last year, and his 9.1 mark this year is great.
If there was any team that it seemed like he would be able to succeed against, it would be the Pirates. The Pirates rank 26th in baseball in runs, 28th in baseball in average, and 26th in OPS. The Pirates are a pitching first team with a weak offense. However, someone evidently forgot to send Lincecum the memo on that one. He went 4.2 innings and allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits.
Lincecum has become a shell of his former self. Once a perennial Cy Young candidate, he’s turned into a pitcher more suited for the bullpen (which he did admirably in the 2012 postseason.) Lincecum’s decline is confusing, and the Giants should consider a change .