Normally when you see Tim Lincecum on the schedule against your opposing team, you cringe. That hasn’t been the case this year for the Giants former Cy Young winner.
Lincecum has allowed 4 or more earned runs in 7 of his 10 starts. He’s just 2-5 with a 1.61 WHIP and his 6.41 ERA is second worst among qualified starters in the NL–only Mike Minor of the Braves can top Lincecum in ineptitude so far. He has received only 3.4 runs of support per outing, however unlike the game’s top ace–Detroit’s Justin Verlander–his poor record has nothing to do with run support. Lincecum has simply been extremely hittable this year–an adjective you never want associated with the anchor of your staff and one of the games top paid players. Opponents are hitting .276 against him, his walks are up and he’s allowing an incredibly high .791 OPS for his opponents.
However, Lincecum’s struggles haven’t hurt the Giants the way D-Backs have been by their own ace. The Giants find themselves 5.5 behind the Dodgers and a full 5 games ahead of the Diamondbacks. Ian Kennedy was counted on as a sure thing, and while he hasn’t struggled to the level of Lincecum, he hasn’t come close to delivering on his potential. Kennedy was expected to be the stopper when the D-Backs struggled but it hasn’t happened. They’ve lost 7 of Kennedy’s last 8 starts. He hasn’t received run support either, but like Lincecum it wouldn’t have mattered much as he’s allowed 18 earned runs in his last 23 innings pitched.
So the feeling as two struggling aces face off tonight in San Francisco is something has to give. Let’s hope that the D-Backs floundering offense isn’t what jump starts Lincecum’s season. No doubt he’s looking for payback from opening day.