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« Ellsbury's Pull Power Disappears | Main | Bill Chuck's Friday Nine to Know - with a lot of Beltre »
Saturday
Sep082012

Tim Lincecum, simply out of control

It was another big win for the Giants last night as they topped the Dodgers, 5-2, to increase their NL West lead to 5.5 games, their largest margin since ending the 2003 season with a 15.5 lead. The batting hero was former Red Sox Marco Scutaro who blooped a 7th inning tie-breaking bases-loaded single off former Red Sox Josh Beckett to drive home two runs to the delight of the sold-out AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Beckett took the loss and Santiago Casilla (7-5) earned the win. Casilla had entered the game in relief of Giants starter Tim Lincecum who went 6.1 for the Giants and surrendered a career-high seven walks.

Lincecum again failed to win back-to-back starts for only the third time this season, but at least he didn't increase his league-leading loss total to 15. It is hard to believe that this two-time Cy Young Award winner has fallen so far, so fast but his control has been an issue all season long for Lincecum.

Take a look at his career vs. 2012 numbers, then take a look graphically at the difference between Lincecum under control and out of control against the Dodgers this season.

YearWLW-L%ERAIPHERHRBBSOWPWHIPBB/9
2007 7 5 .583 4.00 146.1 122 65 12 65 150 10 1.278 4.0
2008 18 5 .783 2.62 227.0 182 66 11 84 265 17 1.172 3.3
2009 15 7 .682 2.48 225.1 168 62 10 68 261 11 1.047 2.7
2010 16 10 .615 3.43 212.1 194 81 18 76 231 9 1.272 3.2
2011 13 14 .481 2.74 217.0 176 66 15 86 220 9 1.207 3.6
2012 8 14 .364 5.11 163.2 163 93 18 78 169 15 1.473 4.3
6 Yrs 77 55 .583 3.27 1191.2 1005 433 84 457 1296 71 1.227 3.5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table Generated 9/8/2012.

In four starts, this season against the Dodgers, Lincecum has been effective going 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA, but an unimpressive 1.375 WHIP because of 24 hits and 12 walks in only 24 innings. You can see by his Game Scores that despite his low ERA, he was frequently in trouble.

RkDateRsltApp,DecIPHRERBBSOHRPitStrGSc
1 2012-09-07 W 5-2 GS-7 6.1 4 2 2 7 7 1 119 71 57
2 2012-08-21 W 4-1 GS-6 ,W 5.2 5 1 1 1 4 0 87 52 58
3 2012-06-27 W 3-0 GS-7 ,W 7.0 4 0 0 2 8 0 115 70 75
4 2012-05-09 L 2-6 GS-5 ,L 5.0 8 4 4 2 8 0 101 74 41
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used Generated 9/8/2012.
Let's look graphically at the difference between last night's game and Tim's best pitched game against LA in June. At the All-Star break, Lincecum was 3-10 with a 6.42 ERA, but on June 27 Lincecum reminded us what kind of pitcher he is.

6/27 vs. LA - 7 IP, 4H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K = SF wins, 3-0, Lincecum gets the win 

Look at his location

9/7 vs. LA - 6.1 IP, 4H, 2 R, 7 BB, 7 K = SF wins, 5-2, Lincecum no decision

You can see Lincecum's lack of control in and out of the strike zone
When the Dodgers look back at this game, after the 2-5 score, there is one stat that will haunt them: Dodgers w/RISP: 0-10 (Josh Beckett 0-1, Mark Ellis 0-1, Adrian Gonzalez 0-2, Hanley Ramirez 0-2, and Matt Kemp 0-4).

 

It looks right now that the Giants are postseason bound in spite of Lincecum's troubles. On the other hand, in Lincecum's last four starts the team is 3-1, and he is 2-1 with a 3.09.

Which means that on a team that has Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong at the top of their rotations, having a Tim Lincecum at #4 makes the Giants a team to be recokoned with in October...as long as he is under control.

 

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