Home > San Francisco Giants > How Bad Has It Gotten Tim Lincecum?

How Bad Has It Gotten Tim Lincecum?

Tim Lincecum celebrates getting a batter out, something he hasn’t done very often this season

Baseball Prospectus, this ain’t. I would like to tell you why and not just how this 2012 season has gone so very, very wrong for Big Time Timmy Jim. His fastball velocity is down a full two miles per hour on average from late season. But I haven’t been looking at pitch F/X or pitch location charts, so simply, here are some things you may have heard and some things you may not have heard to put his dreadful first half into perspective.

Warning: I’m going to use the word “qualified” way too often.

Yes, his ERAs stands at 6.42, almost a half run worse than any qualified National League pitcher. His WHIP is at 1.583. The last time a pitcher who qualified for the ERA title posted such grotesque marks, it was 2005, and the man was Jose Lima. He ended with 6.99/1.66.

In that season, batters hit .314 off of Lima Time. They are hitting just .268 off of Lincecum this year.

Actually, Lima’s 6.65/1.625 from 2000 is the next chronological entry on that list. But I digress.

Of course, Lincecum isn’t just another guy on the mound. Among all-stars, those ERA and WHIP numbers have been “topped” just three times. There’s Lima, once again, in 2005 and 2000, and Darryl Kile (6.61/1.752) in 1999. And just by coincidence, that’s a tad grim.

Only 10 all-star pitchers have completed a qualified season with an ERA of more than 6.00. And yeah, none of those pitchers were two-time winners of the Cy Young Award.

Tim Lincecum has allowed 69 earned runs in 96.2 innings this year. He has already completed three 200-inning seasons in which he allowed 66 ERs or fewer.

Lincecum’s ERA+ is 55. No qualified starter has finished with an ERA+ of less than 60 since Rube Bressler in 1915. He started 20 games that year and had 17 losses. He would make 22 total starts over the next few years before converting into a fairly decent offensive player to the dismay of hitters everywhere.

Lincecum is the first starter to be tagged with 10 losses before the break since Barry Zito in 2007. And forget 6.42; only one qualified San Francisco Giants starter has ever finished a season with an ERA higher than 5.42. That was Terry Mulholland in 1995 at 5.80.

Since June 10, a certain position is hitting .500 off of Lincecum. It’s pitchers, who are 4-for-8.

A little more recently — and more convoluted — Lincecum has given up at least six earned runs in his last two starts, neither of which lasted longer than 3.1 innings. The last Giants pitcher to permit as much in consecutive starts of such a short duration was Chris Brock in 1999.

Granted, it’s only July, and Lincecum’s numbers should improve to some extent. Right? They shouldI mean, it’s really difficult to envision someone with his talent continuing to be so bad, putrid, awful, rotten, whatever. If that is indeed the case, the Giants have to forget about what he did for them for the past four seasons and focus on how he’s hurting them this year. That may disqualify him from joining the infamous company listed above, which would make me sad. But what’s happening to “The Freak” is pretty depressing as is.

If worst comes to worst, the Giants could use a new second baseman.

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