Once again Tim Lincecum is out early. The two-time Cy Young winner can’t make it out of the 4th after giving up six earned runs in 3.1 innings. He also left the bases loaded for his replacement, Clay Hensley, with only one out. The final straw came when Lincecum allowed an RBI single to the Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett with the bases loaded to make it 4-0 Pirates.
The game is now 13-2 heading into the 9th, so let’s just direct our attention to the ever-disappointing Lincecum. Just as it looked like he was starting to get his stuff back after two impressive outings against the A’s then Dodgers a couple weeks ago, his control has disappeared on this east coast road trip. The Nationals battered him for seven runs in another outing that just lasted 3.1 innings.
It might finally be time to send Lincecum to the bullpen and give him a chance to figure things out for a couple weeks where the outcome of the game won’t be so dependent on him. Although Brad Penny gave up his first two runs of the season today and hasn’t been with the Giants at the Major League level very long this year, he has shown great control and durability in a middle reliever role. I say slide him into the rotation for a while and see what happens. There’s really nothing to lose while Lincecum continues to worry Giants fans with every start. The one through five rotation could look like this: Cain, Bumgarner, Vogelsong, Zito, Penny. It’s a great split between the righties and lefties and bumps Vogelsong up from the five spot to the three. He’s been tremendous this year and needs a more prominent role in the rotation. And I’m a big fan of Cain being number one ahead of Bumgarner.
At least for now the Giants are still in contention, even with Timmy pitching but the big concern for the Giants will become apparent once and if the Giants reach the postseason. Where does The Freak fit in?
Although he hasn’t fully proved his worth in the rotation of a real contender yet, Barry Zito is a very realistic replacement for Lincecum when and if the Giants reach the postseason with a four man rotation, and ironic that the man left off the team’s 2010 playoff roster would take the spot of the man who won two World Series games that year. However, unless Brad Penny truly dazzles the coaching staff or Lincecum somehow turns this disastrous season around, it’s likely Zito who will anchor the rotation behind Cain, Bumgarner, and Vogelsong.
About the Author
Written by Connor Callaghan
A San Francisco native, I've been following Bay Area sports for as long as my memory's served me. A graduate of the University of Oregon, I majored in English and Writing. I've shifted my focus on writing to what I really love, sports.