In praise of Tim Lincecum
Monday, May 10
NEW YORK — Don’t forget: Tim Lincecum very well could be 7-0.
Lincecum has endured three consecutive no-decisions, including the Giants’ 6-5 victory Sunday at New York. In each game, Lincecum sustained stretches of shutout ball, was charged with no more than three runs and left the game with leads that the bullpen proceeded to squander.
The point here is not to rip the relief staff, which in the long run should preserve more of Lincecum’s victories than it spoils. This is just a reminder that Your Favorite Miniature Right-hander is pitching much better than his 4-0 record indicates.
Something that got overlooked in Sunday’s game coverage: Lincecum has become a much more complete pitcher. He has developed into such an effective bunter that it was a surprise to see him fail to sacrifice Ryan Rohlinger into scoring position in the fourth inning. Two innings later, Lincecum made a fabulous defensive play when he made an artful over-the-shoulder grab of Alex Cora’s impossibly high chopper and threw to first base for the out.
Lincecum has developed into a decent enough hitter to improve his .188 average and he’s obviously a deft fielder. If he can’t win a third Cy Young Award, how about a Silver Slugger or a Gold Glove?
– Chris Haft