Results tagged ‘ Tim Lincecum ’
After giving up five runs in his first start this year, things got worse for him last night. In just 2.1 innings, Lincecum allowed six runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out only one batter.
While it’s usually not smart to make conclusions based on just 7.2 innings, Lincecum has already shown some reasons for folks to be concerned. And unless something changes, Lincecum could be in for a rough season.
After his first start, some writers wondered about Lincecum’s velocity. A look at the Pitch f/x data confirms those questions. Last season, Lincecum averaged 92.2 mph on his fastball. In his first start of the season, his fastball averaged 90.0 mph.
There’s a chance Lincecum could increase his velocity as the season goes on, but according to Jeff’s article, it will only increase by a maximum of 0.8 mph. The early returns on Lincecum’s second start aren’t encouraging, either. Lincecum’s velocity was even worse last night, according to Brooks Baseball.
Velocity loss has been a growing concern for Lincecum, and the speed on his pitches has been in steady decline since his rookie season. After compiling 15.5 WAR between 2008 and 2009, Lincecum dropped to 9.3 the past two seasons. While 9.3 WAR is still good enough to make him the 12th-best pitcher during that time, he rated as baseball’s top pitcher in 2008 and 2009.
With his diminished velocity, Lincecum has also seen his peripherals drop. In his first full season, Lincecum struck out 28.6% of the batters he faced. That number dropped to 24.4% last year. That’s still pretty exceptional, but the number is declining.
What’s more concerning is Lincecum’s walk rate. Lincecum’s BB% fell to a career low 7.5% in 2009, but it jumped to 9.6% last year. And even though he has lost velocity in the past and succeeded, you have to wonder how long he can be effective if his fastball averages 90 mph the whole season.
Lincecum combated his decreased velocity by developing one of the nastiest changeups in baseball. In the past, Lincecum’s change has been about 9 mph behind his fastball. This season, the difference between the two is about 7 mph.
That small change can produce some pretty awful results: Essentially, the smaller the mph difference, the less effective a change-up becomes. That could be the case this season as Lincecum’s changeup currently has a negative pitch-type rating, the first time that’s happened in his career.
Sure, were only talking about two games, but if Lincecum can’t increase his velocity, it’ll be interesting to see whether he can still effectively use his changeup.
Lincecum already made headlines this season when he said that he planned to scrap his slider. While he’s made the decision so that he could stay healthy, he may want to reconsider if his struggles continue. Lincecum’s slider has always rated well, according to pitch values, and it would give him another effective pitch. It couldn’t hurt for him to at least experiment with the pitch if he can’t return to form over the next few starts.
While Lincecum has seen some signs of decline in the past couple years, this latest velocity change could be a sign that something is seriously wrong. Unless he regains his lost velocity, or he alters his repertoire, his run as an elite pitcher might be in jeopardy.
Not since the heyday of Haight-Ashbury and Jefferson Airplane has a San Francisco-themed aircraft been this trippy. The Splash blog at the San Francisco Chronicle says the Virgin America plane decorated with a San Francisco Giants logo and a Brian Wilson beard on the nose is like flying “the bearded skies.” The turbulence will be delicious.
It’s actually kind of freaking me out (and not in a Summer of Love way), mostly because it reminds me of the “Air Israel” plane from “Airplane!” (minus the yarmulke cap device). I’m also imagining Wilson wearing his George Lopez Sea Captain’s outfit into the cockpit so he can fly us all home in style. And no acid needed to be dropped for such kooky visions.
It’s plenty cute, but this is all related to a sponsor partnership between the G-men and Sir Richard Branson’s favourite airline, which has worked out a contest that probably will break Twitter when the time comes to play. I’m wondering, though, in what other ways might the Giants airplane make passengers feel like they’re at AT&T Park for a ballgame?
1. Matt Cain, celebrating his new contract extension, plates the landing gear in solid gold.
2. The guitar stylings of left-hander Barry Zito will be the in-flight entertainment.
3. Relax and listen to Zito on a headphone-pillow combination made to resemble a Panda Sandoval hat. In the unlikely event of a water landing, it can be used as a flotation device.
4. Flight attendants will pass out free snacks, beverages and rally thongs.
5. Reflecting the Brandon Belt conundrum, manager Bruce Bochy stubbornly will insist on using a washed-up veteran pilot instead of a younger, more talented guy who has been wasting away in the pilot minor leagues.
6. The soothing tones of broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow guide the flight via air-traffic control at San Francisco International.
7. Lavatories will be located in the aisles to remind everyone of the on-field bullpens at AT&T.
8. Upon every landing, Tim Lincecum will pump his fist and scream his favorite obscenity.
9. There’s never a full flight because there’s always a bunch of guys on the disabled list.
10. All flights seem half as long now that Buster Posey is back, whoo-hoo!