As of late, Tim Lincecum has not been at the top of his game.
Around this time last year, Tim Lincecum was an NL Cy Young candidate in which he later won. But right now, Lincecum is not pitching like he used to... so what's wrong?
The two time defending Cy Young award winner is certainly not where he was last year, but why? Lincecum has the stuff and we know what he can do with it, he's just not showing us at the moment.
First of all, his velocity is down. When he's not throwing hard enough, he tries to throw harder and when he does that his delivery and balance are thrown off. Lincecum may also have too much on his mind. He knows he's not pitching like he is expected to, and that is probably getting to him. If Lincecum would just let it fly this slump could get turned around.
Comparing Lincecum To His Rotation
This year, Lincecum is 11-8 with a 3.72 ERA. Lincecum has K'd 173 and walked 64 which equates to a good WHIP of 1.35. That is not horrible considering he has a relatively low ERA and a winning record. But the thing is, he hasn't been living up to his hype and status that his preseason No. 1 pitcher ranking created. Last year, Lincecum went 15-7 with a 2.48 ERA and 261 K.
Matt Cain, even though 1 less win and 2 more losses, has seemed to pitch better than Lincecum. With a 3.07 ERA and 137 K's, you don't consider that too horrible for a No. 2 starter.
Jonathan Sanchez has posted a 9-8 record and an ERA of 3.67. Sanchez is still himself comparing last years stats, as he sits at 157 K's.
Madison Bumgarner, although being called up not too far back, has posted some nice numbers. Madison is 5-4, a 3.95 ERA, and 52 K's in only 73 innings pitched.
Barry Zito hasn't pitched as well as he did to start the season, currently holding a 8-9 record with a 3.78 ERA and 121 K.
It may seem that Lincecum has pitched better than the pitchers in the Giants rotation, but he is just not doing what he's done over his last 2 years in the bigs.
If Lincecum tries not to throw as hard, just lets it go, and tries not to think too much, he should return to his superstar status and bring back his nasty stuff.