I make no claim to objectivity when it comes to Tim Lincecum. However, each time he takes the mound, I admit that part of me gets ready for the inevitable letdown. (I do this to prepare myself...after all he is a Giants pitcher and I am under 50 (barely!) so I really don't know what a superstar pitcher looks or behaves like.) I figure it to be a short, uncharacteristic outing...probably features poor control and a long ball to a formidable opponent. I have "pre-written" this post several times ("Human Tim") and it always surprises me how close to the surface it is.
Then Tim takes the mound and about two hours later, I have to come up with another positive title! Damn, this is a great problem to have. Today's performance featured 7.2 innings of three hit ball. He should have got away without an earned run but Taschner let one in. Ten strikeouts to regain the MLB lead. I find Tim's individual (and relatively unimportant) statistics exciting in a totally petty way. (I'm OK with that.) With every outing it becomes clear that Lincecum is not just having a great season, he is having an historically great season and early career. Try these facts out:
- 13-3 is the second best start in SF history (5 occurences). Only a couple hacks named Perry and Marichal were better at 14-2. I venture to guess they had better teams playing behind them, ya think?
- With his sixth double digit strikeout game this year (8 in his career), he ties Marichal (1966) for number 4 on this all time list. Only Schmidt (9 in 2004), Sadecki (8 in 1968), and Montefusco (7 in 1975) are above him. With at least five or so starts left, Tim has a good shot at taking over the lead of that list.
- The Enchanter has limited opponents to 3 or fewer runs in 40 of his 49 career starts, including 21 of 25 this year. The Giants are 26-14 in those forty games. Tim is 17-0 (29 starts) when the Giants score at least three runs for him.
It really is an honor to see this happening before our adoring eyes. I want to grow old(er) watching Mr. Lincecum fashion his own path to glory. It is off to a great start.
(Latest paranoia: Tim and Daddy are planning on jumping ship ASAP, probably get the biggest contract ever from the YankSox, which is why there is no new contract. Please tell me I'm wrong.....)