For the first time this year Tim Lincecum deserved to lose. His 5 inning, 5 hit, 5 run outing easily stands as his worst, especially since the All-Star Break. We have all spent a great deal of energy figuring out what makes Tim so good; I have always felt you can learn even more trying to figure out what makes players bad. This is a challenge with Lincecum (since he is hardly ever "bad" and never "Zito bad") but maybe we can gather something.
First of all, everything bad happened all at once, the fourth inning. One bad inning. I remember an interview with Tim in which he talked about the dangers of one bad inning. His main concern was the fatigue, he thought a stressful inning is worse than high pitch counts on the arm. This tells me that Tim worries about that one inning. Thirty seven pitches, 2 wild pitches, 2 xbase hits, 5 runs (hard to believe they were all earned considering Burriss' blunder) certainly qualifies as stressful. Tim's other strengths also faltered: several hits with RISP ( a stat that Tim owns!) and a long ball (only the tenth he has given up this year). I got the feeling that the homer was a classic Coors Field number; not cheap, a breaking ball that hung in the thin air. So, it seems that this poor outing serves better to underscore Tim's strengths than to educate us on his weaknesses.
So, The Enchanter probably should have lost....but the weakest (and classiest) Giant of them all got the big hit to take Tim off the hook. Isn't this game weird?