Tim Lincecum is trying to put his long hair and his long season in 2012 behind him. While the former two-time Cy Young award winner was dominant out of the bullpen in the postseason, Lincecum is trying to regain his elite starting status this Spring and into 2013.
If Tuesday was any indication, Lincecum still has some searching left to do.
“The Freak” struggled mightily against the arch enemy Los Angeles Dodgers, yielding three runs and failing to get through two scoreless innings, his allotment going into his first start.
Though Dodgers’ Manager, Don Mattingly said before the game the San Francisco Giants were the team to beat in the National League West, that assignment may become a little easier if Lincecum struggles again. In 2012, Lincecum went 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA and did not make the cut as a starter on the playoff roster, instead having Manager, Bruce Bochy, elect to use him out of the bullpen.
The 28-year-old, in an effort to recapture his prime, worked with two trainers to build strength this offseason, but came up short when he surrendered four hits and was ousted after a Skip Schumaker two-run double on Tuesday.
After the game, Lincecum said he was happy with his mechanics and he hit most of his pitches.
“It’s just a good sign to feel the ball come out of your hand in a way that it didn’t last year,” Lincecum said.
On an additional side note the Giants’ X-factor starter was unable to throw batting practice previous to his Tuesday start when it was cancelled because of rain, an issue which may have contributed to his struggles.
Despite the adversity, and Josh Beckett‘s two scoreless innings for the Dodgers, the game still ended in an 8-8 tie. On a smaller footnote, the five run comeback was lead by Giants’ designated hitter, Brett Pill, who homered twice for San Francisco.