Wednesday, October 24, 2012

RBI (113) An Odd Giant...

If you haven't noticed I'm starting to get a bit more free time so I'm trying to stay current with baseball as the World Series begins. Pitching tonight in a historic Game 1 where Pablo Sandoval hit at least 3 Home Runs and is 4-4 so far in the night is a giant amongst Giants, but they still call him "Tiny" Tim "The Franchise" Lincecum.

Timmy was taken multiple times in the MLB draft but only signed after he was taken 10th overall by the San Francisco Giants in 2006. He made his debut for the Giants in 2007 as a 24 game starter. From 2008 to 2011 Tim was beyond dominant for the Giants being named a 4-time All Star, winning back to back Cy Young Awards and helping the Giants franchise win their first world series in San Francisco. 2012 hasn't been kind to Timmy as evident by him pitching in Game 1 of the the 2012 World Series out of the bullpen opposed to starting the game like in 2010. His ERA, inning pitched, and strikeout number are well below his career norms, likely due to a decline in velocity to his fastball.

While some are wondering if the franchise can ever be the same, I wonder if he even has to be. Veteran pitcher Tim Hudson had some advice that I believe to be quite true and reflects the idea Steve McCatty recently talked about while discussing his Washington Nationals pitching staff. Strikeouts are attractive, make highlight reels, and fill stat books. They also raise pitch counts and don't necessarily win games. Outs do.

Lincecum has outstanding off speed stuff that can crush opposing batters so long as he throws his slower fastball with control instead of trying to blow through guys and still missing the strike zone or giving up hits. Establishing the strike zone with more control so he can pull the string for weak groundouts with his deceptive off speed stuff will make Timmy's career rebound. Tiny Tim's coming up for a Giant rebound I think and just by the floor of this year and the massively high ceiling he has if he starts to control his fastball more can set him up for a steal of a Comeback Player of the Year award.
Lincecum signed this for me during interleague play during the 2012 season at Angel Stadium. I was really excited to get his autograph and when he saw the Gypsy Queen he was shocked at how nice it looked and he thought it was one of his best. I was surprised he didn't know what it looked like and asked if he didn't see his cards. I guess Topps doesn't show the players what they're going to look like because he responded "No man I never see my cards." I asked if he wanted to see his All Star card from 2011 and he said yeah after I sign for the rest of the crowd. Tim signed down the line and then signed back up to me and took the card to check it out. He thought it was a funny photo of him and signed it for me. It was a quick encounter but definitely awesome.

Congrats to Tim Lincecum for throwing his no hitter and it makes these Tim Lincecum autographed baseball cards even more awesome to have in my collection.

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