This Tim Lincecum just won’t do

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum walks back to the dug out after the second inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field in New York City on May 9, 2010. UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Giants fans have been spoiled, I guess. Tim Lincecum goes out and wins two Cy Young Awards in his first three seasons, yet many have found fault in his 11-5 record and 3.15 ERA heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Cubs.

What’s to be worried about? He’s only striking out one less batter per nine innings than he was last year and has the same walk rate as he did in his first Cy Young season.

He’s fine! Seriously, he’s fine.

We’re all fine.

Then Kosuke Fukudome hits a three-run, 416-foot blast into McCovey Cove off Lincecum in the first inning last night and you realize he’s not fine. He’s far from fine. He’s Kosuke-f’n-Fukudome-just-hit-a-towering-416-foot-home-run-off-him not fine.

There is no shortage of reasons why Lincecum is struggling right now: He’s getting behind hitters, his command comes and goes, he’s tinkering with his windup too much and his changeup often bounces two feet in front of home plate instead of finding Buster Posey’s catcher mitt.

He’s struggling. He needs a barber. He’s out of whack. He’s in a funk. Please cut that thing, Tim.

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Lincecum runs scoreless streak to 23 innings

Tim Lincecum pitched seven scoreless innings in the Giants’ 9-0 win over the Astros on Saturday. He has now thrown 23 scoreless innings in his last three games and has lowered his ERA to 2.23 while amassing a 9-2 record.

So much for Lincecum’s arm falling off. After tossing 227 innings last season, many thought that “The Franchise” would suffer a post-Cy Young slump and sift into arm-trouble hell. And when he started the season 0-1 with two no decisions, the I-told-you-so’s were out in full force.

But Lincecum has been absolutely filthy of late, with Saturday marking his 14th career start in which he’s allowed zero earned runs in seven or more innings. That ties Ron Gudry and Fernando Valenzuela for the fourth-most such starts by a pitcher in his first 75 career games since 1954, with Dwight Gooden leading all players in that category with 23.

With the Giants playing on the West Coast, Lincecum seemingly doesn’t get the national attention he deserves. But he’s the best young pitcher in the game and if San Fran can continue to play well this season, maybe they’ll make the postseason and his skills can be on full display come mid-October.

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