What they’re saying about Lincecum’s poor start

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

After watching San Francisco ace  Tim Lincecum surrender two first-inning homers and reading some of the ensuing Twitter reaction, I half expected to wake up and find Giants Nation in a state of full-on panic.

But kudos to our Bay Area bros for keeping their chill after a 5-4 opening day loss to Arizona on Friday. Despite Lincecum posting a very un-Lincecumlike line — five earned runs in 5.1 innings! — the core of Giants bloggers held the ground they dug into during a poor spring for Lincecum.

Here's a trio of reactions:

Grant Brisbee, McCovey Chronicles: "Reacting to Tim Lincecum's velocity is for greenhorns. Worrying about 89 or 90 or 91 … bah. We've seen Lincecum succeed at 89 to 91. It's not ideal, but he ebbs and flows. And it's April. Velocities are typically down for everyone in the beginning of the season. Justin Verlander was 92-94 (on Thursday), and no one was freaking out about him."

Julian, Giants Nirvana: "There's a silver lining: seven strikeouts, one walk. Last season, Lincecum had eight starts in which he allowed fewer than two walks. Seven of those games came in the first half. Walks were a problem for Lincecum last season, and he's made a point to address the problem this year (pitching to contact). Hopefully, this start is a sign that he's headed in the right direction. (And the strikeouts were still there, which is important.)"

Chris Quick, Bay City Ball: "Ultimately, I'll have a hard time getting worked up over a single start, and an Opening Day start no less. It's early in the season and there isn't much need to panic just yet. Lincecum had periods of cruising — he didn't throw over 15 pitches in an inning between innings two and five — and the defense didn't do him any favors by committing three errors on the night. In the long run, I think he'll be fine. He usually makes adjustments pretty well between starts."

It is still early and there are plenty of time to make adjustments, of course. Also, while Arizona's  batters were complimentary of Lincecum's stuff, it probably gets lost that the Diamondbacks are the defending division champs and have a lineup that can really hit the ball. That's not the first time they've gotten to a good pitcher and it's certainly not going to be the last.

But anyway, onward and upward. Enjoy this pretty cool photo that was taken on Friday while we wait for Lincecum to take the mound for his second start of the season.

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