Tim Lincecum gave up two first inning home runs last night to the Seattle Mariners. He settled down after that, and the Giants regained the lead, but then Lincecum gave up 2 more runs in the 5th, and a leadoff single in the 6th, and was pulled from the game. That runner came around to score, giving Lincecum his 8th loss of the year.
While his official record is 2-8, the Giants are an even worse 2-12 in games started by Lincecum this year (They are 35-17 in games started by everyone else). The last time San Francisco won a game started by Lincecum was April 28th. He has only had 2 quality starts all year, and has given up at least 4 earned runs in 7 of his last 8 starts.
This isn’t just a case of bad luck with run support. Lincecum is putting up by far the worst numbers of his career through 2 1/2 months. His ERA is a whopping 6.14, he’s walking more batters and giving up more hits, and has a higher fly ball rate than in the past. Fangraphs’ velocity chart shows that his fastball has been declining in speed, though it has rebounded toward 2011 more recently.
The Giants are still in the wildcard hunt and trail the Dodgers by 4 games in the West, but imagine where they would be if Lincecum was pitching remotely like he has pitched in the past.