It looks as if Tim Lincecum is done as a starter—maybe for good. It's almost the title of a Dave Eggers novel come to life: "Your Pitchers, Where Are They Now? And Your Freaks, Do They Live Forever?" It's sad. It's the end of an era. And maybe, just maybe, it's what the Giants need to turn this topsy turvy season around again.
But first, let us wallow in the news a bit. Despite pitching a no-hitter against the Padres earlier in the season, the two-time Cy Young award winner has been struggling lately. Since the All Star break Lincecom has notched a 8.07 ERA in 7 starts and 1 relief effort. Does anyone think that his most recent appearance as a starter, when he went just 2 and 2/3rds innings against the Washington Nationals, was one for the highlight reel? Even the Freak demurred, saying, "It's horseshit."
Horseshit indeed. Horseshit the way that Lincecum, who's pitched for the Giants since 2007, looks to be sliding towards a career decline. Horseshit the way your parents seem to have more grey hairs lately. Horseshit the way that your high school boyfriend now weighs 300 pounds and runs a lawn car supply company. Horseshit the way of all flesh.
But in decay, there is also regeneration. Keep in mind, Lincecum pitched a masterful relief effort against Philadelphia on July 22nd. And, as CBS sports reminds us, Lincecum killed it when he pitched from the bullpen during the 2012 Playoffs. So, though the news may sting for Freak Fanatics, maybe we can all move to the acceptance stage of grief here.
To use a blasphemous A's metaphor, maybe Timmy is the second coming of another mid-career starter turned reliever: Dennis Eckersley.