…. Beat down

Lincecum got beat up again, allowing four runs in the first two innings for the second game in the row. Baggardly got an interview after the game:

…. “That first inning (when he struck out three) was probably the biggest positive I can take from today. It was probably the best inning I’ve thrown in the last few outings actually. I’ve just gotta get back to that and replicate it.”

On going back to his previous windup:

“That wasn’t really a factor other than wrapping your head around doing too many things to fix things. That’s what I’ve been doing the last few outings. It’s getting back to simplifying things and trying to be as optimistic as possible.”

“I’ve become a big thinker. That’s just the way I am. Brain never stops working. You start focusing on the wrong things, or the negatives and they start to manifest and build up on each other.

“I can’t keep searching. I’ve just gotta go out and pitch.”

On whether his rough linescore was a result of bad luck or bad pitches:

“I missed my spots here and there. There were a few bloops, but hits are hits and a loss is a loss. So at the end of the day that’s the way I have to look at it, and get better from here.”

On whether his confidence is shaken:

“Yeah, it can be. You get frustrated when things don’t go your way. You just gotta come to the field every day working with a purpose until it comes back and that’s what I’m trying to get to.”

On what he’ll work on before his next start:

“I want to throw strikes, quality strikes, where I want to throw them. The fastball is kind of all over the place right now. But just hitting that down and away fastball. That’s what I’ve got to get back. I just gotta simplify and do what I’ve got to do.”

On the expectations heaped upon him as the staff ace:

“I just talked to Rags about that. I guess any pitcher in his career, they’ve gone through struggles. This is going to be a learning experience for me, put things in perspective and just build from it. That’s what I’ve got to do.”

On Saturday, the NY Times had a piece on the Padres series, and featured a little Lincecum talk:

…. He has had a weird season, making the All-Star team by vote of the players, who ignored a four-start slump in which he issued 20 walks. Lincecum has been better lately, but he lasts only four innings this time in an 8-6 defeat. His earned run average swells to 3.41, about a run higher than it was last season, and he will not win a third consecutive Cy Young Award.

“Timmy will bounce back,” Bruce Bochy says. “We have a lot of faith in this kid.”

But Lincecum is at a loss. There are many moving parts in his funky delivery, and when flaws crop up, he says, he wants to fix them on his own. His father taught him his mechanics, and Lincecum says maybe he can spot something.

“I’ve been doing this motion long enough where I want it to become second nature,” Lincecum says. “I don’t want to think about how I throw it; I just throw it. I want to get back to that.”

It’s all well and good to figure things out for yourself, but there’s a reason why teams employ coaches. It’s to help players work through the inevitable slumps, league adjustments and recovering from injuries and setbacks. Since Righetti obviously cannot help him, he has to get help from his Dad. The time for working it out on his own is over. His last two starts were, quite frankly, disastrous. In fact, since his outrageous first eight games, his seaosn has been awful. Inconsistent, mediocre, awful.

That the Giants are contending as two of their best young players look completely lost is remarkable. But this cannot continue. Sandoval is watching batting practice fastballs and swinging at curveballs in the dirt. And now Lincecum can’t get out the fourth inning.

The time for self-correction has passed. The season is at risk. Call your Dad, Tim. Call his Dad, Brian.

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