Sunday afternoon's game was familiar: Another Tim Lincecum outing, another Giants loss, this time a 5-0 stinker to the Rangers.
Lincecum wasn't good, going just 5.2 innings, while walking four and giving up five runs on nine hits. But Giants manager Bruce Bochy is sticking up for his (former?) ace and believes the Freak will eventually turn things around.
“This kid is special," Bochy said, via the San Jose Mercury News. “I have all the confidence in the world that he’s going to figure this out.”
Bochy wasn't the only one either -- catcher Buster Posey also (predictably) had Lincecum's back.
“He’s proven how good he is," Posey said. "We all feel it’s just a matter of time before it all comes together."
Posey's not alone in thinking this. Everyone believes, to a degree, that Lincecum will turn things around. The problem is the solution is supposed to be Lincecum's next start.
Last week it was "wait 'til he gets Texas and is reminded of the 2010 World Series!" (in hindsight, perhaps the most terrible excuse in the history of excuses). This week? Wait until Seattle, because they're awful!
And perhaps Lincecum will look good for a few innings, but if he gives up the big inning again, or gets in trouble and melts down like he's done all season against the Mariners, it's going to be awkward.
There's no real explanation for Lincecum's struggles, or at least no real clear-cut explanation. Maybe it's physical. Maybe it's mechanical. Maybe it's mental. Whatever it is, though, Lincecum has the second-worst qualifying ERA in baseball right now.
That's no good. The bigger problem, though, is that since there's no guarantee Lincecum begins to succeed, there's no real solution for what to do. Skip a start? Eh. Put him in the bullpen? Not an option. Maybe the disabled list with a phantom injury?
It's a difficult situation that can only get better by Lincecum beginning to pitch well. And no one knows when that will happen, even though everyone says it eventually will.