Manager Bruce Bochy says Tim Lincecum is taking his struggles hard, but hasn't lost any of his fight to improve.
If you know what's wrong with Tim Lincecum this year, well, you're the only person in the world who does. No one gets why Lincecum continues to struggle, but he does.
Once again, against a lowly Seattle Mariners team, Lincecum couldn't produce a good outing, eventually losing 7-4. But the Giants aren't going to resort to anything drastic like a bullpen move or a skipped start, and, according to manager Bruce Bochy, will let him "fight through" his struggles.
"He's healthy. He feels good," Bochy said, per Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. "I know the results haven't been great for Timmy, but you just see too many good signs. Even after the first inning [Saturday], he had bad luck there.
"At this point we think the best thing is to let him fight through this. If we felt different, we'd do it."
How can the Giants possibly know what to feel? Lincecum has the second-worst ERA among all qualified starters (only the Royals Luke Hochevar is worse) but his season is increasingly confounding.
Sometimes he'll look brilliant. He'll often pitch well from the windup. He'll have a meltdown of a bad inning. He can't pitch well from the stretch. And yet he continues to go out there every fifth day, and says he'll continue to fight for his chance to pitch and win.
"Sure, sure, that's how you want these guys," Bochy said. "He's doing all he can to come out of this. He's taking it hard. At the same time, he hasn't lost any fight in him."
And that's the thing: the Giants can't do a lot to combat Lincecum's struggles, other than roll him out there and hope he eventually figures something out.
Skipping his start or moving him to the bullpen would only create more attention to Lincecum's struggles. At the very least, at this point, many people have given up on his season (and dropped him in fantasy!) and just begun to assume that Lincecum's going to pitch poorly when he takes the mound.
Everyone except the Giants anyway.