Tim Lincecum and Stephen Strasburg will square off on Wednesday afternoon in a battle of two strikeout-heavy pitching stars that will decide who walks away from this series with a victory (and could decide whether or not the Giants are in first place in the NL West when they wake up on Thursday)/
The last time Timmy faced off against the Nats, he got knocked around real bad, giving up nine hits and seven earned runs in 3.1 innings. It was one of many low points in a pretty bad season and while the Freak isn't out for revenge he did say he has "a little chip" on his shoulder.
"Obviously I have a little chip on my shoulder, even though that chip is there for my entire season and not just one team here or there," Lincecum said. "At the same time I remember certain outings."
Aside from Lincecum's second start of the season -- a 2.1 inning, six-earned-run shellacking at Colorado -- the start against the Nats is probably the worst. (Though you could also that his next start, a 3.1 inning, six-earned-run beatdown from Pittsburgh was bad too.) But Lincecum says he won't let that bug him as he gets ready to square off with Strasburg.
"Maybe a little bit because he's an exciting name you hear about and he's going to have exciting stuff to watch," Lincecum said when asked if the particular matchup got him more amped. "At the same time, when you get between those lines it's business time. It's a 'put up or shut up' type of thing. I'm trying to stick with what I've got going right now.
"I'm not going to take a step backward. I'm not going to doubt myself just because of what happened in Washington. It's a different part of the season. I'm going to approach it as is and take it as another start."
That's exactly how the Giants want Lincecum going out to the mound: loose, not trying to prove anything, and ready to move on from the past.
This season's been mostly a trainwreck for Lincecum, though he's started to pull out of his year-long swoon recently, throwing quality starts in five of his last six starts and posting a 2.72 ERA since July 14.
Channeling that chip on Wednesday to help the Giants take the series from the best-record-in-baseball Nats would go a long way towards keeping his hot streak rolling.