Tim Lincecum's Velocity Returned, at Least

One of the biggest concerns with Tim Lincecum's season thus far in 2012 has been his velocity. Or lack thereof anyway.

Lincecum's been slinging darts at a much slower pace thus far this season, but Wednesday night's outing, while not exactly "hopeful," per se, should at least give Giants fans a glimpse of hope. Maybe.

Lincecum didn't sound too thrilled himself, realizing that his one poorly pitched inning, a four-run fourth inning, absolutely derailed what could've been an impressive start.

"The outcome isn't what I wanted," he said. "I still had that one rough inning that kicked the team in the butt."

And it resulted in another non-quality start (six innings, three earned runs or less) for Lincecum -- he now has just one on the season. But, again, his velocity was up, as you can see courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net's Pitch F/X tool:

As you can see, Lincecum was consistently at or above 92 MPH on pitches throughout his start, and, perhaps most importantly, was hitting above 90 past 100 pitches. Contrast that with his previous start against the Brewers on May 4, when he didn't even top 92 once, and never topped 90 after 70 pitches.

The numbers for his April 28 start against the Padres are even worse, and his April 23 start looks like a schizophrenic Polygraph test.

In that start, Lincecum's fastball averaged 89.8 MPH and topped out at 91.9. In his latest start, Lincecum averaged 91.3 MPH and topped out at 92.9.

His velocity this season, as you can see at FanGraphs, is still way down from previous years. And when you look at the graph for his full career, it shouldn't be a surprise that his pitch speed is continually declining. It's something that's happened his whole career.

Lincecum won't ever throw as fast as he did in 2008. But it's nice to see his speed picking up a little bit, even if it did come in a loss.

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