Tim Lincecum is the perfect example of why your record as a pitcher isn’t always indicative of what type of season you’ve had. Lincecum had his first losing season with a 13-14 record, yet had the seventh best ERA in baseball at 2.74 and along with Doug Fister (10th) and Hiroki Kuroda (18th) were the only pitchers that had a below .500 winning percentage in the top 20 of that list. A lot of luck goes into winning a ball game as Ian Kennedy of the D’backs who had comparable stats to Lincecum was 21-4.
The San Francisco Giants scored the least amount of runs in the National League last season so having the second best ERA in the National League wasn’t enough to get them into the playoffs. A healthy Buster Posey, the additions of Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan, and solid contributions from youngsters Brandon Belt and Brett Pill should make the offense more formidable this season.
Management was wise enough to see past Lincecum’s 2011 record and signed him to a two-year contract extension for $40.5 million. Now maybe he can finally afford a good haircut!
Tim Lincecum joined KNBR in San Francisco to talk about whether he expects to get the ball on Opening Day, how Spring Training has gone for him so far, how this year’s clubhouse is compared to others in the past, on being the team trying to chase the Diamondbacks after what happened a year ago, and what he makes of the Matt Cain contract discussions.
Whether he expects to get the ball on Opening Day:
“I’m pretty sure I’m grabbing the ball but I mean things change and that was a month ago that I said that so we will see how spring goes.”
How Spring Training is going for him:
“It’s going good so far. Came in a little bit less weight on me which is actually helping me. I feel like I’m bouncing around a little easier, a little more pep in my step, a little more energy, especially in this heat, but it feels good and fun getting off the mound and being around all the guys.”
On this year’s clubhouse compared to others in the past:
“It’s great. We have that core group of guys with Cain coming back, he’s the longest tenured Giant here, and we have Pablo (Sandoval), myself, (Brian) Wilson, Sergio (Romo), and familiar kind of faces so when we have those guys back they allow for a nice, loose clubhouse.”
How it feels being the hunter instead of the hunted this season:
“Big because I know we felt we underachieved last year and we weren’t where we were supposed to be. I think that’s the hardest thing to swallow at the end of the season is not getting to where you believe you should be so you try to right those wrongs in the offseason and come in with a positive outlook on this one and look to get after it again. Obviously we have the Diamondbacks Opening Day and Opening Spring Day as well so look to get back at them and take it seriously.”
What he makes of the Matt Cain contract negotiations:
“As far as pitching goes I know with Cain that’s all that really matters. I mean I’ve heard him say he wants fair value and wants to pitch. For me it’s no different. We just want to play ball and that whole other side of the game is something that we just want to have finalized so we can focus on this.”