Tim Lincecum Looking To Follow In Success Of Cain, Bumgarner To Open Season

By Bryan Rose

October 31, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) rides in a car during the World Series victory parade at Market Street. The Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep to win the 2012 World Series. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ offense may not be completely healthy but with a lineup that still boosts talent like Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier, scoring runs shouldn’t be too difficult which makes what Giant starters Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner did even more impressive.

Combining the starts from Cain and Bumgarner, the two Giant’s have tossed 14 scoreless innings to start the season – the lone team runs given up by a minor bullpen implosion on Opening Day. How far that scoreless streak is extended today though remains in question as Tim Lincecum takes the mound after a rough Spring.

As the Spring came to a close, Lincecum did look decisively better – his control, which plagued him heavily last year, much cleaner. The velocity, while not what it once was, was respectable and combined with his changeup, opposing hitters were left off balance. That all said – Tiny Tim still ran into issues – some self imposed, some bad luck with BABIP and some with Yoenis Cespedes who launched a couple moonshots against Lincecum that may or may not have landed yet.

There’s no doubt Lincecum was tweaking things during his Spring appearances, so just assuming the poor stats will translate into the regular season seems a bit short sighted, but concern lingers no doubt. A solid outing today could go a long way to helping both fans and Lincecum regain confidence, but a poor outing is only going put more pressure on the 28 year old arm.

Dodger Stadium hasn’t always been overly kind to Lincecum as he boosts a career 3.58 ERA at Chavez Ravine, the fourth highest ERA in opposing parks where he has at least 20 innings pitched. Here’s to a solid outing and a series victory today.