Aug 23, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; San Francisco Giants managerBruce Bochy
(R) removes Giants starting pitcherTim Lincecum
(55) from the game against the Washington Nationals in the third inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
After Tim Lincecum’s last start against Washington, he addressed the media in a rather candid fashion about that start, saying that it was “horse[expletive]” and he has been having troubles with his mechanics. Then the rumor mill fired up quickly with musings of being removed from the rotation, although Bruce Bochy would not address it specifically until today.
Earlier this afternoon, multiple sources broke that Lincecum has been removed from the rotation for Yusmeiro Petit. Lincecum should be available out of the bullpen during the week, as reported by CSN Bay Area’s Ahmed Fareed:
This is not Petit’s first time being put into starting action this season. Earlier on in the season, he was called upon to be a spot starter while Cain was on the disabled list. Petit has not had stellar numbers while being a spot-starter, but as a reliever he has been very dominant. He will need to do what he can though to help fill in the spot Lincecum was occupying.
Lincecum after the All-Star Break has tailed off quite a bit, sporting an 8.07 ERA since the break in seven starts and one relief apperarance. He has only had two quality starts in those seven (at Miami and at Milwaukee), and those are the only times he has been able to make it past the 6th inning.
He is averaging nearly 4 2/3 innings per start and has collected 4 losing decisions since the All-Star Break; a far cry from where he was in mid-June to early July, when he seemed to be the only starter that could get a win.
His start in Washington was the worst of this season though, as he had virtually no command, and most anything that did end up in the strike zone was very hittable. He also had some misfortune with the defense, but every pitcher has to deal with that at some point or another. He was unable to get the job done and work past the mistakes, effectively taking the Giants out of the game early.
So Petit will be the answer for now, until Lincecum can work through the issues he is dealing with. Bochy seems to be confident that he can work through these issues, as he has done in the past, but for now he will have to do that from the bullpen.
This is not the first time Lincecum has been sent to the bullpen, as he was removed from the rotation in the 2012 playoffs. He was a great help from the bullpen then, and the hope is that he can help from the bullpen this time around as well.