Over the past few years--essentially since the arrival of Tim Lincecum--being at ATT Park has been just wonderful.
Of course I remember well the last days of Candlestick, which now remind me of the seemingly equally cavernous O.co Coliseum, where the Athletics toil to regular crowds of up to 8,000 humans. And it is sad, for Oakland can field an interesting team, and they have had very good fan support in the past.
Especially when they were either new to the area, or more important, winning.
But, I digress. For as noted, ATT is a great place to be, with always a terrific and enthusiastic sell out crowd.
And, as also noted, the Giants push towards real respectability came with Lincecum's arrival, and has flourished with the right hander's pair of Cy Young Awards.
This year, though, Timmy is struggling. And, he is struggling like never before. I actually worked his first game, where he hurled 4.1 innings against the Phillies, allowing five runs and five hits, with five walks, and five strikeouts.
For the most part, since then aside from a rugged August in September 2010, Lincecum has been dominant.
Over his career, Timmy is 71-43, 3.06, with a 1.19 WHIP, but this year, the numbers are 2-2, 5.68, with a 1.51 WHIP. So, going into this year he was 69-41, 2.97, with a WHIP of 1.09, meaning his 31.2 innings this year have been wicked.
And, they have been no worse than his first frame Friday night, against the Brewers when the righty tossed 31 pitches, with just 12 for strikes, and of those 10 were foul balls.
It was painful to see him struggle like that, and, though his velocity was not 95 MPH as in earlier years, it was still in the 92-93 range with the fastball.
What it seems to be is that hitters have begun to adjust, and Timmy's confidence is a little shaky. He seems unsure about throwing his best stuff out there, with the proverbial, "here it is, see if you can hit it." Because it seems he is afraid opposing hitters will hit it, and as a result they do.
At least that is how it looked to me Friday, which was the first time this season I have seen him throw live. Lincecum tossed 60 pitches his first two innings: an ungodly amount.
After the second, he did settle down, but though he allowed just two hits and three runs--one on a wild pitch--Timmy walked five and suffered the loss.
Baseball is such a funny game. And, the truth is the Giants have marched largely upon his shoulders the last few years.
Is there something wrong with Lincecum? Well, nothing beyond as with anything, as the hitters have adjusted, so must he.
Meaning don't dump him just yet.