So, remember when I said I was thinking about writing on Tim Lincecum's 138 pitch performance? Well, I've been pondering some more and reached the conclusion that I had something worth posting. Although I'm going to drag out my thesis a bit because otherwise it could very well be a one line post and that's cheap. So instead, here are a few tidbits to consider:
Lincecum has made 14 starts since July 1st. In those starts he has thrown less than 110 pitches only three times.
Lincecum has amassed 120+ pitches four times.
In case you forgot how Lincecum made his season debut; it was in relief (84 pitches over 4 innings) and he pitched on both sides of an hour-plus rain delay.
The thing I find odd is how most analysts are only focusing on Lincecum. Okay, I guess that isn't too odd, he is the best pitcher in the National League, but I decided to look at Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez' usage as well, I would've included Barry Zito but who cares about him anyways?
Cain threw 125 a few weeks ago. Take a quick glance at Lincecum's streak since July 1st and then read the next line. During that same period Cain has thrown less than 110 five times in 15 starts with two of those being his last two times out.
Sanchez hasn't quite gone that far. In fact, his seasonal high is 113 and he's only went over 110 three times this season. Oddly Bruce Bochy doesn't ride him nearly as hard.
I have two comments to make. First off, Earth to San Francisco do you not learn your lesson when Dusty Baker was there? You have three very promising arms and I'm not going to tell you to shut them down but good grief guys at least monitor how hard they're being used in a rebuilding year.
Which leads me to my comment on Lincecum. I have absolutely no doubt that he COULD throw 120 pitches per start and stay healthy however his arm is so damn good that I would not even run that risk in a season this irrelevant. Yes he might win the N.L. Cy Young and that is awesome, but look at what Tampa Bay did with Scott Kazmir last year despite him being the MLB's strikeout king. I'm not going to act like I know biomechanics or how Lincecum's body is going to react because I don't, but I do know he's never had an injury and if I had choice I would try to maintain that.