San Francisco Giants weekend series recap: Another blowup inning for Tim Lincecum

GIANTS 8, ATHLETICS 6: BOX SCORE

GIANTS 4, ATHLETICS 0: BOX SCORE

ATHLETICS 6, GIANTS 2: BOX SCORE

Stop me if you’ve read this before:

Tim Lincecum pitched great on Sunday, until ….

Once again, the big inning and Lincecum’s inability to get out of trouble jumped up and bit the Freak.

Let’s relieve Lincecum’s outing on Sunday against the A’s

FIRST INNING: Strikeout, strikeout, walk, strikeout.

SECOND INNING: Groundout, strikeout, fly out.

THIRD INNING: Groundout, strikeout, triple, groundout.

Through three innings, Lincecum had given up one hit and one walk and struck out five on 55 pitches.

And then came the fourth.

The fourth went groundout, single, single, walk, infield single (3B Joaquin Arias was able to field a grounder on the line but not able to make a play), single, force out, wild pitch, walk, groundout.

In all, four runs on three hits and two walks — 35 pitches.

After a high-stress inning that included Lincecum taking a shot on the chin from the head of Collin Cowgill when he slid home to score on a wild pitch, manager Bruce Bochy lifted Lincecum for a pinch-hitter, having thrown 90 pitches in four innings.

A couple of weeks ago, we called it an anomaly. Now, it seems like a habit.

“Just missing pitches, execution of pitches,” Lincecum explained. “The walk didn’t help. Just some unlucky stuff here and there.”

Well, if that’s so, Lincecum is the unluckiest guy around.

Lincecum is creating his own luck, by falling behind in counts. It’s not that Lincecum is getting hammered. But he’s being killed by a thousand pin pricks.

And he can’t get out of big innings.

“It used to be the first,” Lincecum said. “Now, it’s the fourth or fifth.”

Manager Bruce Bochy seems to think the problem is in Lincecum’s head, not his arm. The Freak seems to agree.

“I’m trying to make too good of a pitch, instead of just making a pitch,” Lincecum said. “I’m trying to be too fune, instead of just trusting it.”

Lincecum’s next start comes Friday at Miami, then May 30 at home vs. Arizona. Let’s hope he finds some trust before then.

UP NEXT

The Giants open a seven-game road trip to Milwaukee and Miami, two cities close in the alphabet but not on the map. Monday’s opener features Madison Bumgarner vs. Randy Wolf in a rematch of a Giants’ 5-2 win in San Francisco on May 4.

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