It's 2012, and Tim Lincecum has gotten off to a pretty lousy start. His average velocity is down, and he's been getting hit. Through just three starts this season, Lincecum's already allowed more runs than he did in the first half in 2009. Not really, but look how much time of yours I wasted while you fact-checked that assertion. I am in control of you!
Naturally, with Lincecum previously having been good and currently being not good, there are a lot of articles being written about what the matter might be. Over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron examines the recent history of April velocity dips and performance declines, and it'd be a good piece for you to read if you're a Giants fan, or a friend of Lincecum's, or somebody who's about to use drugs. Read this, instead of using drugs.
The velocity is still a legitimate concern, and will be until if comes back, if it ever does. The hits and home runs are a less legitimate concern, but not something that we can completely ignore. They’re just a minor consideration given the amount of data we’re dealing with. Just beware of combining the two issues and deciding that their dual presence is definitively a sign of a larger problem. It might be, it might not be. It certainly wasn’t for Sabathia, Lester, or Vazquez.
That's the conclusion. Before the conclusion, Cameron looks at 2008 CC Sabathia, 2009 Jon Lester, 2009 Jake Peavy, 2009 Javier Vazquez, and 2011 Ryan Dempster. It's a limited sample of comparisons, but the point is that Lincecum might not be all bollocksed, just because he's looked bollocksed so far. Things have historically had a way of evening out.