The early-season struggles of two-time National League Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum are now officially a mid-season concern. The erstwhile San Francisco Giants ace was shelled once again in Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and was saddled with his 10th loss of the season in the final game before the All-Star break.
Lincecum notoriously has had difficulty pitching in high temperatures throughout his career, but his 2012 struggles go much deeper than his recent starts on the East Coast. On Sunday, Lincecum was knocked out in the fourth inning after giving up six earned runs on seven hits, including two doubles and two home runs.
Lincecum enters the break with a 3-10 record and a 6.42 ERA. Out of 101 MLB starters who qualify for the ERA title, Lincecum ranks dead last. Lincecum has been his worst on the road, holding a 1-6 record with a whopping 9.00 ERA in away games. The Giants are 4-14 in 2012 when Lincecum pitches.
As Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area points out, the Giants have not had a 10-game loser before the All-Star break since 2008, when Barry Zito posted a 4-12 record with a 5.62 ERA before the midsummer classic. Lincecum's current ERA is nearly a full run higher than Barry Zito's terrible first half in 2008. That's probably cause for alarm.