San Francisco Giants coach Bruce Bochy called out his once-ace Tim Lincecum, saying, "It is going to be important for Timmy and for us to get on track and [pitch] better."
The two-time Cy Young award winner is mired in the worst year of his career. Lincecum is 6-13 with a 5.45 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. It hasn't been all terrible for him either, as he ranks third in the NL with 9.43 strikeouts per nine innings.
As CSNBayArea.com reports, Bochy is trying to keep "The Freak" on track, saying that his mind tends to wander when he is getting battered around.
"He's healthy and his stuff is good," Bochy said. "But some of those games that get away from him ... he forgets to pitch. He knows how. He's always had the ability to adjust to a lineup or a team."
Lincecum has struggled all season with pitch counts early in the games, often falling apart or getting knocked out early because of messy early innings.
"It doesn't take much," Bochy said. "The plate is only 17 inches (wide). You're two or three inches off, and, well ... A lack of confidence can cause that. And it doesn't matter hwo good you are. Occasionally, doubt can creep in."
Lincecum has been better since the All-Star break, going 3-3 with a 3.30 ERA. However, Lincecum lasted just four innings in his last start against the Washington Nationals, giving up four runs as he labored through 96 pitches.
"For the most part he has stayed positive," Bochy said. "He hasn't stopped believing, hasn't stopped working. In all those areas, he's doing well."
But if the Giants are going to continue their playoff push, they will need a "vintage" Tim Lincecum, or at least the consistency that comes with it. Bochy says that with September approaching, it is time for Timmy to start being Timmy again.
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