San Francisco Giants: Giant Lingering Problems with Tim Lincecum, Pablo Sandoval

Scott BurnsCorrespondent IIIJune 6, 2012

Sandoval and Linceum have disappointed the Giants so far
Sandoval and Linceum have disappointed the Giants so farEzra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants finally finished at home by completing a four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a 3-2 victory on Monday. 

Now they are in the middle of a three-game series with another struggling team, the San Diego Padres.

June has started with the Giants being red hot without the help of two of their best players, Tim Lincecum and Pablo Sandoval. 

Lincecum was slowly creeping out of an early-season tailspin before imploding again last night in the second inning.  The offense rescued Lincecum and Lincecum recovered to look as dominant as he has all season.  He is still trying to stay away from the one big inning that has plagued him throughout this season.

The Giants have gone 2-10 in Lincecum’s starts this season (0-7 in his last 7 starts) and 29-15 in the rest of the staff’s starts.  If Timmy can finally put all of the pieces together, this pitching staff will be able to prove it is arguably one of the best staffs in Giants history.

But this only cements the idea that Giants management should look short term with Timmy.  His current two-year deal was a blessing in disguise, as he is making $18 million this year and $22 million in 2013. 

If Lincecum cannot overcome the big inning and sloppy starts this year and next year, his leverage will decrease substantially and Rick Thurman of the Beverly Hills Sports Council will have to accept less or take Lincecum to the open market.

The Giants also just drafted pitching heavy in the 2012 major league draft to restock their system.

On the offensive side, Pablo Sandoval is still rehabbing from a hamate bone injury, but questions about his weight and new information about a sexual assault incident have lowered the Panda’s stock. 

Sandoval will have to fight through the distractions and prove himself to Bruce Bochy, while having the watchful eye of Giants brass looking at his every move.

The Kung Fu Panda is under the microscope and will be for the foreseeable future.  His conditioning and weight issue have always been in play, but it has been even more so now within the time Sandoval has been on the disabled list.  The Giants desperately need his bat in the lineup, but they want him to focus and leave his baggage out of the clubhouse.

The Giants were seven and a half games behind the Dodgers at their worst point in the season, and after Tuesday’s game, they drop to four games back.  The pitching has been incredible, and the Giants have gotten timely hits, especially from second baseman Ryan Theriot, who looks to have taken his position back.

The Giants starters had gone seven straight games now pitching seven or more innings while allowing two or fewer runs before Lincecum gave up four runs in the second inning.  Between July 1-10, 1998, the Giants pitchers accomplished the same feat in nine consecutive games, according to STATS LLC.

The Giants are 4-1 so far this month and need to go 18-10 in June against mainly weaker opponents.  If the Giants can get their two major stars straightened out, they will definitely be a postseason factor.

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