If you've been paying attention closely, reading the tea leaves, you might've divined that their ace of aces, Tim Lincecum, has been suffering through a rough go of it in 2012.
The little right-hander with the big arm has shown glimpses of his old self at various points this season, but the overall picture has been a brutal one. He's got one of the worst earned run averages in all of Major League Baseball amongst starters with at least 70 innings pitched. His WHIP isn't quite as ugly, but it's been a far cry from pretty.
The possible culprits behind the Freak's issues have been manifold—his control has been inconsistent, his velocity is down, his mechanics are out of whack when he's in the stretch, he's been incredibly unlucky.
Oh and he's not concentrating from the first to last pitch, he dropped too much weight in the offseason, he's smoking too much weed, he's not smoking enough weed, his chi is out of alignment and on and on.
Name a theory and the lunatic fringe in the Bay Area has floated it.
This is a two-time Cy Young Award winner who justifiably wears the nickname "The Franchise." Consequently, it's no surprise that Lincecum's struggles have been the talk of the town and beyond. Nor is it a surprise that a rebound from said struggles have headlined most of the stories about San Francisco's post-All-Star break fate.
If Lincecum finds some semblance of his front-line form, the Gents will get a major boost as they move through July, August and into September.
In fact, there's a good chance the fellas will still be playing ball in October if that happens.
However, one player rarely carries an entire baseball team's fortune in his hands. A revival from Big Time Timmy Jim is not the only key to the second half. It will not ensure a trip to the playoffs if a bunch of other wheels fall off the wagon.
So, with all due respect to Tim, here are the non-Lincecum keys to a successful summer and fall by the Bay.