The euphoria of a dominant Giants performance in the All-Star game has settled, and it's time to get back to baseball. Perhaps no one in San Francisco is more eager for a return to normality than one Timothy Leroy Lincecum, former ace and current question mark.
Before his start on Saturday, Tim Lincecum was suffering through a dreadful 2012. By now we've memorized the numbers churned out whenever The Freak is mentioned: 6.42 ERA (good for highest in the majors) with a 3-10 record behind it.
We've heard he's not hurt, that it's a mechanical thing or a mental thing with mechanical repercussions; the analyses have been more far-flung than a crooked mechanic's initial diagnosis.
Then came July 14.
Lincecum was sharp, pitching eight innings of five-hit ball with 11 strikeouts peppered throughout. Lincecum didn't win the game, thanks to a Not-top-10 type moment from young catcher Hector Sanchez, but he won something far more important: his next start.
Now with the clock ticking until Lincecum suits up for a showdown with the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, the time has come to evaluate what exactly is necessary to ensure Big Time Timmy Jim is back for the latter half of 2012.