Two starts is enough to know that Tim Lincecum's 2013 season is on a path to be quite similar to that of his 2012 campaign.
Giants fans who were hoping for a quick turnaround after his miserable season last year will not be getting what they hoped for, as Lincecum has labored through each of his first two starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies.
Even though he got the victory in the opening series in Los Angeles, he surrendered 10 base runners in five innings, including a total of seven walks. And despite the fact that he didn't allow an earned run, there was no reason to proclaim that the old Lincecum was back after his first start of the season.
It was no different on Tuesday night in his start against Colorado.
Here's what we know about Lincecum thus far in the young season.
Lincecum followed up his seven-walk performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers with four against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
What was most concerning about his four walks was that two were surrendered to the opposing pitcher, one of which came after Juan Nicasio was down 1-2 in the count, and the other was on four straight pitches.
But what makes Lincecum's dilemma so intriguing is his ability to turn on and off the switch multiple times throughout the game.
For example, after Lincecum walked Nicasio on four pitches—Nicasio wasn't even thinking about taking his bat off his shoulder for the last two pitches, mind you—he came back and struck out one of the hottest hitters in the league, Dexter Fowler.
Walks have continually come back to bite Lincecum over the past two seasons, and it was more of the same Tuesday night.
Lincecum needs to find a way to limit the walks. And if he doesn't, he'll need to find some of his old bags of tricks and learn how to magically get out of jams. However, those days seem to be nothing more of a distant memory for Lincecum, which leads me to my next point.
We saw it last year, and we saw a glimpse of it yet again in his start against the Colorado Rockies: Tim Lincecum still struggles with avoiding a big inning.
There were times where Lincecum looked like his old self in 2012, but as soon as something went wrong in the field or there happened to be a wild hair up his nose, all hell broke lose and he couldn't find a way to limit the damage.
Tonight was the epitome of that, as Lincecum was looking at a runner on second situation with one out, but after a misplay by Brandon Crawford and Marco Scutaro, the situation ended up being runners on first and third with no outs. Two hits, two walks and a passed ball later, it's a five-run inning and flashbacks of Lincecum in 2012 started to pop up in people's minds.
Outside of the second inning—and Troy Tulowitzki's home run—Lincecum looked promising tonight. His stuff was crisp and his fastball was touching 93 mph. However, if Lincecum can't find a way to buckle down and stay out of the big inning, it's going to be a long year.