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Tim Lincecum threw a no-hitter in July against the Padres.
Tim Lincecum in no longer the totally dominant pitcher that won back-to-back Cy Young Awards earlier in his career.
Lincecum still has flashes of brilliance, but he has bouts of inconsistency. Gone is the fastball clocked at 96 mph, as Lincecum must now get by with a fastball in the low 90s.
His change-up is still outstanding, but Lincecum needs to command his fastball better in order to set up his specialty pitches, especially that change-up.
Lincecum threw a no-hitter in mid-July against the San Diego Padres, which was one of the highlights of a down year for the Giants.
Giants GM Brian Sabean inked Lincecum to a two-year, $35 million deal. This may have been a little bit over market, but Lincecum is loved by the fans and extremely valuable to the Giants as a marketing asset.
With that said, Sabean would not have signed Lincecum to the large contract unless he believed Lincecum could still be an effective pitcher.
Lincecum made strides as a pitcher in 2013. He did a better job commanding his pitches and tried to get hitters out earlier in the count, instead of trying to strike everyone out.
Lincecum's 2013 numbers were very pedestrian. He had a record of 10-14, with an ERA of 4.37 and a WHIP of 1.315. Lincecum threw 197.7 innings, allowed 184 hits and 76 walks while striking out 193.
His walks were too high, but his strikeout total showed that he can still be dominant at times.
One of the keys to the upcoming Giants season will be how well Lincecum can pitch. A major issue is his ability to pitch deeper into games, thereby putting less stress on the bullpen.
Looking ahead to 2014, expect continued progress from Lincecum. The projection is for him to throw 204 innings and fashion a record of 12-8 with an ERA of 3.86, a WHIP of 1.29 and 188 strikeouts.