Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tim Lincecum = Very, very good.
Wait, I already did that as my opening for Roy Halladay? darn. Well, this 25-year old superstar is freakishly good, and is throwing even better than Halladay this year. He already has two Cy Young Awards and has been elected to the all star team three straight years. Keep in mind this is only his 4th big league season.
He has a one-of-a kind delivery, in which he delivers straight over the top. He has an extremely long stride (even longer than Johan's), and he features three plus pitches. Even though he's lost 3 mph on his fastball since first taking the league by storm, he is now featuring a two-seamer 15% of the time (which has resulted in an increase in his ground ball rate to 47%) and he is averaging his fastball velocity around 91 (but his "rising" four-seam fastball still hits 94-95). He also throws a plus curve, and a plus-plus change, that probably is the best in baseball. He throws his change-up for a strike 75% of the time (league average is 60%. Hat Tip to Fangraphs). The craziest stat is that he gets a 34% swing and miss rate on his change-up (league average is 12%). He has increased his use of a slider this year to 7% (83 mph). He gets a ton of swing and misses outside of the strike zone, which helps to maintain his K/9 > 10, and his walk /9 < 3.7.
Before he faced the Mets on May 9th, he was a 4-0 record with a 1.73 ERA and a minuscule 0.83 WHIP. He had gone 7+ innings in five of his six starts, and had eight walks to his 56 strikeouts (42 1/3 innings). He threw six innings and allowed two runs versus the Mets, while striking out eight, raising his ERA to 1.86. After that game he lost his usual pinpoint control and walked five guys in each of his next four starts. He currently has a 9-4 record, with a 3.16 ERA and 1.28 WHIP (highest in his major league career). His last start was solid, throwing seven innings, allowing only one run while striking out 10 and only six hitters reached base. That was his 5th game where he has struck out 10+ guys this season (18 starts)
He is one of the top three pitchers in baseball, and will be very difficult to beat (if you couldn't figure that out from all those numbers above).
Posted by Anthony at 8:00 AM