- First inning in pro ball: check!
- First inning with the major league team in spring training: check!
- First inning in the majors: check!
What's the Big Deal? Another Hurdle Gone
Why the significance? Not that there's anything wrong with this, but when Lincecum comes into a new and different situation, his adrenaline flies skyward and so does his pitches, going high in the strike zone, where professional hitters swat them all around the field, mercilessly. But then he learns and calms down the next time, so that he's learned from that, gotten comfortable with that. That's what happened in the 9th against Chicago, his pitches flew upward, and he got whacked, then removed. That's OK, he usually learns his lesson the first time, in his time as a pro.
He doesn't always do that. His first bad spell as a pro, earlier this season, I think in June, he just did horribly until he finally figured out that trying to throw the ball faster and harder just makes things worse, so he calmed down and he started mowing down batters again. He has been good since then, for the most part (except for Pittsburgh), until that meltdown in the 9th against Chicago.
So that's OK with me, just another notch on the headboard, another tickbox checked off, in Tim Lincecum's development. Hopefully he gets most of these out of the way in 2007. Then in 2008, we would have a bonafide Cy Young candidate starting for our rotation.
Sign Lincecum NOW!
Sabean, first order of the 2007 offseason: get Lincecum signed to a long-term contract, STAT!!! The more rookie mistakes he makes, the better the case we can make for giving him a lower sized contract offer.
But I suspect that his agent team will be playing hardball, we won't luck out like we did with Cain's contract, we would probably have to play Lincecum anywhere from 50% to 100% more (worse case 200% I think) in contract size than Cain, to get him long-term. I think he'll still be worth every penny.