Friday, October 8, 2010

FJM Friday: This Isn't Really Fair...

...but we're gonna do it anyway. Before Tim Lincecum had one of the best playoff pitching performances ever, Cam Inman wrote a piece where he tried to argue that Tim Lincecum can't be expected to pitch well in his postseason debut. A very fair thing to say, but the reasons he listed were awful, and warranted this short FJM Friday post. Note that had Lincecum not pitched well yesterday, Inman would have still been wrong.

Giants ace Tim Lincecum gets his turn tonight. To pitch a no hitter as Roy Halladay did in his postseason debut? Whoa, hold on there.

Yeah, about that...

Now is a great time to temper those enormous expectations of Lincecum...Lincecum did not pitch great in his first big-league debut. Or in his first Giants season opener. Or in his first All-Star Game. He made lackluster first impressions on those big stages. Tonight's platform looms larger.

It's quite fair to temper expectations for Lincecum, as with any pitcher. But the examples he cites as predictive are ludicrous (really any examples that supposedly would contain a predictive quality would be foolish). Lincecum is a completely different pitcher than the one that debuted against the Phillies in 2007. So he had a bad 2009 season opener. So what? And the All Star Game means nothing. It's not even a real game. You could point to as many games where Lincecum has performed well in pressure situations (and that would be wrong also). He pitched very well in the 2010 season opener. He was amazing this September in a pennant stretch. Anything could have happened yesterday; he happened to pitch like Bob Gibson. There was no way of seeing it coming. But there was certainly no reason to think he wouldn't pitch like that because of a poor performance in April of 2009.

It may go great, like Halladay's. Or perhaps he will follow in the Giants franchise lore of Christy Mathewson, whose playoff debut came in the 1905 World Series and featured 3 shutout victories in 6 days.

That's more like it.

No comments:

Post a Comment