Lincecum has a 2-8 record to go along with his 6.07 ERA this season. He leads the NL in losses, runs allowed as well as games started. He has 91 Ks in 83 IP, which is still on track for over 200 this season. The 83 hits he has allowed put him at a hit per inning, which though is not Lincecum-like, is still not worth being concerned over.
Three things are alarming, and they all relate to the same thing. He is not throwing strikes. He has 45 walks, which has him on pace to have well over 100 this season. That is responsible for his now career high 1.542 WHIP that has caused most of the other problems. Over the course of 9 IP, that is 4.9 walks per.
Last year may not have been his most memorable season where he finished just 13-14. He did have a 2.74 ERA on a team that refused to score runs. His WHIP was a more respectable 1.207 and averaged 3.6 BB/9 IP. He set a career high in walks with 86, but seemed to have better control of his pitches than he does now.
The tough thing for the Giants is the fact that they are not allowed to change anything mechanically with him or his delivery. Lincecum and his dad call all the shots. There is nothing that pitching coach Dave Righetti or manager Bruce Bochy can do to alter his mechanics, which have something to do with his higher walk totals. I am not suggesting that he changes his delivery, but he should be able to figure out what from his mechanics is forcing him to struggle to throw strikes. To me, its pretty obvious why Lincecum has had his struggles this season, as it is the reason a lot of other pitchers have bad seasons. If he doesn't make the proper adjustments, it will be a long season. Hopefully, Friday's start against the Athletics is a step in the right direction, despite the 4 BB in 6 IP.