Your travel-weary editor is headed to San Francisco tomorrow, and while I’d ordinarily be keen to attend a Giants game started by Tim Lineceum, there’s not inconsiderable competition in the form of a Monoshock reunion (with support from Lamps). Also, there’s this — the Wall Street Journal’s Tony Olivero points out, ‘if the season ended today, Lincecum (above)—a two-time Cy Young Award winner—would have the worst adjusted ERA, 55, of any pitcher who has thrown at least 95 innings in a season since at least 1901.” Of course, the season doesn’t end today, so there’s really no justifiable reason for Olivero calling The Freak, “the worst pitcher in baseball history”, unless he’s got some inside knowledge about an alien invasion that would render the 2012 campaign, “the shortest season in baseball history”.
Lincecum (3-10, 6.42 ERA) must improve his adjusted ERA by at least two points to avoid setting a rather undesirable record. Bill Stoneman of the 1973 Montreal Expos, Carl Lundgren of the 1908 Chicago Cubs and Rube Bressler of 1915 Philadelphia Athletics all finished seasons with record-low adjusted ERAs of 56.
Pitchers rarely compile adjusted ERAs as bad as Lincecum’s because they are usually benched or demoted before they throw many innings (and do more damage). The idea of this happening to the 28-year-old Lincecum, one of three active multiple Cy Young winners, would have been inconceivable just three months ago.