Ben Margot/ap file photoTim Lincecum had a bad start his last time out

Ben Margot/ap file photoTim Lincecum had a bad start his last time out

No reason to panic about one bad Tim Lincecum start

Welcome back, Giants fans, to the Glass Half Empty Saloon, where it doesn't matter how cheap and tasty everything is. It doesn't matter that the bathrooms are clean, the pool table is new and the servers are courteous, professional and prompt.

The focus among the patrons here is on the fact that only a few of the waitresses are legitimate 10s. The rest are in the 7-8 range, and here that's a big flippin' problem.

Which brings us to Tim Lincecum, and the comically overboard reaction to his beating earlier this week inCincinnati.

In his four starts prior to getting ripped by the Reds, who basically own the Freak at Great American Ball Park , Lincecum had a 2.19 ERA. The first three of those starts were of the “quality” variety — no fewer than six innings, no more than three earned runs — and the fourth was about as good as it gets short of the fairly forgiving “quality” designation: five innings, zero hits, zero runs.

Oh, and his record was 2-1 in those four starts. The Giants won three of those four games.

Sure, that stretch came on the heels of a three-start stretch that featured two sub-five-innings stinkers, and the Cincy start pushed Lincecum's ERA for the year over 5.00. But the fact remains that Lincecum, when he's on, remains a pretty good pitcher. When he's really on, he's great. And when he's off, he stinks.

Like, really, really stinks.

Is that not about all you can ask of a No. 4 or No. 5 starter? Forget the money. We all know the Giants overpaid him. Hell, the Giants know they overpaid him. They publicly acknowledged that by putting him in the No. 4 spot! But they did it because he means something to the fans and the franchise, and they're one of the teams that values and rewards that.

Try telling that to anyone in the Glass Half Empty, though. The Giants are in first place by a mile, their two big offseason pickups are performing like All-Stars, and the lead-up to the break is home-game-heavy.

But oh my God, Lincecum had another rough one, so by all means, pass the Kleenex with that next Kamikaze.

NEXT GAME

Giants vs. Mets

WHEN: Today, 1:05 p.m.

WHERE: AT&T Park

TV: CSN Bay Area

RADIO: KNBR (680 AM)

GiantsMLBSan Francisco GiantsTim Lincecum

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