What to do about Tim Lincecum

Lincecum's struggles are baffling his manager, GM and pitching coach. Chris Humphreys/US Presswire

On May 30, San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum had what used to be a routine outing. His line: seven innings pitched, one earned run and six strikeouts.

For a guy who’s won two National League Cy Young Awards, been a four-time All-Star and recorded more than 1,200 strikeouts, that line sounds pretty standard. However, he also walked a season-high five batters. On the season, he’s walking 4.9 men per nine, well above his career average of 3.4.

It gets worse.

The Giants are 2-11 when Lincecum starts and have lost eight straight when he pitches. Conversely, the Giants are 34-17 when he doesn’t take the hill. Currently at 2-7 with a 6.00 ERA, one of the game’s most dominant pitchers over the past four years now ranks among the worst starting pitchers in baseball in terms of ERA, WHIP and losses.

Problem is, no one can figure it out. What is wrong with Lincecum?