Urban: Five reasons Tim Lincecum is All-Star worthy

July 5, 2011, 7:56 pm
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July 5, 2011


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Mychael Urban

Good god. Are we really to the point where we have to defend the inclusion of the most dynamic pitcher in baseball on an All-Star team because his record is 6-7?Didn't we take care of that ridiculous reliance on wins and losses as a remotely meaningful metric by which a pitchers' dominance in measured when he won his second Cy Young, in 2009, with all of 15 wins?Or when Felix Hernandez won his first, last season, with a 13-12 record?Uncle.
It's barely worth an argument, so winnable it is. But here you go: Five reasons why Tim Lincecum absolutely belongs in Phoenix next Tuesday night, warmed up and ready to pitch on baseball's second-biggest stage.

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1) It's baseball's second-biggest stage. The World Series is the biggest. Remember what he did on that one?2) Lincecum has set the bar for himself so ridiculously high that a 3.14 ERA doesn't impress some folks, but those folks don't understand how difficult it is to pitch knowing you have to be damn-near perfect every time out to keep your offensively anemic team in the game. It's a grind.RELATED: Tim Lincecum 2011 game logs
3) That Lincecum has posted the numbers he has while dealing with the pressure he's under makes him more than worthy. In addition to the pressure of pitching without a safely net because his team's offense seems to suffer from narcolepsy when he takes the hill, he's the face of the franchise. Hence the nickname "Franchise." He's expected to dominate, and when he doesn't he's seen as a disappointment to an entire region. Thing is, he dominates far more than not.RELATED: NL Leaders: Strikeouts
4) His more oft-cited nickname is "The Freak." He's unique. Most athletes get popped for pot, their Q rating dips. Lincecum's rose. Might just be a California thing, but it speaks to likability. To appeal. To marketability. That kind of stuff is important to MLB big-wigs, don't you think?5) In the past three years, he's won consecutive Cy Young Awards and then a World Series during a "down" year. It wasn't down at all, of course, and he was at his best when the Giants needed him most, beating Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in the playoffs. In other words, Tim Lincecum is a "Star" -- capital S -- in every possible way. That anyone would suggest he's not an All-Star is laughable at best.