Bochy: It's time for Lincecum to be Lincecum

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Bochy: It's time for Lincecum to be Lincecum

LOS ANGELES Tim Lincecum has been asked to dissect countlesspoor starts this season, and many more that were below his previous standardsfor excellence.

Without fail, he has responded with placid earnestness.There has been no wide-eyed, sky is falling moments with reporters, like everyonesaw when he struggled in a winless August, 2010.

That is a good thing, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Hedoesnt want Lincecum panicking. But its also time for a sense of urgency. TheGiants absolutely need Lincecum to be nearer to his Cy Young form as hetakes the ball Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, with first place at stake.

Is it time for Timmy to be Timmy?

Yeah, I think it is, Bochy said of Lincecum, who is 6-12with a 5.45 ERA. Were getting to the back end of August here. Its going tobe important for Timmy and for us to get on track and pitches better and Illemphasize pitch. That gets away from him sometimes.

Theres no question Lincecum has had trouble minimizinginnings and making quality pitches in the lower portion of the strike zone. Andtheres no question he has had difficulty maintaining his stuff when hes taxedwith a 25-plus pitch inning in the early going.

Yet Lincecum also ranks third in the NL with 9.43 strikeoutsper nine innings.

Hes healthy and his stuff is good, Bochy said. But someof those games that get away from him he forgets to pitch. He knows how. Hesalways had the ability to adjust to a lineup or a team.

Lincecum has been better since the All-Star break. Hes 3-3with a 3.30 ERA with five quality starts among seven assignments. Yet hes alsocoming off a messy outing against Washington in which he threw 96 pitches injust four innings.

It doesnt take much, Bochy said. The plate is only 17inches (wide). Youre two or three inches off, and, well A lack of confidencecan cause that. And it doesnt matter how good you are. Occasionally, doubt cancreep in.

Lincecum is pitching 20 or so pounds lighter than a year ago, whichmight explain some of his stamina issues. But Bochy said he took no issue withthe right-handers preparation or attitude. It doesnt sound as if Lincecum hasbeen subject to any chew-out sessions, as in the past.

For the most part he has stayed positive, Bochy said. Hehasnt stopped believing, hasnt stopped working. In all those areas, hesdoing well.

Now the Giants need him to be good in the area that mattersmost -- that bump in the middle of the diamond.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants get swept by Mets at home

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants get swept by Mets at home

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The Mets spent the first half of this week in Los Angeles, where they got swept by the Dodgers and outscored 36-11. Their beat writers publicly wrote an end to any thoughts of the postseason. The fan base renewed the calls for manager Terry Collins to be fired. 

That’s where they were. And then they flew to San Francisco. 

AT&T Park continues to be a place where others get healthy, and this weekend it was the Mets. The Giants lost 8-2 on Sunday, getting swept by a similarly disappointing team. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games. 

There’s not much more to be said about it, but I did anyway. Here are five things to know from the day a relief pitcher got an at-bat but it would have been far too cruel to text your friends … 

—- Matt Moore’s line: 4 1/3 innings, seven hits, five earned runs, three walks, five strikeouts. Through 16 starts, he has a 6.04 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. He ranks last among qualified NL starters in ERA. Only Matt Cain (1.73) has a worse WHIP. Good times. 

—- Mets righty Rafael Montero entered with an 0-4 record and 6.49 ERA. He gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings. Good times. 

—- With runners on the corners and two outs in the third inning, Brandon Belt strolled to the plate. He leads the team in homers. Hunter Pence tried to steal second for some reason and he was caught, ending the inning and keeping Belt from batting in a two-run game. Good times. 

—- With two on and no outs in the sixth, the Giants sent the runners to make sure Buster Posey didn’t hit into a double play. Posey popped up softly to first and Joe Panik was doubled off of second. Good times. 

—- One last bit of bad news: Austin Slater was removed from the game with a tight right hip flexor. 

Barry Bonds predicts he can still smash Splash Hit: 'Without a doubt'

Barry Bonds predicts he can still smash Splash Hit: 'Without a doubt'

Barry Bonds stepped into Giants' broadcast booth with Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow during the top of the third inning Sunday and Kuiper immediately brought up the shape Bonds is in at 52 years old. 

"Still think you can play, probably?" Kuiper asked Bonds. 

After giving Kuiper the look, Bonds replied, "About an inning or two."

Moments later, the cameras moved to McCovey Cove past the right field wall at AT&T Park where Bonds famously hit home runs deep into the water. Of the 73 Splash Hits off Giants bats into the cove, Bonds is responsible for 35 of them. 

Now an avid cyclist who still picks up a bat from time to time, Bonds is fully confident that number would rise if he stepped into the batter's box again. 

"I promise you I will," Bonds replied when Krukow asked if he could still hit home runs into the water. "Without a doubt." 

Krukow predicted Bonds would need 10 swings to get it done. Bonds says he might need just a few more.

"Well it would take me eight swings to get warmed up, three pop ups and then I'd get it," he said with a laugh. 

During spring training this year, Bonds joined the Giants as a special instructor. And he proved his claim of more Splash Hits could certainly be true as he showed off his legendary swing and cracked balls over the wall in Scottsdale

Bonds hit his final home run of his career, No. 762, on Sept. 5, 2007 on the road against the Rockies in a 5-3 Giants win. The Giants are adding Bonds to their Wall of Fame on July 8.