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Open Lincecum/Gameday Thread II

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Part II of a XVIII-part series.

Rarely is the question asked: Is our Lincecums overhyped? Possibly so. It would be pretty hard for Tim Lincecum to fully satisfy the inflated expectations. I'm looking forward to watching his delivery in a format other than grainy YouTube scout-cam vision, but I'm not going to be ridiculous and predict 20 strikeouts. That's more of a second-start kind of thing. The first start will just be one of those 15-strikeout stepping stones.

This kind of paper-bag-over-the-mouth excitement is rare. People will bring up other prospects, but this one tops them all. Even when the other prospects came up, there weren't people in sleeping bags outside the hyperbole store. The comments were thoughtful and measured back then; this is the first time this kind of hyperbole has been employed. This was written for the debut of Jerome Williams:

With Kurt Ainsworth already doing fine in the rotation, and Jesse Foppert being the trendy guy to follow, Williams has been overlooked a little.
See? No hysteria there, just calm and collected notes. Now this was for Jesse Foppert:
The fall of the Berlin Wall. Apollo 11 touching down on the moon. Jesse Foppert's first start. Not to exaggerate or belabor the point, or anything."
Uh, okay. So maybe it was put on a bit thick there, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be excited about Lincecum.

And this was for Matt Cain:

After the seven golden swans flew overhead, the seven bubbling springs of purity welled up from the earth surrounding McCovey Cove. A single note from a trumpet of light announced the first pitch, and open weeping was contagious. It was Matt Cain's first start.
Damn. I guess I do this for all of the prospects. Never mind.

Statistically, though, there really isn't a comparison. The career stats of the prospects in question before they were called up:

Jerome Williams - 3.32 ERA, 510.1 IP, 426 H, 159 BB, 403 K, 40 HRA

Jesse Foppert - 3.01 ERA, 218 IP, 158 H, 117 BB, 283 K, 30 HRA

Matt Cain - 3.33 ERA, 397.2 IP, 319 H, 165 BB, 447 K, 40 HRA

Tim Lincecum - 1.01 ERA, 62.1 IP, 26 H, 23 BB, 104 K, 3 HRA

It isn't that Lincecum is a great Giants prospect, it's that he's the best of the great prospects in Giants' history. I cried wolf with Foppert, and the Cain imagery was a bit much. I'm not backing off of this one, though. Yes, Lincecum is a young pitcher. Young pitchers get hurt. They fizzle out. They lose their fastballs. They have mental breakdowns. I get it. You get it. But if you can't get excited about this debut without worrying about the future, I'm not sure why you even follow baseball.