With their first Cape League championship in 21 years, we can agree that 2008 was a great year to be a Harwich Mariner. The just completed ‘08 MLB regular season was a pretty good year for a member of the 2005 Mariners as well. Tim Lincecum put up some astounding numbers for the San Francisco Giants in his first full season in the majors. His 18-5 record only begins to tell the story. He started 33 of the 34 games he appeared in, and his 2.62 ERA ranked him second in the National League, behind Johan Santana. Over 227 innings pitched, Lincecum led the N.L. in strikeouts with 265, while walking 84. His WHIP was 1.17 and he struck out 10.51 batters per 9 innings pitched.
Although Arizona’s Brandon Webb seems to be the favorite for the N.L. Cy Young award, Lincecum is in the mix with Santana and will get his share of votes.
Lincecum was projected to be one of the top picks in the 2006 draft while attending the Univ. of Washington. It seems the only question surrounding Lincecum, has always focused on his delivery which has been described as “violent,” and how this may affect his durability.
While with the Mariners, Lincecum primarily served as the team’s closer (he started three games) and posted some very impressive numbers. He was 2-2 with a 0.69 ERA and struck out 68 in 39 innings while only walking 11 batters. As good as those numbers are, he seemed to be overshadowed by Steven Wright (Orleans) and Derrick Lutz (Chatham) when talk turned to relief pitching during the ’05 Cape season.
Maybe the Giants are becoming “Cape League West.” Joining Lincecum on their roster are ex-Cape Leaguers Rich Aurilia, Pat Misch, Aaron Rowand, Brian Wilson, Barry Zito (although fans of the Giants don’t need to be reminded of that signing), Emmanuel Burriss and ‘07 Cape League MVP Conor Gillaspie.
Getting back to this year, most impressive to me is that Lincecum accomplished this while pitching for a Giants team that finished with a 72-90 record. Imagine… he finished 13 games over .500 for a team that finished 18 games below .500. His .783 winning percentage was the best in the N.L.
It certainly was an outstanding year for Harwich and for Tim Lincecum.