While his future remains unclear, Tim Lincecum hasn't seemed to let that affect him in his most recent starts.
Having won back-to-back outings for the first time this season, the San Francisco Giants right-hander will try to add to that streak Wednesday when he faces the San Diego Padres for the first time since his no-hitter in July.Although Lincecum's contract is set to expire after this season, the Giants so far haven't engaged in any significant talks with the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner and member of two championship clubs."There's going to be a time when I'm going to have to weigh my options," Lincecum told the team's website. "I've had a great time here with the Giants. I respect the organization and stuff. With that we'll see if the relationship goes further or not. I can't say that exactly right now. I can't decide."Perhaps some of the Giants' hesitancy regarding Lincecum is that he's 47-52 with a 3.86 ERA in his last four seasons after going 33-12 with a 2.55 ERA in his Cy Young-winning years.However, he also provided San Francisco (61-77) with one of its highlights in this disappointing season, his first career no-hitter in San Diego on July 13. Lincecum struck out 13 and threw a career-high 148 pitches while becoming the first pitcher to pull off the feat at nine-year-old Petco Park.Lincecum went 1-4 with a 5.40 ERA in his six starts after that game but has done his best lately to end another inconsistent campaign on a positive note. He's 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA in his last two games and had one of his better outings of the season Friday, pitching six innings in a 1-0 victory in Arizona.Lincecum would appear to have a good chance at another strong performance Wednesday as he's 2-1 with a 0.79 ERA in three starts against the Padres (62-76) this season. He'll try to move San Francisco back into a tie for last place in the NL West after it lost 3-2 on Tuesday.Lincecum is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four road starts and will pitch opposite a struggling Eric Stults (8-12, 3.81), who is 0-5 with a 4.91 ERA in his last eight overall outings. The left-hander is also 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in his last four starts and gave up four runs over 5 1/3 innings in a 9-2 defeat at Dodger Stadium on Friday."I think that the results were frustrating for me," Stults told the team's website. "I gave up some hits, but felt better than the results."Stults, however, is 5-2 with a 1.91 ERA in his last 11 home starts and 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA in his last two matchups with San Francisco. He allowed one run over six innings in his most recent one, a 10-1 win July 14 at Petco.Pablo Sandoval is 9 for 17 (.529) all-time against Stults and Buster Posey is 7 for 15 (.467) with a homer.Will Venable, who signed a two-year contract extension with San Diego on Tuesday, is 1 for 9 with five strikeouts this season against Lincecum.
Pablo Sandoval's longest home run Wednesday traveled 383 feet, and his two others were his shortest this season. In Game 1 of the 2012 World Series (Sandoval's only other 3-home run game) his average home run distance was 412 feet, combining to travel 124 feet further than his 3 home runs Wednesday.