Tim Lincecum is no stranger to strikeouts. In his last start, Lincecum broke Dwight Gooden's record for most strikeouts in a pitcher's first four seasons. Gooden struck out 892 in 924 1/3 innings, while Lincecum currently has 907 K in 811 innings pitched.
That type of productivity made it easy for Giants' manager Bruce Bochy to replace Madison Bumgarner with Lincecum on Wednesday. The switch means that the Giants ace will now be available for the season finale against the San Diego Padres on 3 days rest OR to pitch on normal rest Monday should the Giants fall into a one-game playoff. The Giants, remember, haven't seen the postseason since 2003.
Lincecum's start Wednesday didn't begin well as he allowed his first career leadoff home run to Arizona Diamondbacks SS Stephen Drew. However, when it was all said and done, Lincecum went seven innings, allowed just the one earned run and struck out 10. He improved to 16-1 with a 1.52 ERA when registering double-digit strikeouts in a game. It was Lincecum's seventh double-digit K game of the year and 26th of his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lincecum's 26 career games with at least 10 strikeouts are the thirdrd-most by a Giants pitcher since 1900.
Most Games with 10+ K
Giants since 1900
Currently Lincecum leads the National League with 231 strikeouts (12 more than second place Roy Halladay). If he finishes the season as the National League K leader, it will be his third season in a row, and he'll join Randy Johnson (1999-2002) and Warren Spahn (1949-52) as the only NL pitchers since World War II to lead the league in strikeouts for three straight seasons.