Tim Lincecum, a native of Bellevue, Washington, will make the first start of his career at Safeco Field on Saturday night. Lincecum, affectionally nicknamed "The Freak" by his Giants teammates, pitched at Liberty Senior High School in Renton, and then signed on with the Washington Huskies to play college ball.
Lincecum had the option of going pro after being selected in the 48th round of the 2003 MLB Draft, but decided to honor his commitment to the Huskies. He hasn't looked back since then, although he has struggled a bit this season.
Lincecum won the Golden Spike Award with UW in 2006, which is given to college baseball's best player. He was taken 10th overall that summer by the Giants and received a signing bonus of a little more than $2 million. After arriving in San Francisco in 2007, Lincecum is 71-48 in his career with a stellar ERA of 3.17 and very strong strikeout numbers.
Needless to say, it appears the Mariners missed out on quite the young pitcher from their own backyard.
Lincecum has struggled quite a bit this season, and there have been countless articles published on why he isn't pitching as well. He will enter Saturday night's game with a record of 2-7 with an ERA of 6.00, although bad luck can be attributed to these numbers. His FIP, which is similar to ERA but negates the fielding behind a pitcher, is 3.68, and his BABIP of .335 is pretty high.
Regardless of his unlucky struggles this year, Lincecum is bound to have hundreds of family and friends in the crowd tomorrow evening. And even as you cheer on the Mariners, just remember they're facing a local boy who honored his commitment to play for the University of Washington instead of chasing the money.