Lincecum ready for hometown assignment

Lincecum ready for hometown assignment

Lincecum ready for hometown assignment
SEATTLE -- On the eve of his first Major League pitching appearance in his hometown, Tim Lincecum remained mindful of what's at stake for him.

"For me, I need to make my stand or do something to show people that I'm still worth keeping in the rotation," Lincecum said Friday, one day before he faces the Seattle Mariners. The Giants are 2-11 in games started by Lincecum, whose personal record is 2-7 with a 6.00 ERA.

Lincecum admitted that he's "a little nervous" about the game but also emphasized that he intends to enjoy the experience. When Lincecum was reminded that performing in one's hometown can motivate an athlete or distract him, he said, "I don't feel like it's negative at all. I feel like this is a comfort zone for me."

Since his most recent start, a 5 2/3-inning, five-run effort in which he allowed a season-high nine hits last Sunday against Texas, Lincecum has worked on moving his hands less -- "keeping them quiet," in baseball parlance -- which could help him repeat his delivery more easily. Struggling to accomplish that has contributed to Lincecum's inconsistency, as reflected by his 39 walks, the National League's second-highest total.

Though Lincecum already has visited his father, Chris, they did not discuss pitching mechanics or the right-hander's struggles, despite the considerable tutelage the elder Lincecum has given his son through the years.

"I think our relationship has become more about life," said Tim Lincecum, who turned 28 on Friday. "Back in the day, he was my coach and my teacher and getting me prepared for this life. Now I'm on my own. He's had to let go the last couple of years; we talk to each other not as much as people would think, but we are still as close as we can be."

Lincecum noted that since he and his father are so much alike, their conversations inevitably lead to arguments. But, he added, "It is great to see him."