Meet the Giants' new $17 million reliefer!

Rob Neyer

Did we see this coming a couple of months ago?

Actually, it was exactly two months ago when Lincecum threw a no-hitter against the Padres.

Okay, so it was the Padres. But in his next four starts, Lincecum went 3-1 with a 1.27 ERA. On the 22nd of July, with just one day of rest, he came on in the 14th inning and retired a couple of Phillies to earn his first career (regular-season) save.

Since then, he's given up 28 runs in 25 innings. And as you can see here, his average fastball speeds were way down in three of his last five starts.

We've thought Lincecum was finished before, and he wasn't. So this might well be just a blip. When he's throwing 90, he can win. But at the moment, it feels like the Giants are doing the right thing.

For what it's worth, Lincecum will earn $18 million next season.