Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum tossed seven scoreless innings last Wednesday against the Dodgers and limited the A’s to three runs in six innings the week before that. But the optimism built around those two outings has suddenly dissipated.
Lincecum was torched for a career-high eight runs (seven earned) in 3 1/3 innings Tuesday night in the nation’s capital. The Nationals currently lead 8-2.
Lincecum now owns a brutal 6.17 ERA and 1.55 WHIP through 17 starts this season. He has 101 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings, but those have come alongside a whopping 49 walks.
One wonders if the Giants will skip Timmy’s final turn before the All-Star break to give him an extended period of rest heading into the second half. Something has to be done, because the waiting game has not worked.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.