(BaseballSTL) -- If this was 2010, we’d be saying tonight’s Adam Wainwright pitching match-up against Tim Lincecum will be a classic pitcher’s duel.
Linecum and Wainwright were two of best pitchers in the National League two years ago. Lincecum was coming off back-to-back Cy Young seasons.
Wainwright was a 20-game winner with a 2.42 era.
But neither pitcher has shown that kind of form in 2012, and it’s very hard to predict what we might see Thursday night.
Wainwright was rocked in his last start against Washington in game 5 of the NLDS. He was up and down throughout the regular season, going 14-13 with a 3.94 era. He had moments where he looked like the old Adam Wainwright, and moments when he looked like a guy struggling mightily to regain his form following 2011 Tommy John surgery.
Lincecum has been an enigma for the Giants. He was 10-15 this season with a 5.18 era. He was hit so hard at the end of the regular season the Giants removed him from his regular spot in the starting rotation during this post-season, and sent him to the bullpen. But now it appears he’s re-discovered his form. He struck out nine and walked only one in 8 1/3rd innings coming out of the pen. Giants Manager Bruce Bochy has decided to give Lincecum another shot as a starter Thursday night. Which Lincecum shows up is anybody’s guess.
It seems unlikely tonight’s game 4 will be a low scoring pitcher’s duel. Both Lincecum and Wainwright have had enough issues to suggest this might one of those games where the Cardinals need to outslug the Giants if they’re going to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.