At the end of a very gray day, Tim Lincecum put on his gray shirt, his gray pants and shoved his gray beanie over his wet hair. Then he turned to face his inquisitors.

"It's extremely disappointing," he said. "You feel you can lift a team up in this situation like this. But when you don't do it, it's that much harder of a fall."

Thursday was a hard, humbling, and perhaps fatal, fall. Despite the fervent wishes of the Giants and their fan base, there was no time travel back to October of 2010 when Lincecum was the most dominant pitcher on the planet. The furthest Thursday's time machine took them was back to May of this season, when Lincecum was flat and lifeless in start after start and it became clear that something was seriously wrong with the former ace.

It was that lost midseason Lincecum who arrived on the Busch Stadium mound and a deflated Lincecum who exited, taking the loss in the 8-3 drubbing. This wasn't the battler who pitched angrily and effectively out of the bullpen the past two weeks, the one who had excited many into believing some magic had been rediscovered.

"In this game sometimes we forget at times what we're all capable of and we struggle a little bit," Zito said before the game. "So it's just a matter of him remembering who he is."