And, in that regard, each Tim Lincecum start has also brought with it disappointment for the Giants, as their four-time All-Star right-hander has slumped to a 2-8 record -- tied for the league's most losses -- and a 6.19 ERA, the league's highest.
Next up for Lincecum is Friday night's Bay Area showdown against Oakland, the opener of a three-game set that marks the second of two times the clubs will meet this season. The first series went to San Francisco, two games to one.
That one loss, however, was Lincecum's as the A's forced him to throw 90 pitches in just four innings, during which he surrendered four runs.
"I don't care how long he goes on, you never lose that feeling of 'Hey, I'm going to turn this around' every time you go out there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It is harder for a starter, though, because they go out there every fifth day. A position player, you go out there every day."
A's manager Bob Melvin is well aware of what Lincecum can do and he's not expecting an easy game against the former Cy Young winner.
"I've seen plenty of Lincecum in the past, and I don't think anybody sits here and thinks, 'All right, he's been struggling, he's going to go out there and struggle,'" said Melvin. "So you've got to have a gameplan regardless, kind of put that out of the way and kind of more focus on what we're doing here and the momentum we've built up offensively, as opposed to kind of focusing on him."
A's rookie right-hander Jarrod Parker will be looking for better results in his second crack at the Giants when he gets the ball Friday night. Parker lasted just two innings and gave up six runs in his first career start against San Francisco last month.
But Parker appears to be in much better form now, as he hasn't allowed a run in three of his last four starts. His last time out, he held the Rockies to just three hits over seven innings in hitter-friendly Coors Field.
For Bochy, however, the offense facing Parker is in much better shape this year than last. The Giants have scored 30 more runs than they had at this point in 2011.
"It helps the pitcher realize that they don't have to worry so much if they give up a run or two," Bochy said. "This team has the ability to come back, which it has. It did [in Tuesday's loss to the Angels], and going back to Lincecum's last game, he gave up two in the first inning, we came back and took a 4-2 lead. That didn't happen a lot last year."
Giants: Casilla thriving for Giants
Righty reliever Santiago Casilla has transitioned seamlessly into the Giants' closer role this season in the absence of Brian Wilson, who underwent Tommy John surgery in April.
Casilla has converted 14 straight save opportunities, and his 19 saves are the second most in the National League. Casilla has allowed just four runs in 27 1/3 innings for an ERA of 1.32.
"I'll be honest, I was comfortable with him there having some knowledge from the previous year," Bochy said. "But I'll say this, it's been a little smoother of a ride than I thought it may be with him."
Righty reliever George Kontos will return to the Giants on Friday after missing Wednesday's game to fly to Chicago and attend his grandfather's funeral.
A's: Team picks up third straight series win
The A's head into the series against the Giants having won three consecutive series for the first time in 2012. The most recent series victory was a sweep against the team with the best record in the Majors, the Dodgers.
Oakland only allowed two runs against Los Angeles over three games. Brandon McCarthy lasted seven innings and only allowed two hits and no runs in the series opener. Tommy Milone followed that up with a three-hit, one-run complete game on Wednesday. Travis Blackley finished up the series with an eight-inning, three-hit, one-run masterpiece.
"Obviously we know we can play this well," Milone said Wednesday. "It's not the first time we've played this well. It's just a good feeling. Three weeks ago, we had that nine-game slide, and we've come back from it and basically said, 'Who cares?' and going back to what we know we can be."
Oakland leads the all-time series between the two teams, 46-43. In games played at the Coliseum, the A's hold a 26-17 edge after winning the last six.
In 30 at-bats against Lincecum, A's outfielder Seth Smith is hitting .300 with three home runs and a pair of doubles.
Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera is hitting .474 during Interleague Play this season.