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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Shea: Lincecum a hero in relief

Lincecum outpitches Leake, Zito.

The dismal regular-season numbers are in the record book for all time. The 15 losses and 5.18 ERA can’t be erased. But they’re a lot easier to take for Tim Lincecum now that he has emerged as manager Bruce Bochy’s secret weapon.

“The whole year and all that stuff, it’s all behind him now,” Barry Zito said. “He’s the hero today.”  In the biggest start of Zito’s six-year Giants career, he got fewer outs than Lincecum, who came out of the bullpen to pitch 4 1/3 dazzling innings and help keep the Giants alive for a deciding Game 5 on Thursday.

In the 8-3 victory over the Reds, Lincecum retired 13 of 15 batters. He struck out six and walked none. Of his 55 pitches, 42 were strikes. He earned a win when the Giants needed one the most. His claim to fame is as a starter, and suddenly he’s Bochy’s most valuable reliever.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 11, 2012 at 08:42 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, playoffs, reds, tim lincecum

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   1. zenbitz Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:15 AM (#4265627)
Is bochy possibly being brilliant here? He's already gone to closer-by-committee, with nary a whimper from the local media (of course, it helps when you win the division - and you've always been "allowed" to run your bullpen like a crazy person in the playoffs).

The Giants have 2 very solid starters, one who's magic pixie dust could wear off any moment (Vogelsong), Barry Freakin' Zito and the conundrum that is 2012 Tim Lincecum.

Is it actually optimal to use Lincecum - who has been very shaky himself - as the "back up starter" if someone looks shaky early? Given your options are (technically) Zito - who is a delicate flower and cannot possibly pitch in relief, Vogelsong, or the likes of Mota or Brad Penny (pure mop up guys). Pretty sure Penny's not on the post season roster.... but you get the idea.

   2. Ray (CTL) Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4265659)
Hilarious that Bochte thinks Zito is a better option than Lincecum.
   3. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4265700)
Regardless his feelings on Barry Zito vis a vis Tim Lincecum, I'll always have a soft spot for Bruce Bochte. He was a nice little hitter, even if he didn't have the kind of pop you'd like in your first sacker.
   4. Dunn Deal Posted: October 12, 2012 at 01:00 AM (#4265708)
I think that Lincecum was a hidden gem against my Reds yesterday. He was awesome and if the Giants are lucky, that will continue.
   5. zenbitz Posted: October 12, 2012 at 01:18 AM (#4265715)
Ah, but Lincecum ended up pitching 6+ innings and Zito 2.2. I don't think anyone thinks Lincecum is worse than Zito (or for that matter, Vogelsong) BUT - leverage might matter here. And starting the game has the lowest leverage.
   6. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 12, 2012 at 02:50 AM (#4265726)
This is excellent:
In their post-game celebration, Barry Zito crept up being the two-time Cy Young winner and as Lincecum looked up, Zito sprayed Lincecum in the face with a bottle of champagne. That lead to Lincecum shouting this, per Deadspin:

“Now I know what chicks feel like.”
   7. jmurph Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4265802)
Hombre: That reminds me of the time Peter Gammons reported that Zito's apartment in San Francisco was nicknamed "the stabbin' cabin." I'm reasonably sure he didn't know what it meant.
   8. zenbitz Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4266075)
Rumor (of the worst, sports radio kind) is that Lincecum will start Game 1 of the NLCS. In which case, Bochy's maneuvering in in the NLDS was ... something other than Genius.
   9. zenbitz Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4266098)
Also bizzare: Sullivan piece on Lincecum in relief

So Lincecum, who has been horrible in the stretch all year - pitches 100% from the stretch in relief and throws 74% strikes.

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