CINCINNATI -- Could Giants manager Bruce Bochy tab Tim Lincecum for another relief appearance, one day after No. 55 threw 55 of the most important pitches of his career?
"Could I? Yes. Would I? No," said Bochy in the moments prior to a decisive Game 5 against the Cincinnati Reds. "I'm sure he would say, 'I can give you an inning.' But I don't see that happening."
Bochy reserved the right to put Lincecum in play if the game goes to extra innings. Everybody else will be in play from the very first pitch. Yes, that includes Madison Bumgarner for multiple innings and Game 3 starter Ryan Vogelsong for an inning, if needed.
You don't worry about lining up your starters for the NLCS. As Barry Bonds once said, "We'll tackle that bridge when we come to it."
Or, to use another famous malaprop from Bochy in 2010, "It's all decks on hand."
Couple other notes:
Bochy said he was tempted to start Joaquin Arias at shortstop one day after he doubled twice after entering on a double-switch. But Bochy said Brandon Crawford is the team's best defender at the position, Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos is tough on right-handed hitters and Arias has sparked the team off the bench. So he'll stay in that role, and while the Giants hope they won't need to come back against Reds left-handers Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall, Arias is a handy guy to have in that spot.
The Giants did not check out of their hotel. If they lose, they're flying tomorrow. If they win, they'll stay put and await the result of the other NLDS.
Should the Cardinals wrap up their series tonight, a Giants-Cardinals NLCS would begin Sunday at AT&T Park. A Giants-Nationals series would open in Washington DC.
So if the Giants advance and the Nats win tonight, the Giants would be forced to stay put here and wait for the result of Friday's Game 5 in that series. They wouldn't want to fly across the country only to have to turn around and fly right back to the Eastern time zone.
Hell, Bochy should just drag everyone to Youngstown for a few days.
But it starts with a Giants victory in Cincinnati. For the third consecutive day, it's win or go home.