Lincecum just wants to win


Lincecum just wants to win


DETROIT -- Aside from a few slips of the tongue, Tim Lincecum has been nearly perfect this postseason in his new role.

The Giants right-hander added yet another chapter of dominance out of the bullpen on Saturday night as he delivered 2 13 shutout innings in a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 3 of the World Series.

BAGGS' INSTANT REPLAY: Giants one win away from World Series title

Lincecum followed 5 23 scoreless innings from starter Ryan Vogelsong with three strikeouts and limited the Tigers to a walk. In 13 innings as a reliever this postseason, Lincecum has a 0.69 ERA and 17 strikeouts while allowing only three hits and two walks.

If the two-time Cy Young Award winner harbors any disappointment after he was removed from the rotation before the World Series, it hasnt surfaced in his performance.

The Giants send Matt Cain to the mound in Game 4 at 5:07 p.m. on Sunday against Detroits Max Scherzer in search of their second World Series title in three seasons.

The second we got that ring, its like that taste for that next ring is just sitting right in your mouth the whole time, Lincecum said before he decided to reword his statement. That sounds terrible. Let me rephrase that. It just leaves you wanting it even more, and if that means being a good teammate or being in the bullpen, I really dont care. I just want to win.

In his only 2012 postseason start, Lincecum allowed four earned runs, six hits and walked three in 4 23 innings in a loss at St. Louis in Game 4 of the National League Championship series.

The Oct. 18 performance came on the heels of a regular season in which Lincecum -- a Cy Young winner in 2008 and 2009 -- finished with a 5.18 ERA, the worst among qualifying National League starters.

But the bullpen has been a different story.

Lincecums 0.69 relief ERA is the 11th lowest in major league postseason history for pitchers with at least 13 innings.

If hes unhappy with his temporary role, its yet to be detected by teammates and coaches, who said theyre impressed with how he has handled the transition.

He could have been upset about going to the bullpen, and not one second did you ever see that from him, Vogelsong said. He just went down there and came out firing BBs, and hes been really impressive.

He has relished the role, manager Bruce Bochy said. He accepted it and really acted like he looked forward to helping the club in that role, and thats why I think hes having success.

He must have really relished Saturdays opportunity.

After he took over for Vogelsong in the bottom of the sixth inning with a man aboard and two outs, Lincecum got Jhonny Peralta to line out to right-center field. He defused a potential seventh-inning rally after he walked Austin Jackson with two outs with a three-pitch strikeout of Quintin Berry, the last two strikes swinging.

But Lincecum saved his best for the eighth when he retired Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera on a grounder to short and struck out cleanup hitter Prince Fielder on three pitches. After Delmon Young reached on Brandon Crawfords throwing error, Lincecum finished the frame with a strikeout of Andy Dirks.

Not only was Lincecums changeup effective, his fastball topped 93 mph.

He definitely has an air about him, catcher Buster Posey said. Its confidence. And the stuff is really, really good. The fastball has movement I havent seen in a while. I dont know exactly why that is, but Ill take it.

Reliever George Kontos thinks he has the explanation. Lincecum has been airing it out in the bullpen because he doesnt have to preserve anything for later innings. Instead of pitching deep into a game, Lincecum can use his entire arsenal knowing hell only need to 30-plus pitches.

Hes not worried about pacing himself, Kontos said. Hes going batter-by-batter and hes just giving the hitter everything he has got and hes got some pretty good stuff.

Dan Hayes is the White Sox Insider for

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster


Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure


Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”