What will we get from Wainwright, Lincecum?


What will we get from Wainwright, Lincecum?

ST. LOUIS The Giants and Cardinals can shoot all the sunshine they want about their confidence in Tim Lincecum and Adam Wainwright.But in reality, neither side knows what to expect from the man they send to the hill in Game 4 Thursday night. The two formerly bankable aces are no longer backed by the FDIC.Wainwright got pounded for six runs in less than three innings by the Washington Nationals in his last start, serving up three home runs to put the Cardinals in what will go down as the most famous 6-0 hole in franchise history.And Lincecum, despite three squeaky clean long relief outings this postseason, had the highest ERA of any starting pitcher in the National League during the regular season.Lincecum might operate exclusively from the stretch. He might throw to Hector Sanchez and not Buster Posey. However he does it, the Giants need the same strike-throwing tendencies that Lincecum displayed while allowing one run, walking one and striking out eight this postseason.

UPDATE: Sanchez catching, Posey at first base
Itll be a major advantage if he doesnt have to face Carlos Beltran, who left Game 3 after one at-bat because of a left knee strain. Beltran is 7 for 14 with a home run, three doubles and just one strikeout (plus six walks, too) in his career against Lincecum.UPDATE: Carlos Beltran scratched from Game 4
Yadier Molina has been swinging a Popsicle this postseason but hes a .412 hitter (7 for 17, all singles) against Lincecum. Matt Holliday is a .294 hitter but doesnt have a home run in 34 career at-bats vs. the right-hander.Lincecum did not face the Cardinals in the regular season.

Wainwright was 6-8 with a 4.75 ERA through June but pitched much better in the second half, going 8-5 with a 3.18 ERA over his final 16 starts. Thats to be expected for a pitcher who missed all of 2011 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.Despite getting throttled by the Nationals in a memorable Game 5 of the NLDS, Wainwrights Game 1 start against them included 10 strikeouts and one run in 5 23 innings.While he doesnt throw as hard as he once did, Wainwrights curveball remains one of the best in the league and he has no discernable platoon split.Struggling right fielder Hunter Pence is a .289 hitter (11 for 38) against Wainwright and owns the only home run by an active Giant against him. Xavier Nady is a .391 hitter with only two strikeouts in 23 at-bats.Wainwright beat the Giants at Busch Stadium on Aug. 9, holding them to a run on five hits and three walks while striking out seven in seven innings of a 3-1 victory.This stage is nothing new to either starting pitcher. Lincecum is making his first postseason start since he won a clinching Game 5 at Texas in the 2010 World Series. And Wainwright, prior to his last blowup at Washington, owned a 0.77 ERA in 11 career postseason games (two starts), including a save in a clinching Game 5 when the Cards defeated the Detroit Tigers in the 2006 World Series.

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.”