Like many people, I was surprised to see Tim Lincecum not named a starter for the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. In fact, I was shocked to see that Madison Bumgarner was named the Game 2 starter and not Lincecum. Are the Giants making a mistake by not allowing Lincecum to start at least one game?
Bumgarner is 0-2 with a whopping 11.25 earned run average and six strikeouts in two starts this postseason. In those two games, he surrendered three home runs and 15 hits in eight innings. Lincecum, on the other hand, is 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA and 17 strikeouts in five total appearances, including one start.
San Francisco’s manager Bruce Bochy is convinced 11 days of rest has recharged Bumgarner’s battery and that the time off will ensure him to be ready for Game 2. Also, since Lincecum has only allowed one earned run in 8 1/3 innings out of the bullpen this postseason, the right-hander should remain as a relief pitcher for the World Series.
“We just think [Lincecum] is better served for this club at this point helping us out of the bullpen,” Bochy said. “He gives us another weapon there. He’s resilient. I can use him back‑to‑back days; I can use him three or four innings if necessary. If something happens, I can start him. So we think that’s the best way to go right now.”
Do not get me wrong, it certainly makes sense to have Lincecum pitch out of the bullpen considering the success he has shown. However, it does not make sense to waste a talented arm such as his in one inning of work per game. I understand Lincecum had the worst statistical season of his career in 2012, but let’s be honest the World Series is a completely different ball game.
The good news for Giants fans is Lincecum has been a real professional through this entire ordeal. The two-time Cy Young Award winner and four-time All-Star certainly could have made a big stink about not starting, but instead he decided to do what is best for the team.
“This isn’t about me,” Lincecum said. “This is about the Giants jersey.”
One thing is for certain, if Bumgarner does lay an egg in Game 2 expect to see Lincecum in line to start Game 6 if the series comes to it.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.