SAN FRANCISCO First things first, Tim Lincecum will make his regularly scheduled start Friday in Philadelphia, manager Bruce Bochy said after the Giants' 12-inning 3-2 win Saturday night.
As for whether the Giants were really considering skipping Lincecum's turn if he pitched poorly against the Houston Astros an issue Lincecum himself put to rest with eight strong, scoreless innings Bochy considered it a matter not worth discussing.
"I'm not going to answer 'What if?' " Bochy said. "He's starting on Friday, I'll tell you that. He's had a tough go, but it's all about being resilient and bouncing back. And he did that tonight."
Coming off two disastrous outings before the All-Star break, Lincecum stymied the Astros for eight innings, scattering five hits and striking out a season-high 11. It was his first double-digit strikeout performance since last Aug. 13, a span of 26 starts.
"I got a few days there just to hopefully wipe the slate clean," Lincecum said. "I mean, it's not clean, but you've got a new half to work with and a clean mindset.
"You go out there with a mindset of attacking hitters and visualizing pitches, and I think that was pretty much the difference today.
"Not that I wasn't doing that other days, but I think I just had a little bit more focus."
Lincecum did not allow a runner past second base and issued just one walk. His fastball command, a problem at times this season, was there as several of his later strikeouts came when Astros hitters could not lay off tempting fastballs up in the zone.
"I think the big thing was just being aggressive," he said. "Just trying to command the zone from the beginning with my fastball, and working off that as the game went on."
Asked whether he had paid attention to talk the past week, mostly stemming from a radio appearance by general manager Brian Sabean, that the Giants might consider skipping his next start if his slump continued, Lincecum said: "I wasn't really aware of that at all."
Lincecum departed with a 2-0 lead in the eighth inning but was denied a win when the Astros rallied to tie the score against Santiago Casilla in the ninth.
Casilla issued a one-out walk to Scott Moore, who scored on a two-out double by Justin Maxwell. He then struck out Chris Snyder on a pitch in the dirt, which could have ended the game, but the ball kicked away from catcher Hector Sanchez.
Sanchez chased it down and tried to throw Snyder out from his knees.
His throw pulled Brandon Belt off the bag at first and allowed Maxwell, running hard from second base, to come around with the tying run.
"That's a tough play to make," Lincecum said. "You feel like the guy's faster than he is. You've got to give credit to (Sanchez) for bouncing on it and still making the throw, but you can't really control what's going to happen after that."
Sanchez, who caught a fifth consecutive Lincecum start with Buster Posey scheduled to catch Matt Cain in today's day game, said he rushed the throw, wanting to preserve the win for Lincecum and "tried to do too much."
In the 12th, he got a chance to atone for the play.
With runners on first and second, he laced a single into right field that scored Pablo Sandoval and touched off a celebration on the infield.
"Sanchy took it tough. He was upset with himself," Bochy said. "But you've got to put that behind you, and he did.
"It is rewarding to see a guy that felt so awful a few innings earlier come back and win the game for you."