Out of the bullpen, back in the groove
SAN FRANCISCO Tim Lincecum, reliever extraordinaire, reappeared in Game 1 of the World Series as every bit the weapon the Giants envisioned.
Brought in to defuse a two-on, two-out situation in the sixth inning of the Giants' 8-3 win Wednesday, Lincecum struck out Jhonny Peralta to end the inning. He pitched two more scoreless innings and struck out five of the seven hitters he faced.
His rocky start in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series aside, Lincecum has allowed one run in 102/3 innings in a relief role this postseason, giving up three hits and striking out 14.
Peralta struck out swinging over the top of a Lincecum changeup. Lincecum got American League triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera swinging on the same pitch to end the eighth inning, and later said he feels free to throw more arm-taxing off-speed pitches coming out of the bullpen, when innings are more limited.
"Hitters are just wanting to get something up in the zone, and if you keep stuff down and pound the zone with as (few) fastballs as possible " Lincecum said.
Manager Bruce Bochy said he took Lincecum out before the ninth to keep his pitch count down. Lincecum, who threw 32 pitches, likely will not be available in Game 2 today but should be available for Game 3 in Detroit.
Bumgarner back in
Madison Bumgarner, who takes the mound today for the Giants in Game 2 with a postseason ERA of 11.25, said he's confident he fixed a mechanical issue that nagged him in his past two starts.
Bumgarner, taken out of the rotation after his start in Game 1 of the NLCS, said Wednesday that, "It sucked a lot to not go out there and pitch the way I wanted to, to ultimately be able to give us a chance.
"I just want to go out there and try to keep us in the game and do a good job. I haven't done that yet this postseason."
The left-hander last pitched Oct. 14. He will oppose Tigers right-hander Doug Fister, a native of Merced who will be pitching against the team he grew up rooting for.
"Don't tell anybody," Fister said in his news conference.
Relishing home field
While the Giants often say they channel the energy of their home crowd, a view seems to persist of San Francisco fans being less than involved in games. A tongue-in-cheek column in the Detroit Free Press this week described AT&T Park as an "exotic food court that happens to have a baseball field."
General manager Brian Sabean was asked about the outside impression of Giants fans as folks who come for the garlic fries and stay for the game.
"I think that's probably just an observation from afar," Sabean said. "If you took time to walk amongst the fans or hang out in areas around the ballpark, before the game, you wouldn't necessarily get that vibe.
"And I don't think that players or the opposition look at it that way. I think this is pretty raucous as ballparks go."