DETROIT The Giants have been adamant that Tim Lincecum's role as playoff reliever a "safety net," as Lincecum recently described it will not extend beyond the postseason. Still, manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday that he does hope Lincecum carries into next season a boost from the success he has had pitching out of the bullpen.
After another scoreless outing Saturday night in Game 3, Lincecum had given up one run in 13 innings of postseason relief, allowing three hits and striking out 17.
"Hopefully, his confidence has grown so much through what he's done and he realizes, again, how good he is," Bochy said. "We all have our down years. I don't know what good or great athlete hasn't had an up-and-down year.
"Timmy had to go through it this year, and it's nice to see him throwing the ball he is at the end here. Hopefully, he can carry that through the winter and into spring training and the following season."
Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, finished the season 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA, leading the National League in losses, and was left out of the Giants' playoff rotation in the division series.
He made one start in the championship series and allowed four runs and six hits in 42/3 innings, highlighting the disparity between his starts and relief outings.
Lincecum, who accepted the relief role without resentment, has said he couldn't put a finger on exactly what was different. He did say after Game 3 he was enjoying the bullpen culture, where the relief pitchers keep things loose.
"Outside of that you're just sitting, waiting for your name to get called," Lincecum said. "And the second that happens, you're just riding on straight adrenaline."
Bochy hypothesized that the spontaneity of coming out of the bullpen has had a positive effect, along with Lincecum finding comfort in pitching full time out of the stretch.
"We did discuss that, that it may help him not having all night to think about, 'Hey, I'm pitching tomorrow,' " Bochy said. "And just let him know during the course of a game, 'Hey, Timmy, you're in there,' so now he doesn't have time to think about his delivery or anything.
"He doesn't take long (warming up), so it's not like he has a lot of time to think about it. And I agree with him, I think it probably has helped him, and also realize you can get yourself in trouble by thinking too much.
"Just go out there and let your talent surface."
Bochy says Theriot's experience got him DH nod
A night after Hector Sanchez struck out three times in four at-bats as the Giants' designated hitter, Bochy replaced him with second baseman Ryan Theriot against Tigers starter Max Scherzer, despite Scherzer being much tougher on right-handed hitters this season (.201 batting average against him) than left-handed hitters (.292).
Theriot went hitless in three at-bats against Scherzer. Bochy said he considered Aubrey Huff to DH as well before settling on Theriot, who "battled right-handers well this year, and he's an experienced veteran that finds a way to get the bat on the ball."
Fans in S.F. hit the streets
Fans across San Francisco raced into the streets after the Giants' victory. Car horns blared into the night, and revelers blocked traffic in front of popular watering holes.
Small fires broke out in trash cans here and there, but the violence and vandalism appeared to have been kept to a minimum a few hours after the last pitch.
Mayor Ed Lee announced a ticker-tape parade would be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, down Market Street to Civic Center Plaza.
Matt Kawahara, Associated Press