Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Tim Lincecum showed enough in his short outing in Game 2 against the Royals to warrant consideration for a bigger role the rest of the World Series. And Lincecum apparently is healthy enough to fulfill it.
Lincecum retired the first five hitters he faced after entering in the seventh inning of the Giants’ 7-2 loss in Kansas City on Wednesday but exited the game with back tightness. The right-hander underwent an MRI during the teams’ off day Thursday, and it reportedly came back clear.
“I’m more encouraged,” Bochy said earlier. “He feels well. But still we have to cover ourselves and get this MRI.”
Lincecum addressed reporters briefly after the Giants’ workout at AT&T Park and said his back felt “better than it did (Wednesday). We still have to wait and see.”
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About a half-hour later, he appeared on the field and played catch for about five minutes under the supervision of the Giants’ team trainer and doctor. Lincecum stretched it out to about 80 feet and appeared to throw with little discomfort.
After he didn’t get into a game in the first two rounds of the postseason, Lincecum could be a factor in the World Series following his Game 2 outing. In his first game action since Sept. 28, Lincecum recorded five consecutive outs, including two strikeouts, before feeling his back tighten up on a pitch to Salvador Perez.
Lincecum later said he has experienced the back tightness before, and both he and Bochy were encouraged by his feel for his pitches despite the long layoff.
“He showed good command; he looked comfortable out there,” Bochy said. “I know he has to feel good about that outing, and I know we do. So he could play a bigger role now if he’s healthy.”
Hudson ready – Giants right-hander Tim Hudson said Thursday he felt mentally and physically ready for “obviously the biggest game I’ve ever pitched.” Hudson, 39, will make his first career World Series start in Game 3 on Friday night.
“It’s almost a sense of relief that it’s finally here, that what I’ve hoped and dreamed for throughout my career is finally here,” Hudson said. “And there’s not going to be anybody on the field that’s more ready than I am tomorrow night.”
Hudson – who signed a two-year deal with the Giants last offseason despite having talks with other teams, including the A’s – reiterated that he chose the Giants because he “felt like of the teams that were showing interest in the National League with me, San Francisco was the best one that I felt had the opportunity to get to the World Series.”
Now that he’s here, in his 16th major-league season, Hudson said: “It’s funny how things fall into place. This is exactly how I envisioned it, and it’s kind of crazy to actually see it happen throughout the season. I feel very, very lucky.”
Bay Area homecoming – Hudson will oppose Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie, the 35-year-old right-hander who played his final two years of college ball at Stanford. The Royals acquired Guthrie from Colorado in 2012 for left-hander and former Giant Jonathan Sanchez, and manager Ned Yost on Thursday recalled how that deal materialized.
“(General manager Dayton Moore) got a text one night: ‘Hey, would you be interested in swapping struggling starters?’” Yost said. “Because Jeremy was really struggling in Colorado at the time. We looked at each other, ‘Man, let’s give it a shot, right?’”
Back in the Bay Area, Guthrie was asked on Thursday to reflect on one of the highlights of his time at Stanford: a 3-2 win over Cal State Fullerton in the 2002 NCAA Tournament in which Guthrie threw a 13-inning complete game. Guthrie recalled that the game occurred four days before the Cleveland Indians took him with the 22nd pick of the 2002 draft.
“Scott Boras, my agent – or adviser at the time – was there,” Guthrie said. “I don’t think he was anticipating or hoping for 13 innings.”