Suffocating heat in DC awaits Lincecum, Giants

Suffocating heat in DC awaits Lincecum, Giants
July 3, 2012, 4:30 pm
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PROGRAMMING NOTE: Coverage of Giants-Nationals begins at 3:00 on CSN Bay Area, followed by Giants-Nationals at 3:35, and Giants Postgame Live immediately after the final out.

WASHINGTON DC -- Tim Lincecum finally broke his career-worst winless streak in his last outing. He owns a run of 12 consecutive scoreless innings. Hes having success again.

But now the heats really on.

Lincecum has two starts remaining before the All-Star break, including Tuesdays series opener in the steam bath known as Nationals Park.

It won't be just a bit balmy. Triple-digit temperatures and a vicious storm combined to knock out power to millions in the DC area; hotels are filled with people who are staying in the District, unable to stand the thought of going home to no air conditioning. The city kept libraries and community centers open over the weekend so residents could seek shelter.

The game time temperature at Nationals Park is expected to be 97 degrees.

Its been well documented that Lincecum struggles in the heat. He performed much better in hot weather last season, but thats when he was carrying an extra 25 pounds. Now back to his ultra-lean Cy Young fighting weight, it wont take long for his long hair to be stringy with sweat.

The Giants brought along Dr. Anthony Saglimbeni to administer IV fluids to players. Some, like Lincecum, will get fluids as a precaution before the game begins.

Staying hydrated is the biggest thing, Lincecum told me. Its not just drinking that day. It starts the day before.

Even for catcher Buster Posey, who grew up in the south Georgia humidity, three years of games at cool, breezy AT&T Park can make you soft.

I guess well see, said Posey, whos likely to yield to Hector Sanchez on Tuesday and catch Wednesdays odd 11 a.m. local start time. I grew up playing in that kind of heat all the way through college. Being out here (in the Bay Area) last three or four years, its different. You need to make sure youre hydrated and stay hydrated over the course of the game.

The Giants traveled to Washington after Sundays homestand finale so they could get acclimated to the time and heat. But their flight landed at 4 a.m. local time Monday.

Its weird to land at 4 a.m., Lincecum said. Its not like youre acclimated after a day."

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