Bochy changes tone, introduces Lincecum's leash

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Bochy changes tone, introduces Lincecum's leash

Less than a week ago, Bruce Bochy was asked if Tim Lincecum's Saturday start against the Houston Astros was in jeopardy.

No, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. No chance. Well throw him back out there.

Fast forward to Thursday, and while the plan is still for Lincecum to start Saturday, Bochy's message had a decidedly different tone.

Told that general manager Brian Sabean said on the radio that Lincecum's next start would likely be skipped if he turns in another lackluster performance in his second-half opener against the Astros on Saturday, Bochy confirmed the statement.

"Yeah," Bochy acknowledged. "I don't want to put added pressure on him, but sometimes you have to do what's right."

Lincecum closed the unofficial first half of the season with a stinker. His 3 13-inning, six-run meltdown against the Pirates last Sunday made Lincecum -- at 3-10 -- the Giants' first double-digit loser at the break since Barry Zito in 2008.

It also raised his season ERA to 6.42, which is the highest among all 101 qualifying major league starters.

Based on his comments after his most recent loss, it's clear Lincecum is not comfortable. "Its been terrible and its a terrible feeling youre letting your team down. Thats the hardest thing.

"But it seems everybody else is doing their job and were playing good ball. To be the weaker link ... it wears on you."

His manager, while acknowledging that the team is fitting their right-hander with a collar and leash, has not lost faith.

"I said this in Pittsburgh, I think Timmy's going to bounce back and have a better second half," Bochy said. "We certainly need him."

Over his first six seasons, the first and second half haven't been too different for the two-time Cy Young Award winner. He owns a 44-27 mark and 3.50 ERA in the first half, and a 28-24 record and 2.94 ERA in the second half.

"Hopefully he'll go out there and throw the ball the way can," Bochy said. "I look forward to seeing him pitch Saturday."

The entire baseball world does.

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wil Myers hit a three-run homer to cap San Diego's eight-run sixth inning and the Padres rallied to beat the San Francisco Giants 12-4 on Saturday night.

Myers also singled off Chris Stratton (1-0) to start the big inning and had three hits for the game. San Diego scored 11 runs against the Giants' bullpen following five effective innings from starter Matt Cain.

Allen Cordoba added a three-run homer off Neil Ramirez in the seventh.

The Padres combined for six hits and two walks off Stratton and Ramirez in the sixth. It took the duo 46 pitches to end the inning.

Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) struck out six and gave up three runs, five hits and two walks in five innings.

Giants lineup: Nunez in right field against Padres

Giants lineup: Nunez in right field against Padres

PROGRAMMING ALERT: Padres-Giants coverage begins at 5pm with Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming right here.

With the Giants shuffling players around, Eduardo Nunez finds himself manning right field Saturday evening against the Padres.

San Diego Padres:
1. Manuel Margot (R) CF
2. Cory Spangenberg (L) LF
3. Wil Myers (R) 1B
4. Yangervis Solarte (S) 2B
5. Ryan Schimpf (L) 3B
6. Hunter Renfroe (R) RF
7. Austin Hedges (R) C
8. Erick Aybar (S) SS
9. Jhoulys Chacin (R) P

San Francisco Giants:
1. Joe Panik (L) 2B
2. Brandon Belt (L) LF
3. Buster Posey (R) C
4. Michael Morse (R) 1B
5. Christian Arroyo (R) SS
6. Conor Gillaspie (L) 3B
7. Eduardo Nunez (R) RF
8. Drew Stubbs (R) CF
9. Matt Cain (R) P