Giants notes: Could Tim Lincecum pitch in Game 5?


Giants notes: Could Tim Lincecum pitch in Game 5?

CINCINNATI -- Could Giants manager Bruce Bochy tab Tim Lincecum for another relief appearance, one day after No. 55 threw 55 of the most important pitches of his career?

"Could I? Yes. Would I? No," said Bochy in the moments prior to a decisive Game 5 against the Cincinnati Reds. "I'm sure he would say, 'I can give you an inning.' But I don't see that happening."

Bochy reserved the right to put Lincecum in play if the game goes to extra innings. Everybody else will be in play from the very first pitch. Yes, that includes Madison Bumgarner for multiple innings and Game 3 starter Ryan Vogelsong for an inning, if needed.

You don't worry about lining up your starters for the NLCS. As Barry Bonds once said, "We'll tackle that bridge when we come to it."

Or, to use another famous malaprop from Bochy in 2010, "It's all decks on hand."

Couple other notes:

Bochy said he was tempted to start Joaquin Arias at shortstop one day after he doubled twice after entering on a double-switch. But Bochy said Brandon Crawford is the team's best defender at the position, Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos is tough on right-handed hitters and Arias has sparked the team off the bench. So he'll stay in that role, and while the Giants hope they won't need to come back against Reds left-handers Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall, Arias is a handy guy to have in that spot.

The Giants did not check out of their hotel. If they lose, they're flying tomorrow. If they win, they'll stay put and await the result of the other NLDS.

Should the Cardinals wrap up their series tonight, a Giants-Cardinals NLCS would begin Sunday at AT&T Park. A Giants-Nationals series would open in Washington DC.

So if the Giants advance and the Nats win tonight, the Giants would be forced to stay put here and wait for the result of Friday's Game 5 in that series. They wouldn't want to fly across the country only to have to turn around and fly right back to the Eastern time zone.

Hell, Bochy should just drag everyone to Youngstown for a few days.

But it starts with a Giants victory in Cincinnati. For the third consecutive day, it's win or go home.

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

Editor's Note: The above video was recorded following Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012.

Gregor Blanco's bid to make the Arizona Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster is over.

The former Giants outfielder was released on Monday, Arizona announced.

Blanco had been dealing with an oblique injury and had played since March 21.

In 14 Cactus League games, Blanco went 9-for-40 (.225) with one double and three triples.

Blanco spent five years with the Giants and was part of the World Series winning teams in 2012 and 2014. During his time in San Francisco, the 33-year-old hit .259/.338/.360 with 78 doubles, 24 triples and 157 RBI in 649 games.

The D'backs signed Blanco to a minor league deal in January.

Giants spring training Day 43: A big game for veteran trying to lock up OF job

Giants spring training Day 43: A big game for veteran trying to lock up OF job

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For the first time, Gorkys Hernandez did not go back to Venezuela in the offseason to play winter ball. He's hoping that leads to another first. 

Hernandez has never made an opening day roster, but after breaking into the Giants’ outfield rotation last season, he entered the winter in a decent shot. To bolster his case, Hernandez stayed in Scottsdale over the offseason to work out at the minor league facility. The added strength didn’t lead to any notable results over the first month of games, but Hernandez broke through Monday with three doubles in the final home game of the spring.

“Sometimes (slumps) happen and sometimes you’re late (on pitches) and you don’t feel comfortable at the plate, but now I feel different. I feel better,” Hernandez said. “I’m recognizing pitches and trying to keep it simple and not do too much.”

The coaching staff has asked several players to head down to the minor league facility late in the spring and get additional at-bats, and Hernandez took Bruce Bochy up on the offer. He twice played in minor league games, and on Sunday he rotated into different games so he could get six at-bats. Hernandez said that helped him find his timing. 

“Without question, it helped his timing,” Bochy said. “He was off. He was getting out front, his timing was off. I think the at-bats he got paid off.”

The three-double day was perfectly timed. Hernandez entered with a .159 average and Justin Ruggiano, the other option as a backup center fielder, had started to put together better at-bats. Monday’s game was a reminder in more ways than one. Hernandez showed off the type of speed the Giants won’t have on the bench if Kelby Tomlinson is optioned, and he played all three outfield positions, switching from left to right to center. 

The role in play is one Gregor Blanco had for five seasons. The Giants would like Hernandez to be their defensive whiz at every outfield spot, and they’re light on true center fielders. If the Giants put Hernandez on the roster this week as expected, he’ll be ready to try and be the new Blanco. 

“If they give me that role, I’ll try to do the same thing,” he said. “Or better.”

THE ACE: Madison Bumgarner is going to Madison Bumgarner. He threw seven sharp innings Monday, lowering his spring ERA to 2.52. In 25 innings, he has allowed just 17 hits and struck out 23. Bochy appreciated Bumgarner’s intensity Monday against a Reds team that was filled with minor leaguers. 

“That’s what makes him so good,” Bochy said. “He takes every outing seriously. His preparation doesn’t waver.”

Bumgarner even added a single, and he liked that it came on a breaking ball. He’s worked on getting better at hitting those pitches, which he’s seeing more and more. 

“I feel I’m as ready as I can be to start the season,” Bumgarner said. 

His next pitch will be thrown Sunday at Chase Field. 

GAME RECAP: The Giants blasted poor Reds starter Cody Reed, hanging 10 runs on his line in 3 2/3 innings. Denard Span had two hits and Aaron Hill had three, driving in three runs. Bochy went with an interesting lineup, leading off with Span, Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. He said he likes Crawford in that five-spot. He also plans to hit the pitcher eighth on occasion.

TRAINER’S ROOM: Joe Panik was drilled by a fastball in the lower back and he came out of the game as a precaution. Panik has a nasty welt, so he’s in for a night of ice, but there are no concerns. 

QUOTABLE: Posey turned 30 today. As he walked out to stretch, Bumgarner was asked if he was giving Posey a hard time. “No, he’s been 30 for the last seven years,” Bumgarner said.