Programming note: Rockies-Giants coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO – Tim Lincecum has made two regular-season relief appearances in his career. His third one will be different.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy won’t be trying to outsmart a forecasted rainstorm by bringing in Lincecum in the third inning, as he did several years ago at Dodger Stadium. And he likely won’t be bringing in Lincecum in the 14th inning because all his other options have been exhausted, as he did in Philadelphia this past July.
Lincecum will be relieving for one reason only: he needed a break from starting.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner threw an 8-minute bullpen session with pitching coach Dave Righetti on Tuesday, working to incorporate some suggestions to give him a better direction toward home plate and shorten his stride.
When will the Giants use Lincecum in relief? Well, it could be as soon as Tuesday, although the club would like to start a clean inning to gain some confidence. Remember, the only facto for now is that Lincecum is being skipped for one turn only. The rest is to be determined, and part of that is how Yusmeiro Petit fares on Thursday when he makes a start.
Interestingly, Bochy said he wouldn’t hesitate to use Petit in relief if there’s an extra-innings situation Tuesday or Wednesday. If he had to do that, then it’s possible Lincecum still could start as originally scheduled Thursday.