Tim Lincecum left Game 2 with a back injury after retiring five consecutive batters, which was just about the most anticlimactic postseason debut imaginable. After an MRI didn't show a substantial problem, the reports are that Lincecum's back feels much better before Game 3. From Henry Schulman:
For Lincecum to pitch, his back has to feel good, and Bochy said it is. Although the Giants will wait to see how Lincecum feels when he plays catch later, Bochy said, "It looks like he’s good to go."
And, yes, Lincecum’s five-up, five down performance before he came out with the back injury in Game 2 has given Bochy more confidence to use him in leveraged situations.
Take a sip of water and make one of those GULNNNK sounds when you swallow, because this could really happen. The Giants' bullpen was one of the reasons they won a Wild Card spot. Now it might be the death of me. I mean, the death of their postseason hopes. But mainly the death of me. I can't take this anymore.
The good news is that Bochy was open to using Yusmeiro Petit in a more traditional bullpen role instead of saving him for the four-inning longman job that might never come. I'm not hyper-confident with him in that role, but I think we all agree that Jean Machi is just about the most terrifying pitcher in recent Giants postseason history, and Hunter Strickland is at least tied. I'm not looking forward to a Petit/Hosmer showdown in the eighth inning of a tie game, but considering the park and the Royals' lack of dinger arts, it just might be crazy enough to work.
We're getting into "Why don't the airlines just make the black box out of Casilla and Affeldt?" territory. Here's hoping Tim Hudson's first World Series start is a masculine World Series start. I would pledge my ever-loving loyalty.
If Lincecum could rip off five scoreless innings in this postseason, though, just think about how badass that would be. And trolly. Trolly enough to make it likely, even.