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Friday, October 24, 2014

Giants Injury Update: Tim Lincecum 'good to go' after clean MRI

By on 10/24/2014 06:00:00 PM

Giants right hander Tim Lincecum, who left a relief appearance in Game 2 of the World Series, underwent an MRI that came back clean, reports Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News. Lincecum will throw before game time to test his sore lower back, but manager Bruce Bochy anticipates he'll be available.

Lincecum made his first 2014 postseason appearance in Game 2, getting five batters out in the 7th and 8th innings of the Giants' 7-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Bochy may call upon him again, as other relievers (in particular Jean Machi and Hunter Strickland) have not been as effective as hoped.

Tim Lincecum

It's undeniable that the four-time All-Star, two-time Cy Young winner, and hero of two World Series is on the downside of his career—even though he's thrown no-hitters in his two most recent seasons. In 2014, Lincecum had his first winning season since 2010, going 12-9 in 26 starts and seven relief appearances (one save). His underlying stats, however, were not great: an ERA of 4.74 (ERA+ 74), WHIP of 1.394, less than a strikeout per inning, and, most significantly, a dramatic decline in fastball velocity have removed him from the top or even middle tier of starting pitchers. Hence, Lincecum has emerged once from the bullpen during the 2014 postseason, in Game 2 of the World Series.

Lincecum, who is finishing his eighth major league season, was the Giants' first round draft pick in 2006 and made his debut May 6, 2007. His long hair, relatively small stature (5'11" 170 lbs) and intense delivery caused fans to nickname him "The Freak," as it was amazing to see a 98-mph fastball come from that slim figure. In his second season Lincecum won his first Cy Young award, going 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA and 265 strikeouts. As a starter, Lincecum won Game 1 and Game 5 of the 2010 World Series against the Texas Rangers. In the 2012 World Series, Lincecum made two brilliant relief appearances in Games 1 and 3 against the Detroit Tigers. The Giants swept the Series.

Lincecum, now 30, is signed to a two-year $35 million contract that takes him through the 2015 season.

  (Rose Ingberman) and read her blog Lady and the Nats
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