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Monday, October 20, 2014

Giants Injury Update: Tim Lincecum dealing with stiff neck

By on 10/20/2014 09:15:00 AM

Right-hander Tim Lincecum didn’t go through a full workout Saturday because he woke up with a stiff neck, according to Alex Pavlovic. However, Lincecum is on the roster for the World Series and the Giants don't think his discomfort is serious.

Lincecum has yet to pitch in the 2014 postseason, though Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he would have pitched the 19th inning in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals, but Brandon Belt hit a homer in the 18th and Bochy brought in a one-inning guy (Hunter Strickland) for the save. Lincecum is doing his best to keep himself mentally ready for whatever's asked of him, reports Janie McCauley of the Associated Press.

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, the Freak has no spot in the Giants' postseason rotation, and his relief role is that of last guy out of the bullpen.  “You can’t ever have enough pitching and experience,” Bochy said. “I think about Tim, trust me, and the fact that he hasn’t been out there. I haven’t forgotten about what he’s done and what he could do for us.”

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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