SAN FRANCISCO -- It's tough to believe because it has rarely happened during the past few seasons, but Tim Lincecum was pulled after three innings Sunday for one reason.
"In my mind that was plenty, that was enough, he was done," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Monday. "His stuff just wasn't there."
On Sunday, Lincecum threw 79 pitches and allowed two home runs -- a solo homer to David Ortiz in the first and a three-run shot to Mike Cameron in the third -- in his shortest outing since Opening Day 2009.
"More than anything, he was done, he was fatigued," Bochy said. "He threw a lot of pitches, his stuff dropped off -- he'll tell you that, in the second inning it did -- and he went back out there. ... You could see him laboring, and at that point it's not worth trying to get some more innings out of him."
Sure, Lincecum had his struggles in May (4.95 ERA). But he bounced back with four solid outings, including three straight wins (2.17 ERA).
Bochy is confident Sunday's performance was just an aberration, and although he understands why some may cry injury or blister, he said he's confident Lincecum -- who still is 8-3 with a 3.13 ERA -- will continue to be a dominant starter.
"There's not getting around that. Everybody, the expectations when Timmy hits the mound [are high], and when it doesn't go well, sure, you're surprised because it doesn't happen very often," Bochy said. "The way he threw in Houston [on Tuesday], I felt very good in the way he was there and commanded his pitches. He was just off [Sunday]."