SAN FRANCISCO -- It was a little surprising to see left-handed reliever Jack Taschner running out to the mound in the seventh inning of Saturday's game with a right-handed hitter at the plate and the tying run in scoring position. Taschner has already proven he is plenty capable of making outs, but on Saturday, with the game hanging on the line, Taschner proved something new, something manager Bruce Bochy already knew: Taschner knows how to handle righties. The Giants needed a third out to preserve their one-run lead over the Phillies, and Bochy said the decision to bring in Taschner was an easy one, and not just because left-hander Ryan Howard was lurking on the bench, available to pinch-hit.
"Well, sure, you are aware of Howard out there," Bochy said after the game. "Tasch is tough on righties, too. It's a great option for me to have as a lefty that is also tough on right-handers." So Taschner showed when he struck out pinch-hitter Jayson Werth on a 3-2 slider and left the Phillies' tying run stranded at third. "Guys getting into their careers, and later on in their careers, a lot of them become lefty specialists," Taschner said. "Maybe someday down the road that will be my forte, but right now, I feel deeply confident against lefties and righties." New kid in town: Tim Lincecum settled comfortably into his new big-league locker located on pitchers row between Matt Cain and Kevin Correia. The 22-year-old didn't look the slightest bit nervous before his Major League debut in front of the nation on ESPN. Lincecum has gone 4-0 with a 0.29 ERA in Triple-A Fresno. With numbers like that, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was sure to check out video footage of Lincecum before the game. Manuel said Lincecum's whippy delivery was like nothing he's seen and so was the fastball coming out of it. "Guys like that, they don't come by every day," Manuel said "You could go a long time without seeing a kid like that, who throws that hard." Sunday scrambles: Bengie Molina was crouching in his usual place behind home plate Sunday, after getting Saturday off, but the rest of the field looked a little different. Kevin Frandsen was at third while Pedro Feliz covered for Barry Bonds in left field. Todd Linden started in center and Dave Roberts took the day off. "You may see this lineup [again] with Petey out in left field and Frandsen at third," Bochy said. Visiting thievery: Don't bother filing a missing bags report; the San Francisco base thief is Phillies right fielder Shane Victorino. In the last three games before Sunday, Victorino has stolen two bags a night. Coming into the San Francisco series, Victorino had a season total of seven stolen bases. He has almost doubled that season total since rolling into the Bay Area. Upshaw's beginnings: While he was in town, Phillies general manager Pat Gillick caught up with Giants first-base coach Willie Upshaw. Upshaw and Gillick go back to Upshaw's playing days in Toronto, when Gillick drafted Upshaw to play first base for the Blue Jays from '78-'87. "He was a guy who from a talent standpoint wasn't really the best talent-wise, but was one of the most dedicated workers and dedicated factors that I've ever run into. He made himself a player," Gillick said. Mays' day: Say Hey! Isn't it your birthday? Willie Mays celebrated his 76th birthday Sunday. On deck: Barry Zito (2-3, 3.52 ERA) will open the Giants' three-game home series against the Mets at 7:15 p.m. PT on Monday opposite New York's Oliver Perez (3-2, 3.41).
Becky Regan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.