Lincecum scratched from start due to illness

Lincecum scratched from start due to illness

PHILADELPHIA -- Stricken by an apparent stomach virus, Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum was scratched from his scheduled start and replaced by Barry Zito for Tuesday night's series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Manager Bruce Bochy announced the decision approximately an hour and a half before the game's first pitch. The Giants' medical staff examined Lincecum immediately after he arrived at Citizens Bank Park.

Bochy reported that Lincecum had been vomiting and looked "horrible." Added Bochy, "He felt sick all day and hasn't gotten any better, so after looking at him just now, we decided to go ahead and make the change."

Bochy indicated that Lincecum (8-8) will be re-evaluated daily and remained hopeful that he can pitch Wednesday against the Phillies. Matt Cain will start that game if Lincecum can't. Monday's off-day will enable the Giants to pitch each of their starters a day earlier and still keep them on their regular four days' rest. Conceivably, the Giants could rest Lincecum through Friday without having to use a starter on short rest. Until then, Ryan Vogelsong could pitch Thursday and Madison Bumgarner could appear Friday.

Lincecum, 27, entered Tuesday ranked fourth in the National League in strikeouts (146), sixth in opponents' batting average (.223), seventh in ERA (2.90) and ninth in innings pitched (136 1/3). The four-time All-Star has recorded a 1.42 ERA in his last three outings, allowing three runs in a 19-inning span.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner hadn't been scratched from a regular-season start since Sept. 8, 2009, when back spasms prevented him from facing San Diego. That created the opportunity for left-hander Bumgarner to make his Major League debut.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.