SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum's absence from Saturday night's postgame division-clinching celebration was purely legitimate and due to unavoidable circumstances, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday.
Bochy explained that pitchers assigned to start a day game following a night game are urged to go home during the late innings and rest. Lincecum was scheduled to start Sunday. Though the Giants jumped to a 5-1 lead through four innings and ultimately defeated San Diego, 8-4, telling Lincecum that he would not pitch Sunday would have been a risky violation of baseball protocol, in the event that San Diego rallied.
Thus, Lincecum's departure from AT&T Park was excused. Bochy said that the right-hander wanted to return to the ballpark to join the festivities, but "by then it was too late."
The most notable example of this occurred in late August during the 2010 season, when Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean lectured members of the starting rotation after a stretch of subpar pitching performances. The lone pitcher absent was Matt Cain, who was the following day's starter.
The Giants announced late Saturday night that Lincecum would be scratched from Sunday's start and replaced by Yusmeiro Petit.