CINCINNATI -- Tim Lincecum probably threw his last pitch of the National League Division Series, but two of his fellow starters were deemed available as relievers by Giants manager Bruce Bochy as Thursday's Game 5 showdown with the Cincinnati Reds approached.
Lincecum worked 4 1/3 innings and earned the decision in San Francisco's 8-3 Game 4 triumph Wednesday that evened the series at two games apiece. The right-hander threw 55 pitches, essentially eliminating any chance that Bochy would use him in the series finale.
"I think that's asking too much," Bochy said. "... He's resilient and ... he's a 'freak.' He will be out there throwing hard and saying his arm feels great, but as of right now we have no plans of using him."
That wasn't the case with right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched five innings in Tuesday's Game 3.
"He can go an inning," Bochy said.
The same was true for left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who went 4 1/3 innings in last Sunday's Game 2.
"He's available," Bochy said.
Bochy stuck with the lineup he typically employs against right-handed starters. The only change he contemplated was inserting Joaquin Arias for Brandon Crawford at shortstop. Arias went 2-for-3 with two doubles Wednesday and is 3-for-6 in the series. But though Crawford is hitless in seven at-bats, Bochy opted to stick with him and his superior defense.
"It's fair to say that Crawford has been our best shortstop," Bochy said.