Bochy turns to Lincecum, Giants still up 3-2 in 5th

Let the second-guessing begin.

Barry Zito couldn't survive the third inning. Tim Lincecum pitched in the fourth. So why (a reasonable fan might ask) not just start Lincecum in the first place? Well, Lincecum threw 25 pitches while pitching a couple of relief innings just three days ago, in Game 2 of this series. He probably could have started Game 4. But for better or worse, Bruce Bochy has committed, in this series at least, to using Lincecum as a reliefer.

George Kontos took over for Zito in the third, just as he took over for Matt Cain in the sixth, in Game 1. Who do you call for relief when your starting pitcher gets knocked out earlier than usual? K-O-N-T-O-S.

Kontos, a 27-year-old rookie, didn't get much ink during the regular season, but he's suddenly filling a big role as the Giants' starters can't seem to last more than a few innings. In this game, though, his role didn't last long: only two outs. He got the third out in the third, then the first out in the fourth. That first out in the fourth was preceded by Mike Leake's infield hit, and succeeded by Zack Cozart's line-drive single into left.

And so with the imminent appearance of Joey Votto, Bruce Bochy really got to managing. He brought in a left-hander, Jose Mijares, to face Votto.

Mijares struck out Votto.

With right-handed-hitting Ryan Ludwick up next, Bochy made a double-switch that included bringing Lincecum into the game to face Ludwick.

Lincecum struck out Ludwick.

Timk

Lincecum's presumably going to last longer in this game than Kontos or Mijares. But it's only the fifth inning and Bochy's already three deep into his bullpen in a game the Giants absolutely have to win. It's a good thing he's got a massive brain, because he's going to be doing a lot of thinking.

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